Master's in Museum Education

Washington, D.C. is unmatched when it comes to the number of world-class museums it has to offer. Museum leaders in the nation's capital advance the public service mission of museums and shape them into distinctive learning environments for all audiences.

The Museum Education Program at GW prepares graduates as professional practitioners to meet the needs and interests of the public in museums and other lifelong learning environments. Students complete supervised field placements that provide real-world application of museum education and leadership principles. Recent placement experiences include:

  • Publicity for a nationwide digital network for the National Museum of American History
  • Research and the piloting of a participatory game for the National Building Museum
  • Management of a family day commemorating a hot-air balloon trial at the National Air and Space Museum
  • Production and supervision of the Association of Science-Technology’s hands-on activities for the White House Easter Egg Roll
  • Revision of Girl Scout badging publications for Carlyle House

Graduates of the program take on positions as education directors, development and fundraising officers, event planners, docent/volunteer coordinators, and community-relationship coordinators.

MEP Testimonials

"The MEP gave me the opportunity to form deep connections with other museum educators and to gain a better understanding of the intricacies and complexities of the field. It also shifted my understanding of the ways in which museums can create successful, impactful experiences for visitors."
- Emily Pope Hermans, '08
Docent Program Manager, Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens at Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

"It provided focused instruction and practical experience in a field I was pretty sure I liked, but quickly learned I loved. The program was a very important part of my career—definitely one of the smartest moves I’ve made. Thank you!
- Rachel Quimby, '16
Public Programs Coordinator/Museum Educator, EcoTarium, Worcester, Massachusetts

"MEP gave me a strong foundation in the principles of informal education, opportunities to put them in practice, and connections to practitioners working in the field."
- Ashley Meadows, '12
Gallery Guide Coordinator at Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC


Why a GW Master's in Museum Education?

Location: There is no better place to examine museum education than in the heart of our nation's capital, Washington, DC. With close proximity to the White House, the Smithsonian Institution, Newseum, art galleries, and other national monuments, students are provided with rich environments to work, attend scholarly events, and hone their analytical skills.
Experiential Learning Opportunities: Museum Education Program students balance academic study with supervised fieldwork at world-class institutions, where they build their skills and reputation as advocates for museum accessibility and accountability.
Diverse Student Body: From across the country and around the globe, bringing a wide range of professional experience, skills, and enriching knowledge.
Timing: A full-time, 4-semester, face to face program: Summer I, Fall, Spring and Summer II. Earn this master's degree in 14 months; start in June and graduate the following August.
Alumni: The Museum Education alumni network is extensive, with graduates working as leaders in museums around the nation and internationally.


The following requirements must be fulfilled: 33 credits, including 27 credits in required courses and 6 credits in elective courses.

Core Courses

  • EDUC 6701 Museums as Institutions I: Fundamentals
  • EDUC 6702 Facilitating Museum Learning I: Fundamentals
  • EDUC 6703 Museum Audiences
  • EDUC 6704 Facilitating Museum Learning II: Field Placement and Seminar
  • EDUC 6705 Museums as Institutions II: Field Placement and Seminar
  • EDUC 6706 Evaluating Museum Learning
  • EDUC 6707 Museum Proposal Writing


6 credits in elective courses, selected in consultation with the program advisor.


Hoopes, Hilary Barnes Lecturer, Museum Education
Lent, Lotte Acting Director and Lecturer, Museum Education

Career Outlook


Graduates hold leadership positions in museums and related informal learning environments in the US and around the world. Alumni can be found in Spain, Cambodia, Israel, Finland, Brazil, Japan, Canada, Korea, Botswana and Costa Rica as:

  • Museum Director
  • Development Officer
  • Docent Coordinator
  • Director/Curator of Education
  • Community-relationship Coordinator
  • Event Planner

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)


Program Entry: Summer
Prerequisites: Bachelors Degree
Campus: Main Campus

Application Requirements

  • Online Application
  • Resume
  • Statement of Purpose: In an essay of 500 words maximum, please tell us why you want to be a museum educator.
  • 2 Letters of Recommendation
  • Transcripts (unofficial)

*Additional application requirements may exist for international applicants.
For more information on any of these requirements, please visit our Admissions FAQ page.


Applications are now being accepted for Summer 2023. We encourage you to apply as early as possible.

Apply for Summer 2023  
Priority Deadline Nov 1
Round 1 Deadline Dec 15
Round 2 Deadline Jan 16
Round 3 Deadline March 1


For more information, contact the GSEHD Admissions Team at or 202-994-9283.

Apply Now            


Transformation Begins Here

Learn more about the Master's in Museum Education program located on campus (202-994-9283).