Program Introduction

Launched in 2017/18, the Advanced Certificate in Public History Program at the College of Staten Island/CUNY is a graduate program that includes an extended internship at a museum, archive, or other history institution in New York City. It can be completed as a stand-alone 20-credit post-baccalaureate qualification or alongside the College’s History MA Program. The College admits up to fifteen students in total per year into its Advanced Certificate in Public History and History MA programs. Approximately 90 students have graduated from the History MA Program since its founding in 2002.

Degrees Offered

  • M.A. in History with a Certificate or Concentration in Public History

Program Strengths

  • Archival Practices
  • Local/Community History
  • Museum Studies
  • Oral History
  • Publishing

Credit Hour Requirements


How Many Students are Admitted Annually


MAs produced last year


Full-time Program Staff/Faculty

  • Prof. Susan Smith-Peter, public history, archival studies, history of COVID-19 on Staten Island project
  • Prof. Natalie Kimball, oral history
  • Prof. Eric Ivison, museum studies and archaeology
  • Prof. John Dixon, history of New York City and public history

Financial Aid Available

Scholarships, teaching and research assistantships, in-state tuition status, some paid internships through CUNY Cultural Corps

Deadline To Apply

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis

Internship Requirements

Students must complete a directed field assignment as part of a required 4-credit course (HST 719: Public History Practicum/Internship). These internships are unpaid and form part of the regular coursework. Students gain practical experience engaging in hands-on work (representing 8 hours per week) at a museum, archive, or other public history site in the New York City region. In addition, they produce substantial and practical research reports--such as finding aids, interpretive materials, or grant proposals--based on their field placements.

Places Where Students Have Interned During the Past 3 Years

  • Museum of the City of New York
  • Staten Island Museum
  • Lower East Side Jewish Conservancy
  • Historic Richmond Town
  • Noble Maritime Collection
  • Kehila Kedosha Janina Synagogue and Museum
  • New York Genealogical and Biographical Society

Job Placement Assistance

Internships often lead to jobs. The program regularly sends out jobs listings and connects students with job websites, newsletters and more. The program has created ties with local cultural institutions that include joint events that assist with networking.

Job Placement Percentage Within One Year


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

  • New York Genealogical and Biographical Society
  • Staten Island Museum
  • New York Public Library
  • New York City Council
  • New York Department of Education
  • NYC Department of Parks and Recreation

Community & Institutional Connections

We have extensive connections to the local community.  We are working with Borough Hall to have our students help advise a network of cultural institutions on the island.  We have extensive connections with museums, historical societies, and parks throughout New York City.  Our alumni are found in many relevant institutions and have helped to mentor new graduates.  The program has received a grant to carry out a three-semester program to commemorate the history of COVID-19 on Staten Island that will bring in local cultural institutions and government in order to tell this important recent history.