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Oral History

Oral history is a form of public history that makes history accessible to a broad audience and connects scholars and departments of history to their local communities.  This BA/MA (4-1) Program in oral history builds on our strengths in Southern History, Caribbean History, Florida History, and the Oral History Program, but is open to students working in any field of modern history.

The final MA non-thesis project will be a portfolio designed to find innovative and exciting ways to make oral history accessible to the public. The core element of the portfolio is the creation of a podcast based on oral history materials that introduces the public to a particular moment in the local past and connects that project to the collection at the SPOHP. Examples of presentations include digital audio or video podcasts or short documentaries that provide a historical narrative while introducing the audience to selected clips from various interviews As this program develops, students might also use their portfolio to develop a museum or community exhibit highlighting oral history content, or educational resources designed to help instructors easily access and effectively utilize oral histories in the classroom. SPOHP’s audio podcast series on iTunes gives our students an international platform from which to launch their documentary projects.

Total graduate credit hours: 30, broken down as follows:

15-21 of graduate level history credits

  • At least 12 credits in a major field of history
  • 3 credits from this category must be taken the student’s first year in the BA/MA program
  • 3 credits must be in Historiography

 9-15 credits of Methods and Techniques (3 credits from this category, the required undergraduate course: AMH 3931, Oral History Seminar (must be taken before students start their MA year)


Further explanations: 

For a discussion of MA major fields, see For obvious reasons, students doing the BA/MA program in Oral History must concentrate in a field of modern history. 

Methods and techniques training is at the heart of this BA/MA program. For the Oral History BA/MA program, the following courses (and others like them) may be counted toward this requirement:

Oral History Seminar, AMH 3931 (3 credits required; must be taken before students start their MA year)

Training (3-6 credit hours, 3 credits are required):

  • Internship at the SPOHP (Alachua County African American Oral History Project; Mississippi Freedom Project; Veterans History Project; Digitalization Project; other project to be arranged with the SPOHP) (3 credits required, up to 6 credits permitted)
  • ARN 6938, Introduction to Museology and either ARH 6895, Collections Management or ARH 6836, Exhibits Management
  • GIS 3043/5107C: Foundations of GIS
  • MMC 5015, Electronic Publishing

Students are also encouraged to join the Digital Humanities Working Group at the Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere and participate in their workshops and discussions

Non-thesis project, HIS 6957 (3 credits are required).  The non-thesis project for the Oral History program shall take the form of a portfolio prepared by the student in consultation with his/her thesis committee.

  • The portfolio will center around either a half hour podcast or 2-3 7-10 minute podcasts, or short video based on oral history interviews taken by the student; supplemented by
  •  transcriptions of the oral history interviews (prepared by the student);
  • an annotated bibliography of historical works (articles and books) to supplement the podcast;
  • a 15 page history paper that situates the podcast into its context and explains its historical significance.