Museum Studies (MA, MFA)
Museum Studies at the University of the Arts offers three distinctive graduate programs that put contemporary museum theory and practice into the hands of our students: Museum Studies (MA), Museum Education (MA), Museum Exhibition Planning & Design (MFA). If you are interested in furthering your education through the study of museum design and planning, and you are passionate about the social and cultural impact of museums on society, look no further than the broad selection of graduate level museum programs at UArts.
- Alumni & Careers
- Degree Programs
- How to Apply
3 Distinct Programs, 1 Great Department
MFA Museum Exhibition Planning + Design
The MEPD Program prepares students to be critical and strategic thinkers in the world of exhibition and program development and design. Our grads are expert story-tellers, content creators and designers for a broad range of audiences, and go on to work in museums, creative agencies and non-profits.
MA Museum Education
Museum Education produces graduates with the depth and flexibility to work in all types of museums—history, art, science, natural history, archaeology, anthropology, culturally specific, and children’s—in a range of capacities from educator and engagement officer, to program and department directors.
MA Museum Studies
Our students recognize the need for interdisciplinary and cross-functional skills and approaches in the museum workplace. You'll explore the conception, planning, design, creation, and delivery of museum content and programs, as well as understand the many audiences they seek to engage.
Your Classroom is the Coolest City in America.
Philly is the nation's first UNESCO World Heritage City, and has more museums and cultural sites than you can imagine. Explore all the reasons why Huffington Post called Philadelphia the coolest city in America.
Meaning you get the best Museum Studies experience, ever.
Our students benefit not only from the museums and cultural sites located in Philly, but those within easy striking distance - like New York, Washington D.C. and Boston. We work with real-life museum partners for coursework challenges, and you'll also have amazing institutions to choose from for your required internship.
Gaining the skills and network to land the best career.
Our graduates go on to work in a variety of settings, from museums of history, art, natural history, science, archaeology and anthropology, amongst others, to exhibit design firms, auction houses, galleries and even creative agencies as UI / UX designers. Below are just a few of our recent graduates.
Our faculty of practitioners means you'll have access to currently practicing museum professionals with backgrounds in fields ranging from science, history, design, cultural anthropology among others. View all faculty profiles for the Museum Studies department.
Our Recent Grads are Sought After.
It doesn't take long for our new grads to land careers - many are hired before they even walk in commencement! Alumni of the program are leaders, shapers and decision-makers in museums and cultural institutions around the country and abroad. Below is a short list of recent graduates and institutions for which they have worked.
JEWISH MUSEUM, NEW YORK
Christine McMonagle ‘09
THE BARNES FOUNDATION, PHILADELPHIA
Anne Baker, ‘13
FLEISHER ART MEMORIAL, PHILADELPHIA
Leah Gelb, ‘15
DELAWARE ART MUSEUM
Amy Hussey, ‘11
THE FRANKLIN INSTITUTE, PHILADELPHIA
Allison Aubrey, ‘13
MUSEUM OF MODERN ART, NEW YORK
Allegra Burnette ‘95
SOUTHEASTERN CENTER FOR CONTEMPORARY ART, CHICAGO
MAGIC GARDENS, PHILADELPHIA
Ellen Owens ‘06
THE NEW 42ND STREET, NEW YORK
Karl Allens ‘12
UPENN MUSEUM OF ARCHAEOLOGY & ANTHROPOLOGY, PHILADELPHIA
Layla Ballner ‘13
PRINCETON UNIVERSITY ART MUSEUM
Louise Barrett ‘14
NATIONAL MUSEUM OF HEALTH & MEDICINE, SILVER SPRING
Helaina Blume ‘14
Our Grads Love What They Do.
Alumni Spotlight: Connecting with Claire is a portrait of alumna Claire Cossaboon MA ‘13 (Museum Communication), currently the membership manager at Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton, New Jersey.
Want More? Explore Our Network.
Our 25+ year legacy at UArts means we have over 300+ graduates practicing in the field. Below is a partial list of some of our graduates, with links to their LinkdIn Profiles. You can also request to join our LinkdIn Group. We invite you to explore the array of careers our graduates secure.
