Welcome to Public History @ UCF, your portal to news and information about the many publicly engaged, digitally enabled research, teaching, and learning activities sponsored by UCF’s Department of History.

Those who are new to this fast-growing field may be wondering: What is Public History? To borrow an oft-cited definition from the National Council on Public History, “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. . . .  (Source: “What is Public History?/About the Field,” NCPH website, accessed April 7, 2020)

For us, Public History means engaging ourselves and our communities in critical thinking about why history matters. Please take a minute to browse our Public History Partnerships & Initiatives page and learn about the cutting-edge work our students, faculty, and community partners are doing together.

Thank you for visiting our new Public History @ UCF page, and please return often for updates!

Dr. Scot A. French
Director of Public History
Associate Professor of Digital & Public History
Associate Director, Center for Humanities and Digital Research


Public History takes many forms as a both an academic specialization and a holistic program of community engaged research partnerships at UCF:.

M.A. students may write a traditional thesis on a Public History topic or combine the written thesis with a public-facing, community-partnered project, such as a museum installation or an interactive digital history visualization. Several recent graduates of the Public History track who created digital projects as interactive components of their theses have been honored with the College of Arts & Humanities Outstanding M.A. Thesis Award. They include

Students who are not enrolled in the Public History track are welcome to take Public History classes and activities and are strongly encouraged to participate in the many Public History internship opportunities available to them.

Our “holistic curriculum” is cited by students as one its strengths. All students take a course in Historiography and learn about historical methods while simultaneously taking Public History courses in which they learn and apply theory in both the digital and analog realms. By integrating Public History theory with practical skills, the program trains students for public history careers of the future.


Want to know more? Email the Director of Public History, Dr. Scot French