Public History at VT

The History Department offers a Graduate Certificate in Public History.

Students pursue challenging, interdisciplinary coursework in addition to their Master’s education in History, Education, or other related fields. Upon completion of the program, receive a certificate recognizing their training in and understanding of public history.

To qualify for the certificate, students must complete 12 credits of graduate level coursework in History, with no less than 9 of these credits chosen from the department’s public history offerings.

Up to 6 credits of the certificate may be double-counted towards another degree.


Graduate student Bethany Stewart working with community member Marva Hickman on identifying archival material.

What Public History Students are up to

  • In the Fall 2021, public history students completed oral history interviews, interpreted content, and designed graphics for the Calfee Community and Cultural Center.

    Public history professor Dr. Jessica Taylor and graduate student Katie Gibson digitizing archival materials.
  • Noah Crawford (Class of 2021) created a walking tour pamphlet for the Wilderness Road Regional Museum in Fall 2019.
  • Students in the “Politics of Memory” class created the virtual exhibit “The Land Speaks” about the history of the Monocan Nation in Spring 2020.
  • Iris Swaney (Class of 2021) conducted multiple oral histories of the staff at the Women’s Resource Center of the New River Valley.
  • Iris Swaney curated and designed the exhibit “Unknown Origin” in remembrance of April 16, 2007.
  • Jessica Brabble (Class of 2021) created and designed an exhibit about the Pulaski County enslaved for the Wilderness Road Regional Museum in Fall 2019.
  • Emily Stewart (Class of 2020) helped public history professor Jessica Taylor created Voices of Virginia.
  • Clay Adkins and Iris Swaney helped conduct oral history interviews for the Fries Textile Collection Oral Histories in Fries, Virginia.
  • In Spring 2017, students researched Virginia political history and wrote and produced episodes of a podcast series.

For more information on Public History at Virginia Tech, please  follow them on Twitter @VTPublic History.