Program Details

Bachelor of Arts in History with an Emphasis in Public History

Offered By: College of Humanities and Social Sciences
Total Program Credits & Course Length:
Total Program Credits: 120
Campus: 15 weeks
Online: 8 weeks [ More Info ]
Transfer Credits:
Up to 90 credits, only 84 can be lower division
Program Tuition Rate:
Campus: $8,250 per semester. [ More Info ]
Online: $470 per credit. [ More Info ]
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Help Preserve Artifacts

If preserving public artifacts and historical records appeals to you, Grand Canyon University's contemporary history programs, including the Bachelor of Arts in History with an Emphasis in Public History degree, may capture your interest. The emphasis in public history opens the door for a career as a historian or archivist for museums or other public cultural organizations.

This bachelors in public history degree program is offered by the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, offering you the opportunity to transform your passion into actions that benefit your community by preserving history. A disciplined study of the past gives you an orientation of the complexity and diversity in the world in order to meet the competitive demands of a global economy. Our coursework helps extend the skills of a historian into the contemporary marketplace.

This bachelors degree in public history introduces the study of history as a scholarly discipline that encompasses continuity through change and develops deeper insights into culture. The curriculum interprets the past and how it impacts current time through museums, historic preservation and heritage tourism as well as practices that relate to applied history.

Degree Outcomes

Utilize the Past to Create Value in the Present

In addition to foundational courses that help develop effective communication, leadership and critical thinking skills, the coursework that focuses on history as an academic discipline helps you understand how historical artifacts and memories create value within a community. Creating essential workplace skills is also important, and the coursework also covers preservation techniques for artifacts, historical locations and records. Additionally, you learn about the administration of museums, private and public collections, libraries and other cultural resource organizations.

What You Will Learn

Discover How the Past Influences the Present and Future

Some skills you may learn include:

  • How to create museum exhibits
  • Conserving artifacts
  • Understanding the relationship between objects and history
  • Administration of museum and public organization departments
  • Solid writing skills
  • Effective speaking skills
  • Ability to assess and analyze complex situations
  • Investigative skills
  • Critical reasoning skills
  • Ability to plan for the short-term and long-term
  • Cultural knowledge and sensitivity
  • Archives and records management
  • Ethical Christian viewpoints

Career Outcomes

Prepare for Different Job Roles

The bachelors in public history exposes you to coursework that develops skills used by historians, archivists and administrative roles in public service. Possible employers include publishing companies, museums, government entities searching for grant writers and nonprofit organizations.

Program Domains

Course List

The programs offered at Grand Canyon University may vary by content and course length. You are currently viewing the program version available in Arizona. For information about specific course content, credit length and VA approval in your state, please contact a counselor at 1-855-GCU-LOPE or click here to request more information.
General Education Requirements:
34-40 credits
48 credits
Open Elective Credits:
32-38 credits
Total Degree Requirements:
120 credits

General Education Requirements

General Education coursework prepares Grand Canyon University graduates to think critically, communicate clearly, live responsibly in a diverse world, and thoughtfully integrate their faith and ethical convictions into all dimensions of life. These competencies, essential to an effective and satisfying life, are outlined in the General Education Learner Outcomes. General Education courses embody the breadth of human understanding and creativity contained in the liberal arts and sciences tradition. Students take an array of foundational knowledge courses that promote expanded knowledge, insight, and the outcomes identified in the University’s General Education Competencies. The knowledge and skills students acquire through these courses serve as a foundation for successful careers and lifelong journeys of growing understanding and wisdom.


Upon completion of the Grand Canyon University's University Foundation experience, students will be able to demonstrate competency in the areas of academic skills and self-leadership. They will be able to articulate the range of resources available to assist them, explore career options related to their area of study, and have knowledge of Grand Canyon's community. Students will be able to demonstrate foundational academic success skills, explore GCU resources (CLA, Library, Career Center, ADA office, etc), articulate strategies of self-leadership and management and recognize opportunities to engage in the GCU community.

Course Options

  • UNV-103, University Success: 4 credits
  • UNV-303, University Success: 4 credits


Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to construct rhetorically effective communications appropriate to diverse audiences, purposes, and occasions (English composition, communication, critical reading, foreign language, sign language, etc.). Students are required to take 3 credits of English grammar or composition.

Course Options

  • ENG-105, English Composition I: 4 credits
  • UNV-104, 21st Century Skills: Communication and Information Literacy: 4 credits
  • ENG-106, English Composition II: 4 credits
  • COM-263, Elements of Intercultural Communication: 4 credits


Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to express aspects of Christian heritage and worldview. Students are required to take CWV-101/CWV-301.

Course Options

  • CWV-101, Christian Worldview: 4 credits
  • CWV-301, Christian Worldview: 4 credits


Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to use various analytic and problem-solving skills to examine, evaluate, and/or challenge ideas and arguments. Students are required to take 3 credits of college mathematics or higher.

