Museum Studies Degree

Learn techniques and strategies for keeping museum collections relevant, audiences inspired, and operations smooth.

Key learning outcomes

Through the master’s degree in the field of museum studies you:

  • Build deep knowledge of twenty-first-century museum operations, including program development and evaluation; visitor engagement and education; collections care and research; fundraising; marketing, and legal issues.
  • Enhance your understanding of exhibition content development and design, museum technology, public outreach, communications, and social media.
  • Gain experience through intensive courses at Harvard museums, active learning weekends at Smithsonian museums, and an internship and capstone project.

Program Overview

The degree includes eight courses—at least two taken on campus—an internship and a capstone.

  • Get started. You begin by completing three admission courses from the program curriculum. This is your opportunity to demonstrate your commitment and ability to perform well as a Harvard student.
  • Apply to the program. While you are completing your third admission course, you submit your application. We have application periods in the fall, spring, and summer.
  • Continue your studies, online and on campus. As you progress through the program, you may choose from courses offered on campus or online, in the fall, spring, or summer. You are required to take at least two courses on campus as part of your degree. Short, intensive on-campus options are available.
  • Gain real-world experience. Complete an internship under the guidance of a museum supervisor to expand your professional network and gain real world experience.
  • Complete a capstone. You'll apply knowledge and skills obtained in the program to design, execute, and communicate a significant museum studies hands-on, applied research project that will showcase your expertise to current or future employers.
  • Graduate with your Harvard degree. You participate in the annual Harvard Commencement, receiving your Harvard University degree: Master of Liberal Arts (ALM) in extension studies, field: Museum Studies.

Explore Courses & Requirements

Learn about admission, courses & on-campus study

Degree Course Listings

Once you've explored the degree requirements, you can search for course offerings that count toward the degree. See the degree courses


Affordability is core to our mission. Our 2016–17 graduate tuition is $2,550 per course; the total tuition cost of earning the graduate degree is approximately $25,500.

There are a number of financial aid options available once you’re admitted to the program.