Public History

Illinois College’s public history program will allow you to delve into history beyond the pages of academic journals and classroom walls, as you gain practical experiences exploring your passions. 


  • The public history concentration is designed to introduce and  prepare you for a graduate program or a career in archives, museums, historical sites, government agencies, libraries and a variety of other fields.
  • You will gain hands-on experience collaborating with our unique campus and community partners, including the Paul Findley Congressional Office Museum, Khalaf Al Habtoor Archives, the Governor Duncan Mansion and the Jacksonville Area Museum.
  • You will work on community projects that allow you to apply professional skills and understand the role of public history in our society — working with unconventional exhibits, historical performances, interactive learning environments and modern historical sites. 
  • You will be encouraged and empowered to participate in internships, student-faculty research and other work experiences to maximize your potential. 
  • Expert faculty, staff and guest speakers who are leaders in the field will guide and mentor you to GRADUATE READY for a career you are passionate about. 


Graduates of the public history program have access to many practical experiences and opportunities that set their résumés apart and prepare them for success in a variety of careers or graduate programs. 

Alumni may choose to pursue careers as museum professionals, institutional archivists, government historians, cultural resource managers or in any career that requires an understanding of history and the abilities to research, problem solve, think creatively, educate others and effectively use technology.