Publicly-Engaged Humanities Graduate Education by Degrees

Across the country, colleges and universities are reimagining humanities graduate education to address students’ commitment to public-facing work and professional development needs. As a result, many institutions have taken steps to tailor humanities pedagogy to meet student demands by creating master’s programs and graduate certificates in Public Humanities.

As the University of Iowa Andrew W. Mellon-funded Humanities for the Public Good Initiative participants design a graduate certificate and Master’s degree, we’ve consulted with many leaders in graduate education. They’ve shared creative experiments with a number of degrees–from certificates to Master’s degrees, to a Ph.D. Join us for a conversation with a few of those leaders on Tuesday, April 12 from 3:00-4:30 CT on Zoom. Register here.


Raymond Haberski is Professor of History, Director of American Studies, and Associate Dean for Academic Programs in the School of Liberal Arts at Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis. He directs the unique Ph.D. in American Studies that combines interdisciplinary coursework with “significant experience collaborating with organizations and institutions throughout the city and region,” including a yearlong internship.

Ph.D. Program in American Studies – Program of American Studies

Ryan McBride is Administrative Associate Professor of English at Tulane University and Director of the Mellon Graduate Program in Community-Engaged Scholarship, an interdisciplinary certificate program that connects graduate students in the humanities, community leaders, and faculty through a two-year cohort experience. The program supports “cutting-edge, civically informed, ethically grounded, public scholarship.” 

Mellon Graduate Program in Community-Engaged Scholarship | Center for Public Service

Susan Smulyan is a Professor of American Studies at Brown University and the recent Director of the John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities and Cultural Heritage. The MA, which can stand alone or be paired with a Ph.D., “provides a dynamic interdisciplinary opportunity for students interested in careers in museums, historical societies, cultural agencies, heritage tourism, historic preservation, universities, and community arts programs.” She edited a collection of essays, Doing Public Humanities (2020), and regularly teaches public humanities courses.

Home | Public Humanities | Brown University

Kathryn Temple–With a Ph.D. in English and a JD, Professor Temple was especially well-positioned to found the Georgetown University MA Degree in Engaged and Public Humanities. The cohort-based program “emphasizes global, interdisciplinary, public, and digital humanities to illustrate the wide-ranging applications of the humanities and build on Georgetown’s Jesuit and liberal arts traditions.”

The Value of a Master’s in Engaged & Public Humanities – Master’s Program in the Engaged & Public Humanities