Master of Arts in Museum Studies

Format: Online
Application Deadlines
  • Fall 2022 Regular Deadline Extension: June 16, 2022
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 2022 Regular Deadline Extension: June 16, 2022
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

Russian Invasion of Ukraine: Oral History in Seven Voices

March 23, 2022

Brooklyn Rail

Nina Mdivani, a student in the CUNY SPS MA in Museum Studies program, has published the piece "Russian Invasion of Ukraine: Oral History in Seven Voices" in the arts publication Brooklyn Rail. In this article, she interviews several Ukrainian cultural workers about their experience during the first week of the war.
CUNY SPS Dean Silva-Puras posing with 2021 Scholarship Recipient winners April Outen and Adina Hoppenstein

CUNY SPS Honors Scholarship Recipients at 8th Annual Reception

November 04, 2021

On October 27, CUNY SPS honored its 2021 scholarship recipients at the School's first in-person event since the pandemic shutdown.

New England Museum Association Annual Conference 2021

November 03, 2021

New England Museum Association

CUNY SPS MA in Museum Studies student Deanna Witte-Walker will be co-presenting the session "Other Duties as Assigned: The Varied and Various Roles of a New Executive Director" at the New England Museum Association Annual Conference on November 17, 2021. Witte-Walker is the executive director of the Southold Historical Museum in New York.

Picturing Jewish and Native Migration Narratives in the Museum

October 15, 2021

Kupferberg Holocaust Center

CUNY SPS MA in Museum Studies alum Zakery Risinger has organized the event Planting New Roots: Picturing Jewish and Native Migration Narratives in the Museum at the Kupferberg Holocaust Center. Risinger, who is a 2021 KHC Fellow, has also authored the KHC and Queens Community College's brand new Library Guide on Native American and Indigenous Survivance.