MFA in Museum Exhibition Planning + Design

If you are dedicated to the concept of a museum as a medium to create elegant physical solutions for positive social advocacy and change, a career in Museum Exhibition Planning + Design may be just right for you. With an MFA from the University of the Arts, you’ll get to share your natural curiosity about the world around you as you integrate content and program development with experience and spatial design to communicate and facilitate meaningful experiences for visitors.

Our students research and develop narratives as they design the physical environment and visitor experience, drawing from architecture, interior design, industrial design, environmental design and graphic design. You’ll get to discuss “big ideas” and the theory that underpins them, as well as learn the skills of research, design, documentation and presentation that will help you be successful in this field. You’ll see your concepts in action as you use the latest media and tools to pilot new innovative thinking and test and iterate with visitors to understand their ultimate impacts.

The city of Philadelphia will be your creative incubator, with endless opportunities to attend art openings and to take field trips to large, formal museums and smaller eclectic ones. You’ll work in the industry through assistantships and internships, in world-renowned institutions like the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the American Museum of Natural History in New York, the Field Museum in Chicago and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, and in a wide range of smaller science centers, natural history collections, historic houses – such as the Daniel Boone Homestead – and more. Our students have developed new graphic treatments for children with autism for the Philadelphia Zoo and are regularly invited to take part in charrette workshops to help shape exhibitions like the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s “Léger: Modern Art and the Metropolis” exhibit.

To learn more, contact Program Director Polly McKenna-Cress at 215-717-6328 or

Allegra Burnette MFA ’95 (Museum Exhibition Planning & Design)

After UArts

Learn more about alumni like Allegra Burnette MFA '95 (Museum Exhibition Planning & Design) who have found success after graduating from UArts.

Beneath the Surface 5

In the News

Exhibit by Museum Studies faculty, alums nominated for Global Fine Art Award.

MEPD Featured Work thumb

Featured Work

Work by Dan Streelman '12 (MEPD) is featured in the Studio Spotlight (see link above). Other work by students, faculty and alumni in the program can be found at the bottom of this page.