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Public History, Master of Arts

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


Practitioners of Public History document, preserve, and interpret the past. Applicants are expected to demonstrate a strong background in the humanities and social sciences, familiarity with media technologies and a commitment to community service.

This two-year, 33-credit Master of Arts program consists of 24 credits in History, Museum Studies, and Archival Management, a six-credit internship and an additional three-credit research project.

Students find opportunities for service, internship, and independent study throughout New York City.

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 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]




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 


Career Outcomes

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

  • Archives
  • Museum Curation
  • Conservation
  • Genealogy
  • Corporations
  • Nonprofit Organizations
  • Government Agencies
  • Film and Television

As part of the program, you’ll complete 240 internship hours under the supervision of SJU 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.

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.

Program News

Internships allow St. John’s University students to distinguish themselves as employable professionals through real-world hands-on experience in their field.Graduate students in the M.A. Museum...

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