3 Unique Programs
Curriculum for our Museum Studies offerings varies by program. Click the links below to explore the different programs' curriculum, requirements and descriptions.
MFA Museum Exhibition Planning + Design
2 years full-time, 60 credits. The MEPD Program prepares students to be critical and strategic thinkers in the world of exhibition and program development and design. Our grads are expert story-tellers, content creators and designers for a broad range of audiences, and go on to work in museums, creative agencies and non-profits.
MA Museum Education
1.5 years full-time, 45 credits. Museum Education produces graduates with the depth and flexibility to work in all types of museums—history, art, science, natural history, archaeology, anthropology, culturally specific, and children’s—in a range of capacities from educator and engagement officer, to program and department directors.
MA Museum Studies
1.5 years full-time, 45 credits. Our students recognize the need for interdisciplinary and cross-functional skills and approaches in the museum workplace. You'll explore the conception, planning, design, creation, and delivery of museum content and programs, as well as understand the many audiences they seek to engage.
How to Apply
Application Deadline: The University of the Arts operates on a rolling admissions basis, meaning there is no specific application deadline. However, graduate programs are filled on a space available basis, and applicants are encouraged to apply early as some programs may fill. Additionally, certain scholarship awards may have priority consideration deadlines. Please review Graduate Tuition, Financial Aid and Scholarship information here.
To apply, the following materials are required:
- Application Fee of $60 (nonrefundable; submitted with your application)
- Official Transcripts
- Official transcripts from all prior undergraduate and graduate schools attended are required. Transcripts should be issued directly by the Registrar's Office at the college(s) attended and sent to the Office of Admissions, The University of the Arts, 320 South Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102 or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. For transcripts from outside the United States, please refer to the instructions provided below for international students.
- 3 Letters of Recommendation
- Letters of recommendation may either be requested through the online application form, or mailed to the Office of Admissions. At least two must come from professors or professional in your field familiar with your capabilities and credentials. The third may be from a colleague, collaborator or a peer.
- Statement of Intent & Resume
- Your Statement of Intent and your Resume are uploaded and submitted as part of your online application. Statements should be a minimum of one- to two-pages and detail your professional plans, interests and goals. What do you hope to gain by your studies at the graduate level? Your resume should highlight all of your professional accomplishments including employment, internships, honors, exhibitions and publications.
- Creative Portfolio
- A portfolio of professional work samples submitted through the UArts Graduate SlideRoom Portal is required for all Museum Studies applicants. Specific criteria varies by program (Museum Exhibition Planning & Design, Museum Studies, or Museum Education), and further instructions can be found at the UArts Graduate SlideRoom Portal. There is a $10 fee to submit a portfolio in addition to the $60 application fee.
- Personal Interview
- After the application has been processed, each applicant is contacted for a personal interview conducted by the program director. For applicants who cannot interview at the university, interviews can be conducted via telephone or Skype.
In addition to the requirements listed above, international applicants or those with foreign credentials must submit:
- Official Transcripts and Transcript Evaluation
- All applicants with transcripts from outside the United States are required to submit transcripts officially translated into English. A transcript evaluation by a NACES-approved evaluator is required in order for an application to be complete, and a decision made. A Course-by-Course report is required and it is the applicant's responsibility to contract directly with the agency for this service and provide the necessary documents. While applicants may use any NACES-approved accredited evaluating agency, the University recommends World Education Services (WES) or Educational Credential Evaluators (ECE).
- Proof of English Language Proficiency
- International applicants whose primary language is not English must submit the results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). A minimum TOEFL score of 92 (iBT) or 580 (PBT) or higher, an IELTS score of 6.5 or higher is required for unconditional admission.
Applicants who meet the academic and creative requirements for admission but whose scores do not meet the English proficiency requirement for degree study may receive an offer of conditional admission that first requires enrollment in the University of the Arts' English as a Second Language Institute (ESLI). Applicants who successfully complete Level 9 of ESL study in ESLI will then be able to begin their degree program studies.
In special circumstances, applicants who have not taken the TOEFL or IELTS can request a waiver of this requirement. The request should be submitted in writing and include the reason for opting not to take the TOEFL or IELTS exams. Requests will then be reviewed on a case-by-case basis and may require an interview.
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