Master of Arts in Museum Studies

Format: Online
Application Deadlines
  • Fall 2023 Priority Deadline: April 6, 2023
  • Fall 2023 Regular Deadline: May 18, 2023

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

Practicum

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.

Careers

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. Letters of recommendation may be submitted before or after submitting an application. Please note that an individual interview may be necessary.

Application Deadlines

  • Fall 2023 Priority Deadline: April 6, 2023
  • Fall 2023 Regular Deadline: May 18, 2023
Apply Now

Student/Alumni Profiles

Liz Rubel

MA in Museum Studies 2021

"I am confident and grateful that CUNY SPS has, and will continue to, influence my career trajectory. I have accepted an administrative role with the amazing organization I had previously been a contracting artist with, The Creative Center, and am grateful for the knowledge and experience that have brought me here.”

Recent News About Master of Arts in Museum Studies

Public Art Commissioner Speaks at Museum Studies Event

January 05, 2023

City Life

Kendal Henry, the assistant commissioner of public art and director of the Percent for Art Program at the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, discussed his career and the field of public art in an event hosted by the MA in the Museum Studies program at CUNY SPS.

Public Art Commissioner Speaks at Museum Studies Event

December 15, 2022

Kendal Henry discussed his work and the key role the Department of Cultural Affairs plays in bringing public art to New York City.

New York's First Museum Marks Third Anniversary of Its Trailblazing Museum Studies MA Program in Partnership With CUNY School of Professional Studies

November 21, 2022

City Life

The publication City Life highlights the third anniversary of the CUNY SPS MA in Museum Studies program, which was created in partnership with the New-York Historical Society; also notes that the program has just launched a new fellowship to support students from under-represented groups or those who can demonstrate a commitment to diversity.

New-York Historical Society Launches Museum Studies Scholarship

November 18, 2022

The scholarship will support museum studies MA students from under-represented groups or those who can demonstrate a commitment to diversity.