Program Requirements

M.A. Degree Requirements

Satisfactory completion of 32 points (credit hours)

All required courses and at least two electives within either the Archives or the Public History concentration

A capstone research project approved by the Director and a grade of B or better in the Research Seminar

Required M.A. Courses

These courses are required for all students in the program.

Archives Concentration

Students in the archives concentration may select from the following electives, which are offered on a regular basis. Other archives-related classes also may be applied toward the degree; see outside courses for a list of suggested NYU courses.

Public History Concentration

For information on our exciting progress on the Digital History Across the Curriculum Grant, click here.

Application Information

Applicants for the M.A. degree must have a B.A. degree (or foreign credentials equivalent to the U.S. bachelor’s degree) and must have earned a GPA of 3.3 or better.

Students applying for an advanced certificate must hold an M.A. degree (or foreign credentials equivalent to the U.S. master’s degree).

All applicants must submit the following:

  • GRE General Test scores
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • A statement of purpose
  • Official undergraduate transcripts
  • An academic writing sample is required. It may consist of a published article, an academic paper, an archival finding aid, or some other appropriate item and should not exceed 35 double-spaced pages.

TOEFL is required of all applicants who are not native English speakers.

Students can apply online or request an application by mail. For information, visit

Applications should be submitted by March 2, 2015 for fall admission.

Financial Aid

A limited number of graduate assistantships are offered within the archives concentration, in conjunction with Bobst Library. All program applicants are automatically considered for these assistantships. The Graduate School’s Tuition Incentive Program (TIP) encourages students to apply for external grants and provides matching tuition points (from 50 to 100 percent) to eligible recipients of external awards from recognized, academic sources of funding outside NYU. New York University also offers several loan programs to students. Information is available at or by calling the Office of Financial Aid at 212-998-4444.

Part-Time Students

The program has always been attractive to part-time students. Many matriculants gain valuable professional experience by working in the field as they move through the program. Core courses accommodate the needs of part-timers by meeting in the evenings, typically during the 5:00pm-7:30pm time slot. Some electives are offered in the afternoon. All courses meet once a week, though the Internship Seminar requires students to complete a practicum at an archival or public history institution by working 120 hours over the course of the semester.

Advanced Certificates

Students who already hold M.A. degrees in the humanities or social sciences may attain advanced certificates in either Archives or Public History. The program requires satisfactory completion of 20 points in either concentration. You may find information about federally-mandated Gainful Employment Disclosure here.

Required Courses for Archives Certificate

Required Courses for Public History Certificate

Dual-Degree Program

Archives/Public History students might also want to consider the dual-degree (MA/MLIS) program that we offer in conjunction with the Palmer School of Library and Information Science, which offers this graduate program at NYU’s Bobst Library. It offers an especially strong concentration of courses for students interested in pursuing archival careers.

BA/MA Program

The College of Arts and Science (CAS) and the Graduate School of Arts and Science (GSAS) offer NYU students the opportunity to earn both the Bachelor’s degree and a Master’s degree in Archives & Public History in a shorter period of time than is normally the case. Current CAS students interested in the Accelerated Bachelor’s/Master’s Program (BA/MA program) typically apply during their junior year. In the graduate portion of the program, they can qualify for a scholarship covering up to 50 percent of the tuition for the master’s degree.

Students in CAS and Global Liberal Studies (GLS) may apply to the program once they have completed a minimum of 48 credits toward the bachelor’s degree, but not more than 96 credits, and prior to their final two semesters. To be eligible, students must have at least a 3.5 cumulative GPA and a minimum of two semesters remaining in CAS or GLS during which they are still working towards completion of undergraduate requirements (e.g., MAP, major, minor, and/or minimum credit requirements).

Students in the Archives and Public History BA/MA program fulfill all the requirements of the two-year masters program. BA/MA students take two of the required courses for the MA in their senior year (one in the Fall semester and one in the Spring semester) while they complete their undergraduate credits. They complete the final 24 credits required of Archives and Public History students in their fifth year.

Before applying for the BA/MA in Archives and Public History, interested students should read through the MA program information available here and then meet with Director Peter Wosh ( to discuss program requirements. Applications can be obtained from The Preprofessional Center, located in the Silver Center, Room 901. Contact CAS advising for more information at (212) 998-8521.

History of the Program

Archives Concentration

Since 1977, NYU has prepared graduate history students for careers as archivists and manuscript curators in a variety of academic, nonprofit, governmental, and corporate venues. The program provides students with a solid foundation in the theory, methodology, and practice of archives. Course work in complementary disciplines and new technologies is emphasized, ensuring that program graduates remain current with professional trends and new developments. New York City offers a unique setting and laboratory for students who wish to explore history and archives, and the program takes full advantage of the city’s repositories in providing internships and practicum experiences for its students. A comprehensive historical overview of the program may be found in Peter J. Wosh, “Research and Reality Checks: Change and Continuity in NYU’s Archival Management Program,” American Archivist (Fall/Winter 2000), pp. 271-283.

Public History Concentration

New York University inaugurated its public history program in 1981, under the guidance of Professors Daniel Walkowitz and Paul Mattingly. From its inception, the program has used such innovative tools as oral history, visual material, documentary film, multimedia, performance, and museum exhibitions to challenge conventional historical interpretations and definitions. Public history coursework has trained students to develop conceptual skills and transform their research in ways that allow them to reach audiences outside the academy. The program historically has collaborated with such New York institutions as the Lower East Side Tenement Museum and the Museum of the City of New York, and its workshops have focused on such topics as ethnicity, neighborhoods, and urban reform. A comprehensive historical overview of the program may be found in Rachel Bernstein and Paul Mattingly, “The Pedagogy of Public History,” Journal of American Ethnic History (Fall 1998). In 2007, the public history and archival programs at NYU were combined into the new M.A. program that is described on this web site.

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