Public History Program

The graduate program in public history at the University at Albany, State University of New York, is designed to train professional historians for work outside the conventional academic settings. Graduates receive a Master of Arts in History with a concentration in Public History, or a Certificate of Advanced Study in Public History. Students who are accepted into both programs may also choose to combine the History M.A. with the M.S. in Information Science

M.A. graduate Andrea Nero at Olana State Historic Site

Depending on the concentration chosen, students will be prepared for employment with historical societies, museums, archives, and similar agencies; with agencies involved in public policy planning, or with organizations that rely on digital technologies and traditional and new media in their efforts to research, preserve, and communicate about the past.

  • For information about the Public History internship experience, click here.
  • For information about Public History, click here

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The Capital Region

Located in Albany, New York and within short travel distance of New York City and Boston, the graduate program is part of a rich regional network of research and internship possibilities. On campus, the University libraries provide access to more than 2.5 million volumes and have remarkably vast and original Special Collections. The University's location in the state capital affords ready access to the New York State Library, containing over three million items, and to the New York State Archives, containing more than twenty-five thousand cubic feet of records. The Albany area is the home of major state agencies such as the State Archives, the State Museum and the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. It also has many public and private museums, historical societies and archives, and fifteen other colleges and universities. The richness and diversity permits a wide choice of internship possibilities, as well as providing a pool of specialized experts to supplement the public history curriculum and internship possibilities.

To learn more about applying, see: 

To learn more about the Program, contact:

Professor David Hochfelder
Graduate Director, Dept. of History
Office SS 060B
Phone: 518-442-5348
                   Professor Gerald Zahavi, Ph.D. 
Director, Public History Program
Office SS 060R 
Phone: 518-442-5427



Effective Fall 2015: History Master of Arts with a Concentration in Public History 

Program of Study (36 credits, divided as follows)

GROUP A:  Academic Content Courses (18-21 credits)

Geographic and thematic courses in history, including at least one readings course and one research seminar.

GROUP B:  Public History Concentration Courses (9-12 credits)

HIS 501 - Introduction to Public History (required)
HIS 503 - Introduction to Historical Agency Management and Practice 
HIS 504 - Curatorial Practices for Historical Agencies
HIS 505 - Interpretation of Historic Sites & Artifacts
HIS 506 - History Museums
HIS 508 - Material Culture Studies
HIS 509 - Introduction to Historic Preservation
HIS 594 - Practicum in Oral/Aural History
HIS 596 - Practicum in Digital History
HIS 597 - Practicum in Historical Documentary Filmmaking
HIS 598 - Practicum in Historical Narrative


HIS 798A


Satisfactory completion of a major field examination covering academic and public history course content.



History Master of Arts Degree with Certificate in Advanced Study in Public History

Program of Study (54 credits, divided as follows)

Students enrolled in this program will be required to make their M.A. concentration public history and to take courses and an internship appropriate to one of the three areas of emphasis: Historical Agency Studies, Historical Records Administration, History and Public Policy.

  1. History content, reading, and seminar courses (25 credits): History courses, ad advised, including HIS 621 or HIS 630 or a reading course from any of the other M.A. concentrations as advised, and a research seminar or a thesis (HIS 699).

  2. Professional courses (15 credits): His 501 and 12 credits chosen from among the following: His 503 (required of students emphasizing Historical Agency Studies), 504, 505, 506, 507 (required of students emphasizing History and Public Policy), 508, ISP 501, 611, 646, 650,655, 656 (with consent of director of the program), Pad 500.

  3. Satisfactory completion of a major field examination in Local and Regional History or one of the other M.A. fields as advised.

  4. His 798A, B Internship in Public History (12 credits).

  5. His 797 Directed Reading in Public History (2 credits).

Gainful Employment Program Disclosure

The Employment Disclosure statement regarding the Certificate in Advanced Study in Public History is available at: Gedt.html