The History Department at Carleton offers the only Ph.D. program in Public History in Canada. Ideally located in the National Capital Region, our Public History Ph.D. students have ready access to numerous national museums, federal departments, cultural institutions, and Library and Archives Canada.

Students in the Concentration learn the specific scholarly and professional concepts associated with public history, learn about the history of public history, and also learn how to produce public history in both academic and non-academic settings.

Students in the Public History Concentration enjoy:

  • access to training and mentoring from faculty and professional public historians who specialize in community-engaged and community-based research, photography, performance, digital history, museums and archives, commemoration, activist history, history and public policy
  • twenty years of teaching experience and funded research in Canadian and international public history
  • the chance to collaborate with over thirty local, national, and international  institutional partners
  • an opportunity to expand on traditional historiographical practices around research and the communication of research in the dissertation project
  • a designated Internship with a partner institution aligned with your field of study or career goals
  • Graduate Diploma in Curatorial Studies
  • full membership in the Carleton Centre for Public History with its local, national, and international research connections

Program Requirements

  • HIST 6808 (Historical Theory and Method – 1.0 credit)
  • HIST 6906 (Ph.D. Tutorials in Public History – 3 terms/1.5 credits)
  • HIST 6908 (Ph.D. Comprehensive Examination in Public History – 0.5 credit)
  • 1.0 credit in Cognate Area courses
  • 1.0 credit in Applied History Internship and Professionalization courses
  • HIST 6909 (Ph.D. Thesis)

Guidelines for Completion of Doctoral Degree

Ph.D. Tutorials and Comprehensive Examination

All students complete 1.5 credits of tutorials (HIST 6906) in the Public History major field in their first year. After completing three terms of tutorials, students will undertake a comprehensive examination in the major field, normally in September of their second year of the program. The exam has both written and oral components.

Cognate Area

All students complete 1.0 credit in a cognate area that complements their major field of study. The requirement is met through completion of 1.0 credit in HIST courses at the 5000- or 6000-level or, with permission of the Graduate Supervisor, in graduate level courses from another unit at Carleton or the University of Ottawa.

Internship in Applied History

All Public History students undertake an Internship in Applied History (0.5 credit) and an Internship in Applied History Preparation Course (0.5 credit) that enhances and complements their program of study and career goals. The nature of the internship is flexible and is to be determined jointly by the student, their dissertation advisor, and the Public History co-ordinator.

PhD Courses

With departmental approval, PhD students are eligible to enrol in courses in other departments and programs at Carleton, and at the University of Ottawa.

Please see the PhD Handbook for further information on program requirements.

Admission Requirements

Applicants with an M.A. degree will be expected to have at least high honours standing.

Language Requirement

All students must demonstrate proficiency in a language other than English allied to their program of study. The appropriate language requirement will be determined in conjunction with their dissertation advisor and the Graduate Supervisor. Proficiency is normally demonstrated through completion of the departmental language exam or course credits approved by the department. Language requirements must be met by the end of the student’s second year of study.

Residence Requirement

The normal residence requirement for the Ph.D. degree is a minimum of two years of full-time study.

Information on this page is only a guideline and is subject to change. Please be sure to consult the graduate calendar for official program information.