Photo a group of UGA public history interns in Washington DC and the UGA logo

Public history is the work that historians do outside of the university to bring history to a wider audience. This can take place in many different settings but includes historic sites, museums, archives, libraries, parks, and monuments.

The Program

UGA's Summer Program in Public History consists of a two-course sequence (6 credits).

During Maymester students take HIST 4026/6026, Public History in Washington, DC, which offers an introduction to public history in the nation's capital. Whenever possible class meetings are held at cultural institutions on the Washington Mall. During these site visits, students have frequent opportunities to meet with professionals in the field to discuss the work of public historians. The group also makes field trips to historic sites, including George Washington's home; Mount Vernon in Alexandria, Virginia; and the Gettysburg Battlefield in Pennsylvania.

In the Thru semester, students enroll in HIST 4800/6800 and intern at a major cultural site in the DC area, getting hands-on experience in public history. In 2016 our students interned at the Library of Congress, the National Archives, the Society of Cincinnati Library, the National Postal Museum, the Archives of American Art, Tudor Place, Woodrow Wilson House, and the Hillwood Estate.

Any undergraduate is eligible to apply, although preference will be given to history majors in their junior and senior years. 

Costs and funding

Students pay UGA tuition and fees for the 6-credit summer program. In addition, there is a program fee of around $3600 to $3800, which covers the costs of housing and field trips. These fees do no include meals and living expenses. Students are required to reside in program housing on Capitol Hill and are expected to be in residence in for the extent of Summer Extended Session (most of May, June, and most of July). 

Student financial aid and scholarships may be used to pay for program costs. Contact the Office of Student Financial Aid to determine if your specific sources of financial aid can be used. History majors are also eligible to apply for the Department of History's Study Abroad Scholarships and the Summer Program in Public History Scholarship

Internship requirements

After students are admitted to the Summer Program in Public History, they will work with Akela Reason, the director of the program, to identify potential internship options that align with the goals of the program. Students will be expected to work at least 30 hours per week for the duration of their internships, and applicants should understand that most internships are highly competitive and unpaid.

Students will also submit a final written project relating to the work they did at their internship.

Application details (and Scholarship Application)

To apply to the program, students should fill out the online application form at OIE's StudyAway portal.

You will also need to upload the following materials to the application site (pdf files are preferred):

  • a résumé including contact information for two references
  • a 500-word statement of purpose that explains your interest in the program

If you are applying for the Public History Scholarship you will also need to ask a faculty member to write a letter of recommendation on your behalf. You may upload it and the scholarship application with your program application to the OIE website or the scholarship application and letter of recommendation may be emailed by itself to by February 1.

The priority deadline for the program application to OIE is December 10. Applications received after that deadline may be considered if spaces remain unfilled. Students who are accepted to the program will be required to submit a non-refundable deposit of $150 by February 15 in order to reserve their place in the program. Download the brochure here.

For more information please contact Dr. Akela Reason at