Master's in Museum Education
Create Immersive Learning Experiences
Established in 1974 as the first program of its kind, the Master of Arts in Teaching in Museum Education leads the way for museums, and other cultural and natural heritage sites, to nurture a humane and just society. The program prepares leaders who facilitate distinctive learning opportunities for participants to engage powerfully with their lives, their communities, and the world.
Program faculty, who excel as practitioners committed to theory and practice, combine rigorous academic preparation with real-world application of museum education and leadership principles in environments as diverse and fascinating as the National Zoological Park, the International Spy Museum and the National Museum of African American History and Culture.
Students balance theory and practice with supervised fieldwork at world-class institutions where they build their skills and reputation as advocates for museum accessibility and accountability.
Leading Global Peer Network
Our alumni network is extensive, with graduates working as leaders in museums all around the world. Develop skills alongside a diverse cohort from around the globe who bring a wide range of professional experience, skills and knowledge.
Streamlined Time to Completion
This full-time, 4-semester, in-person program allows you to earn a master's degree in 14 months; start in June and graduate the following August.
There is no better place to examine museum education than in the heart of our nation's capital. Washington, D.C. is unmatched when it comes to the number of world-class museums it has to offer. With close proximity to the White House, the Smithsonian Institution, art galleries, national monuments, and other diverse cultural and natural sites, there are unparalleled opportunities to learn and work.
At GW, you will prepare to advance the public service mission of museums and shape them into distinctive learning environments with and for a multicultural society.
Master of Arts in Teaching in the Field of Museum Education
The following requirements must be fulfilled: 33 credits, including 27 credits in required courses and 6 credits in elective courses.
Course List Code Title Required EDUC 6701 Museums as Institutions I: Fundamentals EDUC 6702 Facilitating Museum Learning I: Fundamentals EDUC 6703 Co-Creating with Museum Participants EDUC 6704 Facilitating Museum Learning II: Field Placement and Seminar (taken for 6 credits) EDUC 6705 Museums as Institutions II: Field Placement and Seminar (taken for 6 credits) EDUC 6706 Evaluating Museum Learning EDUC 6707 Museum Proposal Writing Electives 6 credits in elective courses. Elective courses should be selected in consultation with the program advisor.
GSEHD’s Office of Admissions invites you to apply for a spot in our program. Please review the following admission and financial information.
Ready to take the next step in your career? Review our step-by-step guide to applying to GSEHD >
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To be considered for admission, applicants must submit the online application form as well as the following required supporting documents. There is no application fee.
Prerequisite: Bachelor's Degree
- Statement of Purpose: In an essay of 500 words maximum, please tell us why you want to be a museum educator.
Two Letters of Recommendation
Transcripts from all previously attended colleges or universities
I chose this program because it has blazed the trail of professionalizing the field of museum education as evidenced by the strength, reach, and impact of its extensive alumni network. It provided a solid foundation in museological and educational theories combined with practical, real-world experience working in museums and other educational organizations. In addition, the sheer number of exceptional museums in the D.C. area and the incredible museum professionals that students get to meet, dialogue, and work with are real strengths of this program. It really challenged and expanded my knowledge, skills, and abilities as a museum educator.
WENDY NG ('06)
Principal Owner and Consultant, Twin Muses Consulting Services
Master of Arts in Teaching in Museum Education
With the assistance of a strong alumni base and valuable relationships with local professionals, 95 percent of the Museum Education Program’s graduates from the past 5 years currently hold museum education and other lifelong learning-related positions. They most often serve as directors of education, with some rising to the position of museum director.
- Museum Ed Career Opportunities
Graduates currently hold museum education and other cultural and natural heritage-related positions in the US and around the world. Alumni have worked in Spain, Cambodia, Israel, Finland, Brazil, Japan, Canada, Korea, Botswana and Costa Rica as:
- Museum Director
- Education Director
- Education Strategist
- Education Initiatives Manager
- Director/Manager of Access Initiatives
- Development Officer
- Docent Coordinator
- Director/Curator of Education & Public Programming
- Community-relationship Coordinator
- Event Planner
- Interpretation Specialists
- Members of the board for museums
- Museum Program Evaluators
- Vice President of Learning and Engagement
- Potential Employment Settings
Our graduates qualify for positions in art, history, science or children’s museums; zoos; aquariums and historical societies or sites. Our alumni also hold positions in professional associations, government agencies, private foundations, schools, and universities.
Alumni are currently employed in the following museums and other informal learning environments:
- American Museum of Natural History (New York)
- Museum of Flight (Seattle)
- Fort Concho National Historic Site (Texas)
- United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (DC)
- Adler Planetarium (Chicago)
- Historic New England (Boston)
- United States Marshals Museum (Arkansas)
- Association of Science-Technology Centers (DC)
- Peoria PlayHouse Children's Museum (Illinois)
- Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum (New York)
- Bullock Texas State History Museum (Austin)
- Monterey Bay Aquarium (California)
- Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens (Pittsburgh)
- John F. Kennedy Presidential Library (Boston)
- Anchorage Museum (Alaska)
- Gettysburg National Military Park (Pennsylvania)
- Arizona State Museum/University of Arizona (Tucson)
- Gadsby's Tavern Museum (Virginia)
- Seattle Children’s Museum (Washington)
- Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museums (New York)
- Museum of the Rockies (Montana)
- National Museum of Japanese History (Japan)
- Phipps Conservatory (Pennsylvania)
- US Holocaust Memorial Museum (DC)
- Department of Tourism (Kentucky)
- Montgomery Museum of Art (Alabama)
- Academy of Museum Motion Pictures (California)
- US Marshals Museum (Arkansas)