Making the world's renowned museums your classroom

Master of Arts in Museum Studies

The general test of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is recommended. For those who do not provide a report from the GRE general test, a writing sample is required. The writing sample should be no more than ten double-spaced pages and may be excerpted from a term paper or other writing that illustrates the applicant's ability to present clearly a written argument on an academic or museum-related topic. In addition, either the TOEFL or the IELTS is required of all applicants who are not native English speakers or who do not have a bachelor's or master's degree from an institution where the language of instruction is English.

A strong academic record and evidence of commitment to museums and related institutions are important factors in obtaining admission. Acceptances are made in the fall semester to the Program in Museum Studies. Spring applications are considered if space remains available in the program. Please contact the program before applying. Special arrangements and collaborations accommodate visiting museum professionals, special students, and foreign scholars.

Applicants are encouraged to obtain further information and  may arrange an interview by contacting the Program in Museum Studies, 212-998-8080, fax: 212-995-4185, e-mail:; or by writing to the Program in Museum Studies, New York University, 240 Greene Street, Suite 400, New York, NY 10003-6675.

The Master of Arts degree requires completion of 32 points, of which at least 24 must be within the Program in Museum Studies. Students must complete five core courses. Three core courses provide an understanding of the historical and theoretical ground of current museum practice, both nationally and internationally, History and Theory of Museums, MSMS-GA 1500; a focused introduction to the creation of exhibitions and the management of collections, Museum Collections and Exhibitions, MSMS-GA 1501; and a comprehensive account of the administrative, strategic, and financial aspects of museum management, Museum Management, MSMS-GA 1502. Students also enroll in the Museum Studies Research Seminar, MSMS-GA 3991; write an M.A. thesis; and enroll in Internship, MSMS-GA 3990, a project-based, 200-hour internship in a museum or appropriate cultural institution. Students must successfully complete Internship, MSMS-GA 3990, with a grade of B or better to receive the degree.

In addition to this broad grounding, students take four electives related to their particular interests: at least two courses in museum studies, and, if the student so chooses, one or two courses within a discipline connected to the sort of museum in which the student intends to work (history, anthropology, art history, etc.). The M.A. program must be completed within five years of admission.