Program Introduction

Established in 2008, Columbia University’s Oral History M.A. (OHMA) program welcomes a diverse cohort of students each year, with academic backgrounds ranging from history to literature and professional careers spanning social work to human rights. The program offers graduate-level coursework in oral history, with training in fieldwork, theory, methodology, and multidisciplinary applications. Nearly 100 students have graduated from OHMA since its founding, with job placement in archives, museums, historical societies, and opportunities for advancement in independent consulting and doctoral programs. The only graduate program of its kind in the United States, OHMA offers one of a kind specialized training for public historians.

Degrees Offered

  • Other

Program Strengths

  • Digital Media
  • Editing
  • Local/Community History
  • Oral History
  • Publishing

Credit Hour Requirements

30

How Many Students are Admitted Annually

MA12-17

MAs produced last year

12

Deadline To Apply

Priority deadline: March 1, Final deadline: June 1

Job Placement Assistance

OHMA graduates are provided a range of employment opportunities through job openings circulated within our alumni network. The program offers professional connections through fieldwork partners, internship placements, mentorship pairings, conference scholarships, and a bi-weekly lectures series.

Employers Who Have Hired Graduates from this Program within the Past Five Years

  • 1947 Partition Archive
  • African Look Book
  • Apollo Theater
  • Brafton
  • Brooklyn Historical Society
  • California State University, Monterrey Bay
  • California State University, Fresno
  • Child Mind Institute
  • Christensen Fund
  • Columbia University Center for Oral History Research
  • Columbia University School of Social Work
  • Corner News Media
  • Council of Smaller Enterprise
  • David J. Sencer Center for Disease Control Museum
  • Center for Disease Control Museum
  • Ditmas Park Corner
  • Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation
  • Groundswell: Oral History for Social Change
  • Just Place: Organizing Stories
  • Kentucky Oral History Commission
  • Los Angeles County Museum of Art
  • Moving Stories
  • Museum of Modern Art
  • Nantucket Historical Association
  • Oral History Collective
  • Open Society Foundations
  • Rural Organizing Project
  • Stanford Historical Society
  • St. Luke’s Hospital
  • Temple University Institute on Disabilities
  • The Museum On Site
  • The New School for Drama
  • Towards Independent Living and Learning
  • University of California, Berkeley Oral History Center
  • University of California, Riverside
  • University of California, Santa Cruz Regional History Project
  • Whitney Museum
  • Wisconsin Veterans Museum
  • World Vision International
  • West Point Center for Oral History

Ongoing Graduate School Placements:

  • American University, Public History
  • Columbia University Teachers College, History and Education
  • Columbia University, Journalism School, Communications
  • Michigan State University, African-American Studies
  • Northwestern Law, International Human Rights
  • Rutgers University, American Studies
  • Rutgers University, History
  • San Francisco State University, Playwriting
  • University of Chicago, Anthropology
  • University of Michigan, American Culture
  • Université de Montréal, Medical School
  • University of Oklahoma, Anthropology
  • University of Southern California, American Studies and Ethnicity