Course Options

  • MAT-144, College Mathematics: 4 credits


Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to demonstrate awareness and appreciation of and empathy for differences in arts and culture, values, experiences, historical perspectives, and other aspects of life (psychology, sociology, government, Christian studies, Bible, geography, anthropology, economics, political science, child and family studies, law, ethics, crosscultural studies, history, art, music, dance, theater, applied arts, literature, health, etc.). If the predefined course is a part of the major, students need to take an additional course.

Course Options

  • PSY-102, General Psychology: 4 credits
  • INT-244, World Religions: 4 credits
  • SOC-100, Everyday Sociology: 4 credits

Program Core Courses

Course Description

This course surveys global civilizations from Africa and the Americas to Eurasia as an overview of the principal cultural, political, and economic themes that shaped world civilization.

Course Description

This writing intensive course focuses on research methods used in historical research and writing, and application of theories and methodologies to the analysis of historical materials. Emphasis is placed on research, writing, and critical thinking in historical contexts.

Course Description

This course provides an overview of the principal political, economic, and cultural themes and constitutional developments that shaped the United States from the Colonial period into the 20th Century.

Course Description

This course introduces the study of history as a scholarly discipline, emphasizing significant historians, subdisciplines of the field, and the foundational methodological and theoretical tools of historians.

Course Description

This course examines the techniques, sources, and methods of collecting and presenting history at the local level. Emphasis is placed on how communities create memory and historical records, and their uses for students, educators, researchers, and communities.

Course Description

This writing intensive course examines the political, economic, and social aspects of selected wars and revolutions. It provides a comparative study of social conflicts with an emphasis on the patterns of individual and collective action, violence, and social changes.

Course Description

This course provides a broad introduction to the field of material culture and museum studies. Students use techniques of applied history to learn from objects and study the way museums create exhibits, conserve artifacts, and teach history through material culture.

Course Description

This course provides a survey of historic preservation and cultural resource management. Topics covered include the field's history; methods, and practices through the methods of applied history in environmental law and conservation; and current practices in management of historic sites, structures, and neighborhoods.

Course Description

This course examines the principal social, political, economic, and global events that have shaped the American experience during the Cold War era.

Course Description

This course covers various topics in public history, which may include archives and records management, historical interpretation, cultural tourism, oral history, and other fields/applications of history in public spheres.

Course Description

This course examines the political, social, economic, and cultural history of the Southwest Borderlands region, focusing on topics related to the American West, Native Americans, frontier/colonial theory, environment, and Chicana/o history.

Course Description

This course provides a broad overview of careers for administrators of museums, historical societies, archives, special collection libraries, and other cultural resource agencies. The course explores the role of an administrator as the head of an organization or as a mid-level manager. Issues that are unique to public or nonprofit agencies that collect, preserve, and share cultural resources are also explored. Prerequisite: HIS-337 or HIS-347.

Program Locations



Join Grand Canyon University’s vibrant and growing campus community, with daytime classes designed for traditional students. Immerse yourself in a full undergraduate experience, complete with curriculum designed within the context of our Christian worldview. New modern classrooms, suite-style residence halls, popular dining options, resort-style swimming pools and a focus on creating a dynamic student life make GCU a top choice for high school graduates and transfer students. Exciting events, well-known guest speakers and Division I athletics round out the traditional student experience. Our welcoming campus community is the perfect place to find your purpose.


Pursue a next-generation education with an online degree from Grand Canyon University. Earn your degree with convenience and flexibility with online courses that let you study anytime, anywhere. GCU offers the most experienced leadership in delivering online degree programs. Full-time faculty members and fully trained adjunct instructors, equipped with strong academic backgrounds and practical experience in their fields, support you every step of the way. Designed with the career-oriented professional in mind, our online classes provide an intimate environment that stimulates engaging and challenging discussions. Choose from programs across our distinct colleges, in high-demand employment areas. Classes begin frequently.


Grand Canyon University’s evening programs cater to the demands of working professionals who prefer an in-person learning environment. Our night classes meet just once per week and offer the interaction and discussion of a typical college classroom. Night classes are designed for a specific number of students, providing a warm and nurturing environment that supports an engaging experience. In an evening cohort, you will progress through your degree program with the same career-minded classmates, providing an opportunity to network and forge relationships that go beyond the classroom. Classes begin frequently at various locations, including our main campus.

* Please note that this list may contain programs that are not presently offered as program availability may vary depending on class size, enrollment and other contributing factors. If you are interested in a program listed herein please first contact your University Counselor for the most current information regarding availability of the program.

* The Department of Education defines how an institution must calculate a program's On-Time Completion rate for federal disclosure purposes. The On-Time Completion rate is based on a program's published required number of months to complete all degree requirements as provided in the institution's catalog. Completion statistics are updated every January and are based on the cohort of students who started the program in the same year and then graduated within the published program length.

Online and Evening program disclosures (48 months) On-campus program disclosures (48 months)

* Please refer to the Academic Catalog for more information. Program subject to change.