This 3-semester degree offers the opportunity to obtain the theoretical and practical foundation as well as the experience necessary to develop programs for audiences of all ages in museums of all subjects - art, history, cultural history, science, and others. Students in the Museum Education program learn to teach in a museum setting; to use a variety of means, including text, speech and new media to foster museum learning for children, teenagers, and adults; and to understand administrative skills needed to support education programs. Coursework comprises educational theory and methods; museum history and practice; internships; and the writing and defense of the master’s thesis.

3 Distinct Programs, 1 Great Department

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.

Explore Museum Studies

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.

Explore MEPD

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.

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.


Featured Alum

Mary Bailey Manager of Public Engagement
Mary Bailey

MA '10 (Museum Education)

Museum Studies (MA)
Manager of Public Engagement, Academy of Natural Sciences
Ken Davis MFA '10 (Museum Exhibition Planning + Design)
Ken Davis

MFA '10 (Museum Exhibition Planning + Design)

Museum Studies (MA)
Exhibit Planner, National Parks Service
Jessica Jenkins MA '12 (Museum Communications)
Jessica Jenkins

MA '12 (Museum Communications)

Museum Studies (MA)
Manager of Marketing & Public Relations, Delaware Art Museum
Claire Cossaboon MA '13 (Museum Communications)
Claire Cossaboon

MA '13 (Museum Communications)

Museum Studies (MA)
Membership Manager, Grounds for Sculpture

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.

Christine McMonagle ‘09

Anne Baker, ‘13

Leah Gelb, ‘15

Amy Hussey, ‘11

Allison Aubrey, ‘13

Allegra Burnette ‘95

Michael Christiano

Ellen Owens ‘06

Karl Allens ‘12

Layla Ballner ‘13

Louise Barrett ‘14

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 LinkedIn profiles. You can also request to join our LinkedIn group. We invite you to explore the array of careers our graduates secure.

Program Leaders

Karen Pollard, Acting Director, Museum Studies
Karen Pollard

Museum Studies (MA)
Acting Director, Museum Studies Program Leader
Stephanie Reyer
Stephanie Reyer

Museum Studies (MA)
Museum Exhibition Planning + Design Program Leader
Ellen Owens
Ellen Owens

Museum Studies (MA)
Museum Education Co-Program Leader
Michael Adams
Michael Adams

Museum Studies (MA)
Museum Education Co-Program Leader

The foundation of the program has four components: an education core addressing methods of object interpretation and museum teaching; a focus on museum history, current theories and practices; a professional core including two internships; and a master’s thesis or capstone project. Students also benefit from departmental courses many of which involve team projects with other Museum Studies students, as well as the opportunity to take electives in other UArts departments.

Sample Curriculum:

Total Credits: 45
Duration: 1.5 years, full-time

Year One

Museums: History/Theory/Practice (3c)
Museum Audiences and Evaluation (3c)
Educational Psychology for Lifelong Learning (3c)
Exploring Education in Philadelphia Museums (3c)
Essentials of Graphic Software (1.5c)
Museum Graphics Principles (1.5c)

Year Two

Graduate Seminar(3c)
Thesis/Capstone Development (3c)
Electives (6c)

Theory and Practice of Museum Learning (3c)
Collaborative Exhibition Project (3c)
Digital Media for Museum Interpretation (3c)
Museum Internship (3c)
Thesis/Capstone Research (3c)

Internship (3c)

Internships, Off-campus Experience and Part-Time Jobs

Collaborations with a diverse range of Philadelphia institutions are integrated both within the semester coursework, as well as the two required internships in the spring and summer. Summer internships can be held anywhere in the world. UArts is also pleased to offer one fully funded summer internship for a Museum Education student at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston.

During all semesters of the program, students complete course projects in many museums such as the Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the African American Museum in Philadelphia, the Penn Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, the Franklin Institute, and the Philadelphia History Museum. Many students also find part-time jobs in museums and other Philadelphia cultural organizations.

Who Should Apply

Museum Education students include those with a focus on gallery teaching as well as those who anticipate supervisory and management work in their future careers. Our students recognize the need for collaborative, interdisciplinary, and cross-functional skills and approaches in the museum workplace. They  hail from a diverse range of undergraduate programs including anthropology, sociology, history, the natural sciences, studio art, art history, and English. We look for team-oriented students with a strong desire to successfully connect museums and similar cultural organizations with diverse audiences, external stakeholders, and partners.

Start your application, view the complete curriculum with course descriptions on the Registrar's Course Catalogue site, or return to Museum Studies home page.

Apply Now    Visit Course Catalogue


How to Apply

Application Deadline

Fall 2020: The University is currently reviewing applications to this program on a rolling basis. Students may continue to apply after the February 1 priority deadline and will be considered for admission and scholarships on a space-available basis. Please review Graduate Tuition, Financial Aid and Scholarship for further information.

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 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.

International Applicants

In addition to the requirements listed above, international applicants or those with foreign credentials must submit:

  • Official Transcripts
    • All transcripts from outside the United States must be in English and must be official. The Office of Admissions may request that international students obtain a transcript evaluation from a third-party credential evaluation service (such as World Education Services or Educational Credential Evaluators) in cases where further information is required to assess international credentials. 
  • Proof of English Language Proficiency
    • International students whose native language is not English must submit the results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or the Duolingo English Test. A minimum TOEFL score of 79, IELTS score of 6.0, or Duolingo English Test score of 100 is required for admission. In lieu of the TOEFL, IELTS, or Duolingo English Test, completion of Level 9 in the University of the Arts ESL Institute will be accepted.   

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, IELTS, or Duolingo English Test can request a waiver of this requirement. The request should be submitted in writing and include the reason for opting not to take the exams. Requests will then be reviewed on a case-by-case basis and may require an interview. A waiver may be considered for those applicants who enrolled full-time in an accredited college or university in the U.S. and successfully completed two semesters of college-level English, not taken in conjunction with ESL study, and earned a minimum GPA of 3.0 in those classes.

I20/F-1 International Student Visa Information: Upon acceptance, students will be contacted by the University of the Arts International Student Programs Office regarding visa counseling and all materials required to create an I-20 in order to obtain an F-1 visa. Contact Mara Flamm, Director of International Student Programs, with any questions regarding your I-20 or F-1 visa.

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