Master's in Museum Education
Washington DC 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 internships that provide real-world application of museum education and leadership principles. Recent internship 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.
"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.
Internship and Immersion: 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.
- 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.
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
- Online Application
- 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)
- Application Fee
Applications are currently being accepted for the Summer 2022 start terms on a case-by-case basis. If you have questions about submitting your application, please contact our Admission Office at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 202.994.9283.
New funding has become available for students entering the program in Summer or Fall 2022. Admitted students who are eligible for scholarships will receive a $6,000 grant toward their first year of study. It is possible to be awarded additional merit scholarship funding. To be eligible for scholarship funding, students must meet the criteria listed under New Student Scholarships on our Funding webpage.
Transformation Begins Here
Learn more about the Master's in Museum Education program located on campus (202) 994-7066.