Museum Studies Degree Program

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 hands-on experience through intensive courses at Harvard museums, active-learning weekends at Smithsonian museums, and an optional internship.

Program Overview

The degree includes 10 courses, with at least two taken on campus.

  • Get started. You begin by completing two stipulated degree courses as outlined on the degree requirements page. 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 second degree course, you submit your application. We have application cycles 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 year round, in the fall, spring, or summer. You are required to take at least two courses on campus. Weekend options available.
  • Gain real-world experience. Complete an optional 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 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 Degree Requirements

Learn about degree requirements, admissions, & on-campus study

Explore Course Listings

Once you've learned about the degree requirements, you can search for courses that count toward the degree. See the degree courses


Affordability is core to our mission. Our 2020–21 graduate tuition is $2,900 per course. The total tuition cost of earning the graduate degree is approximately $29,000.

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