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 with a concentration in Public History and a Certificate of Advanced Study in Public History. Depending on their concentration, students will be prepared for employment with historical societies, museums, archives, and similar agencies, or with agencies involved in public policy planning.

The University at Albany

The University is the senior campus of the State University of New York and is one of four university centers in the 64 member SUNY system. Founded in 1844 as the State's first school for the training of teachers, Albany today is a modern university with 15,000 undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in eight degree granting schools and colleges offering more than 100 academic programs from the bachelors degree through the doctorate.

A major source for research are the University libraries, which contain more than one million volumes and extensive periodical holdings. 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 Capital Region

Located in the nation's largest governmental center outside of Washington, D.C., the University at Albany is in an excellent position to offer a program in public history.

The Albany area is the home of major state agencies such as the State Archives, State Museum and Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. The Capital Region also contains many public and private museums, historical societies and archives, as well as 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 regular staff of the Department of History.

Master of Arts with a Concentration in Public History

This is a 36-credit program, divided as follows:

    21 credits
    History academic courses, including His 603: Readings in U.S. and Comparative Public History, His 621 (Readings in Local and Regional History), His 630 (Readings in Public Policy), or a reading course from any of the other History M.A. concentrations as advised and a research seminar.

    9 credits
    His 501 (Introduction to Public History) and two other professional courses.

    6 credits -
    His 798A (Public History Internship)

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

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

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

Course Offerings and Internships

History Courses of Special Interest

History Courses of Special Interest
His 519 - History of American Architecture
His 520 - Technology in the Industrial World
His 535 - Topics in Local and Regional History
His 590 - Quantitative Methods in History
His 603 - Readings in U.S. and Comparative Public History
His 621 - Readings in Local and Regional History
His 622 - Seminar in Local and Regional History
His 630 - Readings in Public Policy
His 631 - Seminar in Public Policy
These courses may be augmented with studies in American Intellectual History, History of Women in Modern Society, Readings in Colonial and Revolutionary History, and Readings in 19th and 20th century U.S. History. Please see Graduate Bulletin for further listings.

History and Media Courses
His 595 – History of American Documentary Media
His 602 - Readings in Visual Media and Culture
His 604 - Readings and Practicum in Oral/Aural History
His 605 – Readings in the History and Theory of Historical Documentary Filmmaking
His 606 - Readings and Practicum in Digital History and Hypermedia
His 607 – Seminar and Practicum in History and Media
Please see concentration website for more information.

Professional Courses

His 501 - Introduction to Public History
His 503 - Introduction to Historical Agency Management and Practice
His 504 - Curatorial Practices for Historical Agencies
His 505 - Interpretation of Historic Sites & Artifacts
His 507 - History and Public Policy
Isp 501 - History of Books and Printing
Isp 611 - Information Systems and Technology


Isp 646 - Records Management
Isp 650 - U.S. Government Information Sources
Isp 655 - Rare Books
Isp 656 - Archives and Manuscripts
Pad 500 - Introduction to Public Administration

The Internship

The internship experience is a central part of the Public History Program. Public History interns have worked at the following sites:

Albany County Hall of Records
Albany Institute of History and Art
Canterbury Shaker Village
Crailo State Historic Site
Edison National Historic Site
Farmers' Museum, New York State
Historical Association Federation of Historical Services
Historic Hudson Valley
The Irish American Heritage Museum
Martin Van Buren National Historic Site
Mount Lebanon Shaker Village
New York Parks and Conservation Association
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
New York State Division of the Budget
New York State Museum
New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation
New York State Temporary Commission on the Restoration of the Capitol
New York State United Teachers
Pickering Beach Museum
Rockefeller Archive Center
Roosevelt-Vanderbilt National Historic Site
Sagamore, Historic Adirondack Great Camp
Saratoga National Historical Park
Schenectady City School District: Arts in Education Office
Schenectady Urban Cultural Park
Schuyler Mansion State Historic Site
Senate House State Historic Site
Shaker Heritage Society
Southwestern Pennsylvania Heritage Preservation Commission
State University of New York Central Administration
The Trustees of Reservations (Massachusetts)
United Technologies Corporation
United University Professions
University at Albany Oral History Program
Washington's Headquarters State Historic Site
Watervliet Arsenal Museum