Oral History

Program Category: MA Programs
Directors of Graduate Studies: Mary Marshall Clark and Amy Starecheski
Website: oralhistory.columbia.edu
Email Address: incite [at] columbia.edu
Founding Director: Peter Bearman
Degree Programs: Full-Time/Part-Time: Free-Standing MA

The interdisciplinary master’s program in Oral History focuses on interviewing methodologies and interpretive methods. It links social sciences and humanities research across, but not limited to, six disciplines—history, sociology, literature, anthropology, psychology, and public health—and also has practical applications in historic preservation, radio production, writing, and legal and human rights work. The program aims to teach the theory and methods of oral history as a means of the production and analysis of sources; the interpretation of research contained in those stories in aural, visual, and written form; and the professional standards and methods of oral history documentation and research. Students will be prepared to conduct technically proficient interviews, create files for deposit in traditional and online archives, maintain ethical standards in research and interviewing, and prepare scholarly proficient documentary productions.

The Oral History master’s program invites applications from professionals and recent graduates in a variety of fields including, but not limited to, human rights, journalism, social work, healthcare, and library science. Applicants must have received a baccalaureate granted by an accredited college or university by the time of enrollment. The program admits students only for the fall semester.

Special Admissions Requirements: 

In addition to the requirements listed below, all students must submit one transcript showing courses and grades per school attended, a statement of academic purpose, a writing sample (a course paper, term paper, etc.), and three letters of evaluation from academic sources.

All international students whose native language is not English or whose undergraduate degree is from an institution in a country whose official language is not English must submit scores of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or IELTS.

For more information, refer to our Admissions Information and Frequently Asked Questions pages.

Deadline for Early Admission: Sunday, March 1, 2020
Deadline for Fall Admission: Thursday, May 28, 2020
Resume Requirement: Yes
Writing Sample: Yes
Writing Sample Number of Pages: 10-15
GRE General: No
Degree Programs: Full Time/Part Time
Free-Standing: Yes
Letter of Recommendation: 3