Appalachian State University’s History (BS) - Applied and Public History degree helps make history more accessible to the public. It is ideal for students who want careers working with archives, museums, national parks and landmarks. The degree can be used to pursue teaching as well. Students also have the opportunity to tailor their education to a specific interest by taking 24 credit hours in any department with courses related to public history, such as art history, history of furnishing, business and management, or public administration courses.
History is a highly versatile major. Appalachian’s history students develop valuable analytical skills that they take with them into many careers, and their experience in evaluating ideas and information, examining and interpreting evidence and developing a world view helps them become expert decision-makers. They’re also cool people to talk with because they can speak on many different topics.
Classes in Appalachian’s Department of History are taught by well-published professional historians who are dedicated to preparing students for life and careers in the 21st century. They welcome students who desire opportunities to conduct research with them and attend or present at conferences.
Employment: Students are employed at places such as RPG Solutions in Raleigh, Watauga County Library, Iredell Museums, Kentucky Historical Society, Pamplin Historical Park and National Museum of the Civil War Soldier.
Graduate School: Students have gone on to University of New Mexico, University of North Carolina, N.C. State University, Colorado State University and other schools.
Required courses and electives cover European history, United States history and non-western history. The core course is Public History: An Introduction to the Field, followed by 24 hours of a Career-Oriented Concentration.
A minor is optional. Many students choose Anthropology, Sociology, Political Science or another discipline within the humanities.
Engagement Outside the Classroom
History Club – This student club stimulates interest in history, promotes a closer association of students and faculty, and provides a common meeting ground for all those interested in history.
Phi Alpha Theta – An honors society whose mission is to promote the study of history through the encouragement of research, good teaching, publication and the exchange of learning and ideas.
Appalachian is committed to introducing students to different cultures and teaching them how to live and interact in a global society.
The Department of History offers three regularly scheduled faculty-led, short-term summer study abroad programs:
- Ireland/Spain - “Religious and Ethnic Conflict in Western Europe: Ireland and Spain,” every other year
- Germany, Poland or Israel - “The Holocaust: History, Memory and the Politics of Representation,” every other year with support from the Center for Judaic, Holocaust and Peace Studies
- United Kingdom - “Postindustrial Wales,” on demand
There are no admission requirements beyond admission to Appalachian State University.
- Internship sites include local, easily accessible locations such as Watauga Public Library, as well the National Archives in Maryland and local historical preservation societies across the U.S.
- The campus library’s W.L. Eury Appalachian Collection and British Studies collection are valuable resources for history majors.
- The Department of History offers a broad curriculum in local, national, regional and world history which encourages history majors to develop a comparative approach to human problems.
- A web-based, undergraduate journal of historical research, called History Matters, is published annually by the Department of History. It is edited by undergraduates with the help of a faculty board.
- Classes in the Department of History are small and faculty members give individualized attention to students.
- The department has more than 30 tenured faculty members.
Number of Students
Method of Delivery
On campus, with some online courses in the summer
- Historic Preservation Specialist
- Historic Site Tour Guide
- Historical Society Staff Member
- Media Consultant
- Museum Curator
- Museum Technicians & Specialist
- Research Assistant
Dr. Andrea Burns
Faculty member and advisor