Public Humanities

Public Humanities Graduate Certificate

The Public Humanities Graduate Certificate program offers Rutgers graduate students cross-departmental and interdisciplinary learning experiences in publicly engaged humanities scholarship and methods.

The certificate program aims to train students to engage diverse publics in reflecting on community engagement, collaborative knowledge production, digital literacy, history, memory, and culture, and the relevance of the humanities to the current conditions of civic life. Along the way, students will develop the necessary skills for doing publicly engaged scholarship, for teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in the publicly engaged humanities related to their disciplines, and to broaden their career pathways inside or outside academia as they complete their degrees.

This certificate will provide graduate students with the option to pursue a set of graduate courses that emphasize the public humanities across departments at Rutgers, as well as practicum components that foster independent skill-building in related fields. These courses focus on interdisciplinary learning and creating connections across different humanities fields and methods on campus and the world outside of the academy. It offers students a unique opportunity to consider the synergies between and among their intellectual work, program-based and independent projects, community and civic engagement, and future career options. It also serves Rutgers’ public service mission as a state university, facilitating deeper engagement with the peoples who surround and populate the university community.

Eligibility and Registration
The Public Humanities Graduate Certificate will be open to currently enrolled master’s-level and doctoral students. The certificate will only be awarded upon completion of a master’s or doctoral degree.
Students interested in pursuing the graduate certificate or participating in its courses/program elements should email the Program Coordinator.

Program Requirements

The Public Humanities Graduate Certificate is a 9-credit program comprised of three courses, distributed as follows:

  • Introduction to Public Humanities, 16:534:587
  • One graduate elective in Public Humanities, from approved list below
  • Practicum, consisting of an approved internship or public-facing independent project


Introduction to Public Humanities (3 credits, 16:534:587)
Students must complete this course in order to be awarded the Public Humanities Graduate Certificate. In the course, students will receive an orientation to the field and to diverse public humanities methodologies. This course is designed to give students a "Public Humanities practice toolkit" including learning about project management, community engagement, and reaching a wide variety of audiences in public writing. Crucially, this course includes experiential learning in Digital Humanities and Oral History methods, instructive site visits, and critical networking opportunities with guest speakers and local practitioners. This course will prepare students to pursue independent and project-based work in public humanities and to network with professionals in the field. Students will be invited to continue their conversations in a Working Group in Public Humanities at the Center for Cultural Analysis (established in 2019).

One graduate elective in Public Humanities (3 credits)
Courses that fulfill this requirement include but are not limited to the list below. Additional courses may be added on a semester-by-semester basis. If you are interested in using a course not listed here to fulfill this requirement, please contact one of the program directors.

  • 16:082:593 Foundations in Cultural Heritage
  • 16:082:605 Methods in Cultural Heritage and Preservation Studies
  • 16:082:593 Museums, Collecting, and Preserving
  • 082.563 Curatorial Training Seminar
  • 082.698 Exhibition Seminar
  • 01:350:513 Literature and New Media
  • 01:350:514 Cultural Studies and Planetary Change
  • 08:206:559 Dance Studies and Oral Performance
  • 08:206:523 Dance Externship
  • 08:206:522 History of Creative Engagement
  • 16:510:631 Colloquium in Latin American History
  • 16:510:521 Colloquium in Labor History
  • 16:510:509 Teaching of History
  • (new proposed course, History Department) Law and History
  • (new proposed course, Italian Department) Digital Editing: Theories and Practices
  • 16:940:540 Environmental Humanities: Inter- and Transdisciplinary Issues
  • 16:940:604 Public Culture in Latin America

Practicum, consisting of an approved internship or public-facing independent project ( 3 credits; Students enroll in independent study courses in their own departments to fulfill this requirement)

  • Students register for an Independent Study course, or any other appropriate course number, in their own department (3 credits)
  • In order to fulfill the Practicum requirement, students may:
    • Choose to pursue an internship through the Graduate Public Humanities Summer Internship program supported by the Dean of Humanities Office, or a different supervised public humanities internship approved by the certificate coordinator/Advisory Committee members.
    • Or choose to create a public-facing independent project that will be supervised by a member of the Advisory Committee or an Affiliated Faculty Member.

In either case, students work with the certificate coordinator and/or a member of the Advisory Committee with expertise relevant to their interests to make arrangements to either complete an internship (possibly within the Public Humanities Summer Internship program referenced above) with a public humanities agency/institution or complete an independent public-facing project. If the student completes an internship to fulfill this requirement, that faculty member will act as the student’s academic advisor for the placement. If the student chooses to create a public-facing project to complete the requirement, a faculty member from the Advisory Committee will advise and evaluate the project.

Through this course, students will make valuable contributions to the field of public humanities in their independent projects and/or in collaborations with the sites/agencies where they complete their internships.