A student reading a book in the stacks of the UAlbany library.

Master of Arts


Program of Study


Choose a concentration in one of two tracks: Academic or Public History

Each involves a range of readings and skills-based courses, along with a workshop in which you’ll learn to develop a historical research question and begin the process of researching answers and communicating the results to others.

From there, you’ll develop a capstone project, drawing on research, writing and digital skills to produce a work unique to you, such as a publishable article, a museum exhibit, an oral history project or some other work that advances your research interests and career goals.

If you're accepted to both programs, you may also pair the MA in History with the MS in Information Science or with the Juris Doctor in Law. These options give you the unique chance to support your education in history with an interdisciplinary curriculum that will make you a strong candidate for post-graduation opportunities.

Additional Information

See the Graduate Bulletin for details.

For more information, contact Alexander Dawson at 518-442-5300 or [email protected].

Focus Tracks

30 credits

  • Coursework in History (22 credits minimum, including at least one Readings Seminar)
  • Supporting coursework as advised (0-9 credits)
  • Prospectus Workshop (4 credits)
  • Research Seminar (capstone) (4 credits)


Foreign Language Requirement:

A reading knowledge of one foreign language appropriate to the student's major field is required for M.A. candidates writing Master's theses on non-U.S. topics. The Master’s thesis is optional and not required for this program. This requirement can be fulfilled by an examination in the Department, by an examination administered by a language department with approval of the History Department, or by satisfactory completion of a graduate level language course that has been approved by the History Department.

Public History
36 Credits

Group A: Academic Content Courses

(14-18 credits)

  • Coursework in History, including at least one Readings Seminar
  • Supporting coursework as advised
  • Prospectus Workshop
  • Research Seminar

Group B: Public History Courses

(12-16 credits)

  • Coursework in Public History, including Introduction to Public History
  • Supporting coursework as advised

Group C: Public History Internship

(6 credits)

Dual Degree Programs


You may choose to pursue one of two dual master’s degrees, making it possible to earn both degrees faster and more economically.

MA History with Juris Doctor (JD) Option

Earn your MA and law degree in less time through UAlbany's collaborative agreement with Albany Law School. This program enables you to earn both an MA in history and a JD in law in four years instead of the usual five. Elective credits from each degree count toward the other's requirements. With these degrees, you can surmount complex legal issues in corporate, academic or government settings.

You must apply to and be accepted by both programs. Visit the Albany Law School Juris Doctor Program for curriculum and admissions requirements.

Dual MA History / MS Information Science

The combined MA/MSIS offers a streamlined pathway through two degrees and draws on the University at Albany’s unique location near state archives and libraries and centered in New York’s high-tech corridor.

By combining crucial historical analysis competencies with modern approaches in information structures, you will develop career-enhancing skills that prepare you for work in libraries, museums, archives, historic sites, and educational and governmental institutions. 

You must apply to and be accepted by both programs. Visit the MSIS program page for curriculum and admissions requirements.

Career Paths

Your master's in history prepares you to pursue careers in museums, historic sites, schools, libraries and other institutions where the skills you’ve acquired are in demand.

Potential job titles for an MA in History include:

  • Curator
  • Lecturer
  • Historian
  • Law clerk
  • Archivist
  • Librarian

Alternatively, you may choose to continue your education through a PhD program.

Student reading a book in the library
Accelerated Undergraduate/Graduate Option

If you’re a current UAlbany undergraduate student with at least a 3.2 GPA, you can save time and money by beginning your graduate degree coursework as early as your junior year. Up to 12 academic credits, billed at the undergraduate rate, will count towards both degrees – so you can complete your combined program in only 5 years and spend less than you would if you completed each program separately.

Contact your undergraduate advisor to see if you’re eligible and learn about your combined graduate program options.

UAlbany graduate with confetti at Commencement.
Admissions Requirements
  • Fall: July 15
  • Spring: November 15
  • Summer: Not Available

There is no departmental assistantship consideration for the History MA program.

Required Application Materials
  • Transcripts from all schools attended
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Personal statement (not required, but recommended)

The GRE is not required for admission to the History MA program.

Available information for International Applicants.

Special Notes

The Public History concentration for this program requires an internship, field experience, study abroad component, or clinical experience requirement. Students who have previously been convicted of a felony are advised that their prior criminal history may impede their ability to complete the requirements of certain academic programs and/or to meet licensure requirements for certain professions.  If applicants have concerns about this matter please contact the Dean’s Office of the intended academic program (College of Arts & Sciences).

Student Learning Objectives

Learning objectives that UAlbany students are expected to attain through their course of study within their academic program.

Master of Arts
  • Identify and interpret significant and innovative works of historical literature.

  • Distinguish between the research questions, methodology, and research contributions in scholarly works of history.

  • Engage in primary source research wherein the student identifies and interprets original evidence, develops original arguments, and demonstrates competence in critical analysis.

  • Demonstrate in written work the ability to use original source materials and secondary works of scholarship in a manner consistent with the historical profession.

  • Evaluate the argument, narrative, evidence, and historiographic importance of a monograph.