Female 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 one involves a reading and research seminar. For the reading seminar, you have a variety of course topic options such as American Colonial and Revolutionary History, Visual Media and Culture, U.S. History, European History, Late Modern History and more.

Work closely with UAlbany's history department faculty to hone your research skills by learning how to use tools like:

  • Oral history techniques, including research, interviewing, recording and video editing
  • Digital tools like imaging, mapping, virtual museums and augmented reality
  • Quantitative methods such as data base management, graphics and data analysis

You might also choose to pursue a combined master's degree with information science or a 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 in law, archiving and other fields.

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)
    • One Readings Seminar (4 credits)
    • Supporting coursework as advised (0-9 credits)
  • Prospectus Workshop (4 credits)
  • Research Seminar (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)

  • Readings Seminar
  • Prospectus Workshop
  • Research Seminar
  • 2-6 credits of History as advised

Group B: Public History Courses

(12-16 credits)

  • Introduction to Public History

Other courses selected from the following:

  • Introduction to Historical Agency Management and Practice
  • Curatorial Practices for Historical Agencies
  • Interpretation of Historic Sites and Artifacts
  • History Museums
  • Material Culture Studies
  • Introduction to Historic Preservation
  • Practicum in Oral/Aural History
  • Practicum in Digital History
  • Practicum in Historical Documentary Filmmaking
  • Practicum in Historical Narrative

Group C: Public History Internship

(6 credits)

  • Introduction to Public History

You must complete a minimum of 36 credits of coursework chosen from Group A, B and C as apportioned.

Dual Degree Programs


You may choose to pursue one of two dual master’s degrees. By combining programs, it’s possible to overlap some credits to earn the degrees faster and more economically.

MA History with 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 counts 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

Develop the specialized skills and experience needed in today’s modern workplace with dual master’s degrees in history and information science at the University at Albany. By combining crucial historical analysis competencies with current approaches in information science, you can develop solutions to some of today’s most interesting challenges in libraries, museums, archives, historic sites, educational institutions and government agencies. The dual program 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.


Career Paths

Your master's in history can prepare you for careers in government, public history, teaching and more.

Potential job titles for an MA in History include:

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

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.

Commencement stock photo
Admissions Requirements
  • Fall: July 15
  • Spring: November 15
  • Summer: Not Available

There is no departmental assistantship consideration for this program.

Required Application Materials
  • Transcripts from all schools attended
  • Three 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.   


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 in at least one geographic or thematic area of concentration.

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

  • Engage in primary source research wherein s/he 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