Female student reading a book in the stacks of the UAlbany library

Master of Arts

History

Program of Study

Choose a concentration in one of three tracks: Thematic, Geographic, 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.

For the research seminar, you can choose between a focus on American, European, African or Latin American history. Additional seminar options include focuses on local and regional, social and economic, international, or global and comparative history, among others. If you choose the geographic or thematic concentration, you can opt to present a thesis in history in place of your research seminar with the approval of the department.

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 tracks 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.


See the Graduate Bulletin for details.

For more information, contact Carl Bon Tempo at 518-442-5368 or cbontempo@albany.edu.

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Focus Tracks
Geographic

Major Fields:

  • United States History
  • Modern European History
  • Latin American History
  • African History
  • Asian History


Course work in History:

21 Credits

  • Courses, as advised, including at least one research seminar in the appropriate major field and one reading seminar
  • With departmental approval a thesis in history for 4-6 credits may be presented in place of or in addition to the research seminar


Supporting Course work:

Courses in the social sciences and other fields as advised.


Major Field Exam:

Satisfactory completion of an examination in one Geographic Focus major field, or an alternate concentration field with departmental approval.


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. 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.

Thematic

Major Fields:

  • Cultural History
  • Gender History
  • International, Global, and Comparative History
  • Public Policy History
  • Social and Economic History Work and Society


Course work in History:

21 credits

  • Courses, as advised, including at least one research seminar in the appropriate major field and one reading seminar.
  • With departmental approval a thesis in history for 4-6 credits may be presented in place of or in addition to the research seminar.


Supporting Course work:

Courses in the social sciences and other fields as advised.


Major Field Exam:

Satisfactory completion of an examination in one Thematic Focus major field, or an alternate concentration field with departmental approval.


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. 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

Group A: Academic Content Courses

(18- 21 credits)

  • Geographic and thematic courses in History, including one reading course
  • Research Seminar


Group B: Public History Courses

(9-12 credits)

His 501 Introduction to Public History

And 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

Students must complete a minimum of 30 credits of coursework chosen from Group A and B as apportioned plus a supervised internship for 6 credits.


His 798A Internship in Public History


Major Field Exam:

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

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Dual Degree Programs

You may choose to pursue one of two dual master’s degrees. One in history and one in information science prepares you for careers in museums, archives, libraries, schools, historic sites and government agencies. While a master’s in history and a juris doctor in law prepares you for work in government and archival fields. By combining programs, it’s possible to overlap some credits and earn the degrees faster and more economically.

Two students studying on the UAlbany Podium
Dual MA History / JD Law

You may combine your history studies with a Juris Doctorate in Law. This dual degree program enables you to take just four years to earn both an MA in history and JD in law, instead of the usual five. With these degrees, you can surmount complex legal issues in corporate, academic or government settings. The program is a collaboration between the Department of History and Albany Law School, with elective credits from each degree counting toward the other's 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 elsewhere. 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.

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Career Paths

Your master's in history can prepare you for careers in government, public history, teaching and more. Some common jobs that history graduates have acquired 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
Admissions Requirements
Deadlines
  • 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)

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.

    or

  • Understand the scholarship, theory, and practical aspects of the fields of public and digital history, including historical media.
  • Engage in primary source research wherein s/he identifies and interprets original evidence, develops original arguments, and demonstrates competence in critical analysis.
  • Write in a clear and concise historical style.
  • Evaluate the argument, narrative, evidence, and historiographic importance of a monograph