Master of Arts in Museum Studies

Format: Online
Application Deadlines
  • Fall 2021 Regular Deadline: May 20, 2021
About the Program

Open to everyone, and visited by over 850 million people each year, museums play a critical role in public life and provide communities with a sense of place and a collective heritage. They ensure that marginalized voices and histories are heard, function as an economic engine via tourism, and attend to the needs of diverse communities and academic groups, including those that require special accommodations.

The MA in Museum Studies online degree program grounds students in the theory and practical applications of museum operations, including administration, finance, curation, technology, and education. Developed in collaboration with the New-York Historical Society (N-YHS), students gain the knowledge, skills, and preparation necessary to engage in professional museum practice.

From administration and finance to curation and education, the program educates students about all areas of a museum, regardless of the focus, content, or audience a specific museum serves. Students learn to curate exhibitions, design educational services, and provide museum services with attention to all potential museum visitors.

Meet Some of Our Recent Faculty


The first three core courses in the program are supplemented and contextualized by a one-credit (15 hours) practicum per course. Utilizing the rich and varied resources of N-YHS, the residency allows students to gain experience in the practices of curation, collections management, and museum operations. Over the course of the 15 hours, students will observe and document how museum and cultural institutional professionals approach their work and the issues facing museum operations.

Onsite participation is encouraged, but not required. An online option will be provided for those who are unable to attend in person.


Museums support more than 726,000 American jobs. In its most recent report, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics anticipates a 13% growth in the museums and historical sites sector from 2016 – 2026. Correspondingly, employment of curators/archivists is projected to grow 14% and museum technicians 12% during the same timeframe. The need to store information in archives and an increased public interest in science, art, history, and cultural institutions anticipates greater demand for museum professionals. 

Graduates of the MA in Museum Studies online degree program are prepared to work as curators, archivists, museum technicians, education administrators, conservators, and operations specialists in museum settings. Graduates may also use their acquired skills to pursue employment in government, higher education, and other educational organizations.

Admissions Criteria

Applicants must possess a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution, with a GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale. Applicants are required to write a personal statement, upload a resume, and provide two letters of recommendation. An individual interview may be necessary.

Application Deadlines

  • Fall 2021 Regular Deadline: May 20, 2021
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Recent News About Master of Arts in Museum Studies

CUNY SPS Student Named 2021 Andrew W. Mellon/ACLS Fellow

May 04, 2021

The City University of New York

Marci Littlefield, a professor at the Borough of Manhattan Community College and a student in the CUNY SPS MA in Museum Studies program, has been named one of the 2021 Andrew W. Mellon Foundation/The American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) community college faculty fellows. Professor Littlefield was awarded this honor for her book project Reconstructed Legacies: Black People, Freedom, and the United Kingdom, which challenges the national narrative of servitude in the United Kingdom.
Lisa Diaz Louis

Museum Access for All: Meet Lisa Diaz Louis

April 22, 2021

Lisa Diaz Louis, a student in the CUNY SPS MA in Museum Studies program, discusses her degree and career plans with Gothamist.

40 Under Forty, 2021

March 23, 2021

Crain's New York Business

Mia Nagawiecki, the vice president for education at the New-York Historical Society and faculty member in the CUNY SPS Museum Studies program, has been named in Crain's 2021 40 Under Forty list.

Meet the Mellon Seminar Cohort: Chloë Bass

March 23, 2021

Center for the Humanities

Chloe Bass, an artist and faculty member in the CUNY SPS Museum Studies program, discusses a project she is doing as a member of the 2020-22 Andrew W. Mellon Seminar on Public Engagement and Collaborative Research cohort in an interview with the Center for the Humanities. Bass's work will also be featured in upcoming shows at the Queens Museum, Pulitzer Arts Foundation, and the Brooklyn Public Library.