More Information

Public History, Master of Arts

33 Credits
St. John's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Queens Campus


Practitioners of Public History document, preserve, interpret and make cultural resources accessible. Applicants are expected to demonstrate a strong background in the humanities and social sciences, familiarity with media technologies and a commitment to community service. Given the growing merger of issues relating to collecting information and collections accessibility in libraries, archives and museums, students in the program also are encouraged to pursue a Master of Science degree from St. John's American Library Association accredited Division of Library and Information Science.  An Archival specialization is available.

The two-year, 33-credit Master of Arts program consists of 20 credits in History, Museum Studies, and Archival Management, a 6-credit internship and an additional 3-credit project.

Opportunities for service, internships or independent study are available at St. John’s New York campuses in Queens, Manhattan, Staten Island as well as its Rome, Italy, and Paris, France, locations.

Department Faculty

Please see a list of our Library and Information Science faculty.


Kristin M. Szylvian, Ph.D.
Director, Public History
Assoicate Professor of History/Library and Information Science
St. John's University
St. John Hall, Room 244-K
Queens, NY  11439


Career Outcomes

A Master Degree in Public History, Museum Studies, or Library Science is needed for growing career opportunities in such fields as: 

  • Archivists
  • Museum Curators
  • Conservators
  • Genealogists
  • Corporate Historians
  • Nonprofit Historians
  • Government Historians
  • TV/Movie/Video Documentarians

St. John’s Public History program enables students to gain the theoretical knowledge and work experience needed to compete in these fields. Students maintain electronic portfolios to document and share their work. 

Students complete 240-hour internships under the supervision of faculty and a professional staff member as the internship sponsor.  Students specializing in archival management as part of the Master of Library (MS) program completed internships at City Museum of New York and American Museum of National History in 2012-2013.  Public History graduate students have or are completing internships at Ellis Island National Historic Park, Hofstra University, and Lower East Side Tennement House Museum.

Additional Information

Public History students enjoy all the benefits of attending St. John’s University, including state-of-the-art technology and the University’s location in the financial capital of the world. In addition, St. John’s offers:

  • World-renowned faculty members across disciplines
  • Access to St. John’s high-tech, 1.7 million-volume University Library system
  • Outstanding Global Studies Program
  • Opportunities to study at St. John’s Rome, Italy, campus and Paris, France, location.
  • Oral History Project: an evolving electronic repository of student, faculty, administrator and alumni interviews
  • Digital media lab
  • Exceptional internship opportunities
  • Active alumni network
  • Partnerships with leading companies and institutions
  • Access to New York’s world-class museums, cultural organizations, libraries and financial and business organizations

 Some Public History students elect to continue study at St. John's University to obtain a Master of Science in Library and Information Science.


Students in the Public History program are required to do internships at selected museums, libraries, historical sites, and organizations under professional and faculty supervision. The necessary forms for these internships are available in the Public History Internship Handbook.

Oral History Project
In 2001, The Department of History, the Division of Library and Information Science, and the Office of Alumni Affairs joined together in support of the creation of  an electronic archive of oral interviews with current and past students, alumni, faculty, administrators, staff members and University trustees. PHMAS students have an opportunity to contribute to the on-going project.

Program News

In the spring of 2014, Professor and Chair of History Elaine Carey, Ph.D., added a new assignment to her section of the University Core history course, Emergence of a Global Society. In order to...

Request Information