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Since 1984, the Center for Public History (CPH) at the University of Houston has been a leader in the field of public history in the city, the state of Texas, and the United States. The program administers a Masters in Public History and offers a minor in Public History for the MA and PhD in the History Department. Over the years, grants, contracts, and internships under the auspices of CPH and its faculty have exceeded more than $3,500,000. Dr. Monica Perales is the CPH director.

Our vision: To ignite an understanding of our diverse pasts by collaborating with and training historically minded students, practitioners, and the public through community driven programming and scholarship.

Our mission: At the Center for Public History, we create collaborative, investigative projects with university and community partners to generate both local and global historical research. Our community-driven projects and graduate training specialize in preparing future public historians, helping Houston reclaim its past, and integrating a sense of history among diverse Houstonians.  

The Center:

  • Conducts research of scholarly value and community use for Houston and the larger region 
  • Builds on its faculty's international reputations in numerous fields, including energy, environmental, policy, and urban history
  • Trains MA and PhD students in these fields and in public history
  • Collaborates with affiliated UH faculty from the Honors College, Center for Public Policy, Hilton College Archives, Hines College of Architecture, Bauer College of Business, College of Engineering, Law Center, Jack J. Valenti School of Communications, and MD Anderson Library

Graduates of the program have been employed in various venues, such as the Smithsonian, the Bush Presidential Library, the U.S. Department of Defense, and at academic institutions across the country.

Over the years, CPH faculty, students, and alumni have worked on a wide range of research projects with different groups and organizations. A small sampling includes:

  • Local institutions such as the Houston Medical Forum, the City of Houston, and the Menil Collection
  • Regional entities such as the Gulfport Shipyard and the Houston Galveston Area Council
  • National institutions such as NASA, the Federal Reserve Bank, and the National Park Service
  • Corporations and law firms such as the Hilton Hotel, Shell Oil, and Baker & Botts