Public history is a vibrant and diverse career field that we encourage Cal State East Bay students to consider. We draw upon the National Council on Public History to help us define public history. According to this leading professional organization, "public history describes the many and diverse ways in which history is put to work in the world. In this sense, it is history that is applied to real-world issues."

Cal State East Bay History majors are especially primed to think about this field, given the abundant public history opportunities in the Bay Area and California, and our region's remarkable interest in local, national, and global histories. The marks of the past are everywhere around us in the Bay Area, and public historians help to preserve, interpret, and narrate the complex histories surrounding us and shaping our lives.

Public historians hold many different professional titles, including:

  • historical consultants
  • museum professionals
  • government historians
  • archivists
  • oral historians
  • cultural resource managers
  • curators
  • film and media producers
  • historical interpreters
  • historic preservationists
  • policy advisers
  • local historians
  • community activists

You can peruse currently advertised positions in the field of public history here.

The BA in History from Cal State East Bay is an excellent preparation for the public history career field, because we strive to embed many applied history activities into our curriculum, and directly into many of our 4-unit classes especially. Our major degree has an applied history class requirement.

We also offer the Certificate in Public History, which provides a notation on your transcripts, indicating specialized preparation for this career field. This notation and experience will be valuable in advanced degree, job, and internship applications.

The certificate requires 22 units of coursework, from the following areas:

Public History Core (19 units):

Practical Skills Applications Course (3 units):

Other courses may fulfill this "practical application" requirement with permission of an advisor in the History Department.


Please speak with your regular History Department advisor about completing the Public History Certificate.

Contact Us

Department of History
  • 25800 Carlos Bee Blvd
  • Student and Faculty Support (SF)
  • 4th Floor, Office 442
  • Hayward, CA 94542