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Public History, Master of Arts

Practitioners of Public History document, preserve, and interpret the past. 

Earn a master's degree in Public History at St. John's University in New York City!

Practitioners of Public History document, preserve, and interpret the past. This two-year, 33-credit Master of Arts (M.A.) program consists of 24 credits in History, Museum Studies, and Archival Management, a six-credit internship and an additional three-credit research project.

As part of the program, you will find opportunities for service, internship, and independent study throughout New York City. Strong applicants 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, St. John’s University also offers a dual master’s degree program in Public History and Library and Information Science. Our Division of Library and Information Science is American Library Association (ALA)-accredited and features an archival specialization.

Department Faculty

Please see our Library and Information Science faculty and our History faculty.


Kristin M. Szylvian, Ph.D.
Director, Public History
Associate Professor of History and Library & Information Science
St. John Hall, Room 244-K
[email protected]

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Degree Type
Area of Interest
Associated Colleges or Schools
Program Location
  • Queens Campus
Required Credit Hours


Public History Requirements

HIS 500Introduction to Public History3 credits
HIS 401Modern Historical Research3 credits
 Public History Electives6 credits
 Additional Electives*12 credits
HIS 980Internship6 credits
HIS 981Capstone Project3 credits

You may choose elective courses from among the following:

  • HIS 404 Oral History
  • HIS 410 History of Material Culture
  • HIS 449 History as Visual Record
  • HIS 450 Advanced Topics in Public History

*Library and Information Science courses may be used for the additional electives area, with the approval of a program advisor.


Recent graduates of the M.A. Public History program have completed internships with the following prestigious and dynamic institutions:

Bowne House Historical SocietyBrooklyn Historical SocietyBrooklyn Museum
Children's Museum of ManhattanFire Island Pines Historical Preservation SocietyIntrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum
King Manor MuseumLefferts Historic HouseLewis H. Latimer House
Louis Armstrong House MuseumMorgan Library & MuseumMuseum of Chinese in American (MOCA)
Museum of the City of New YorkMuseum of Jewish HeritageMuseum of the Moving Image
National Jazz Museum in HarlemNew-York Historical SocietyNew York Transit Museum
Queens County Farm MuseumQueens Historical Society - Kingsland HomesteadQueens Library
Queens MuseumVoelker Orth Museum 

Download the Public History Internship Handbook (PDF)


Career Outcomes

A master's degree in Public History will prepare you for growing career opportunities in such fields as: 

CorporationsFilm and Television
GenealogyGovernment Agencies
Museum CurationNonprofit Organizations

As part of the program, you will complete 240 internship hours under the supervision of St. John's faculty and a professional internship sponsor. Our students complete internships at exciting locations around New York City, including Ellis Island National Historic Park and the Lower East Side Tenement Museum.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Nickolas Davatzes Scholarship

The Department of History offers the Nickolas Davatzes Scholarship to qualified graduate students who are committed to teaching and engaging in research in American History or Classical and/or Modern Greek History, and who demonstrate financial need. The scholarship fund was established in 2007 by Nickolas Davatzes ’62C, ’64G, ’95Hon, who established the A&E Network and the History Channel, and Dorothea Hayes Davatzes ’66Ed. Scholarships are granted by the department on a competitive basis and provide $5,000 for summer research or tuition assistance.

Graduate Assistantships

You may apply for graduate assistantships throughout the University. These positions offer tuition remission and, typically, a stipend. You can find more information about graduate assistantships on the Graduate Assistantships and Fellowships page.

Interested in History, but not sure if Public History, Master of Arts is right for you?

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