MS and PhD Positions in Industrial Heritage @ Michigan Tech

Mark Rhodes's picture

Dear Colleagues,


The Department of Social Sciences at Michigan Technological University is now accepting applications for its fully-funded transdisciplinary MS and PhD programs in Industrial Heritage. Our department is exceptionally interdisciplinary with core strengths studying the processes, impacts, and heritage of industrial communities, deindustrialization, and postindustrial landscapes and transformations. We draw from mixed-methods including landscape, ethnographic, heritage and creative practice, archaeology, and GIS and spatial analysis. We also have MS and PhD programs in Environment and Energy Policy and a new MS degree in Sustainable Communities.


Specifically, I am looking for students seeking to explore equitable futures in industrial heritage, post-industrial landscapes, sustainable tourism, and critical and/or creative geographies of memory. Such foci could include critical theoretical, creative methodological, and/or community-based activist perspectives. Students with experience across cultural and historical geography and/or political ecology would be exceptionally suited for such positions. Our students have gone on to successfully secure jobs in academia, state and federal offices, and in the private heritage sector. With teaching assistantships providing full tuition support and an additional stipend, MS and PhD students working with me are able to explore any topic/project of interest while engaging as little or as much as they wish with my broader research agenda - critically examining industrial heritage institutions in Wales and emergent concepts around more-than-human living memory. 


Admission and funding decisions have no citizenship or nationality priorities or restrictions; all are welcome to apply. 


Our graduate programs involve courses and a thesis advised by an interdisciplinary faculty with perspectives from geography, history, archaeology, anthropology, heritage studies, political science, and sociology. Students from many different backgrounds are welcomed into our community, united by our interest in industrial transitions.


Students and faculty regularly work on projects with our two local National Parks, and draw upon our wide array of professional networks, such as the Association of Critical Heritage Studies, our Department's hosting of the national headquarters of the Society of Industrial Archeology and the international headquarters of The International Committee for the Conservation of the Industrial Heritage (TICCIH; an ICOMOS/UNESCO scientific committee), and, in 2024, we will host the Vernacular Architecture Forum (VAF). 


Many other faculty are also now recruiting graduate students for funded research positions. (  


Application Procedure

Application deadline is January 15, 2023 for admission in Fall 2023. Those seeking funding must apply by this time in order to be considered for support. We urge all applicants to identify and contact a potential advisor or sponsor in the department before submitting their application.


In addition, Michigan Tech cooperates with AmeriCorps Volunteer in Service to America (VISTA) program, providing opportunities for VISTA volunteers to study for Master's degrees that draw upon their service year experience in post-industrial communities.  See the website for details:


We also regularly host Fulbright Foreign Student scholars who are given full or partial support through the US Department of State.


You can find information about our faculty, courses, degree requirements, and guidelines for preparing your application on our program webpage:


I am happy to address any questions or speak to anyone in more detail.  

Very best wishes, 


Mark Alan Rhodes II
Assistant Professor of Geography
Michigan Technological University

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