Female Faculty Member teaching

Public History/Library and Information Science



St. John’s University is the only institution in New York City – and one of a dozen nationwide – that offers you the opportunity to complete both a Master of Arts (M.A.) degree in Public History and an American Library Association (ALA)-accredited Master of Science (M.S.) degree in Library and Information Science. Through our dual degree program, you can apply four courses (12 credits) to both degrees, saving time and money in accomplishing your professional goals.

Through our interdisciplinary and digital-savvy approach to instruction, you will prepare for a career helping colleges and universities, libraries, archives, and museums across the world identify, document, interpret, preserve, and facilitate real or virtual access to buildings and landscapes, artifacts, electronic and paper record and documents, and other cultural resources. We offer mixed-mode instruction featuring face-to-face courses on the Queens and Manhattan campuses along with fully-online courses.

With the combination of both master’s-level degrees, you’ll become an expert in:

  • Locating, analyzing, and disseminating research materials in a wide range of formats and platforms
  • Understanding the legal and ethical issues relevant to research and instruction in library and information science and public history
  • Conducting both individual and collaborative research
  • Assessing individual and institutional effectiveness
  • Contributing to theory and practice supporting the fields of library and information science, public history, and digital humanities


James Vorbach, Ph.D.
Associate Professor and Director of Library and Information Science
St. Augustine Hall, Room 408B
[email protected]

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


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This dual degree program allows you to apply four courses (12 credits) to both master’s degrees: HIS 401 Modern Historical Research; and 9 credits from among HIS 404/LIS 253 Oral History, HIS 510 History of Material Culture, HIS 512 History as Visual Record, HIS 506 U.S. Museums and Historic Sites, or HIS 525 Advanced Topics in Public History.

The credit distribution for the dual degree program is as follows:

HIS 401 Modern Historical Research3 credits
HIS 500 Introduction to Public History3 credits
Public History Core (select four):
  • HIS 404 Oral History
  • HIS 510 History of Material Culture
  • HIS 512 History as Visual Record
  • HIS 525 Advanced Topics in Public History
  • HIS 506 U.S. Museums and Historic Sites
12 credits
HIS 980 Internship in Public History6 credits
HIS 981 Public History Capstone3 credits
Library and Information Science Core:
  • LIS 203 Information Organization
  • LIS 204 Introduction to Library and Information Science
  • LIS 205 Information Sources and Services
  • LIS 239 Research and Evaluation Methods
  • LIS 240 Management of Libraries and Information Centers
15 credits
Library and Information Science Electives (select three):
  • LIS 238 Web Design for Libraries and Information Centers
  • LIS 245 History of Books and Printing
  • LIS 249 Archives and Manuscripts: Basic Functions and Current Issues
  • LIS 257 Archives and Digital Representation
  • LIS 302 Genealogical Sources and Services
12 credits
LIS 269 Library and Information Science Internship3 credits


Applicants must possess a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university with a 3.0 grade point average or above.

For additional requirements and information, please visit Graduate Admission.

Tuition and Financial Aid

The Division of Library and Information Science offers the Rev. Brian J. O’Connell, C.M. Scholarship, named after the late Dean of St. John’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, to high-achieving applicants who earn GPAs of 3.4 or higher (on a 4.0 scale) for their most recent degrees. Incoming students do not need to apply separately for this scholarship, but are automatically granted partial tuition reprieve based on academic merit.

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.

Other scholarship opportunities include the Mildred Lowe Memorial Scholarship Fund and the H.W. Wilson Foundation Scholarship. For more information about scholarships and tuition, please visit Tuition and Financial Aid.

St. John’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences also offers students the opportunity to gain professional experience in their chosen field of study through graduate assistantships, which offer tuition remission and a stipend in exchange for service to an academic unit. Graduate assistantships are also available in administrative departments. For more information, please visit Graduate Assistantships and Fellowships.

Career Outcomes

With the combination of a Master of Arts in Public History and a Master of Science in Library and Information Science, you look forward to an exciting career as a historian, archivist, curator, museum specialist, librarian, writer, or editor helping academic institutions, libraries, museums, and cultural centers across the world protect and share their resources.

By completing both master’s degrees, you become a trained practitioner of “living history,” able to master changes in research, publishing, image reproduction, and other areas of digitization. The changing nature of libraries, museums, historic sites, heritage tourism, and historical research requires professionals who are adept at facilitating information exchange, coping with an overload of information from diverse sources, sensitive to ethical issues related to collecting and exhibiting cultural property, as well as intellectual property issues, and who can be strong advocates for cultural institutions and information resources.