The Museum Studies Program combines theory and practice by bringing together scholars of the Tufts Department of History and professional experts in Museum Studies. By emphasizing both historical scholarship and practical application, the program prepares students for public history as well as museum work. Students also benefit from Tufts’ location in the greater Boston area, one of America’s most important hubs for museums and historical societies.

Students take courses in history and museum studies simultaneously. Graduates of this program typically pursue careers as curators, collections managers, educators or administrators in historic houses, sites, and museums.

Tufts University benefits from its location in the greater Boston area, one of America's most important hubs for museums and historical societies. The Museum Studies Program combines theory and practice by bringing together scholars of the Tufts History Department and professional experts in Museum Studies. The unparalleled wealth of historical institutions just outside our back door provides a host of opportunities for on-site education, internships, and networking.

The Tufts Museum Studies Program provides qualified, post-baccalaureate students with professional training in administration, preservation, and interpretation skills required for a career in the museum field. The Certificate in Museum Studies requires four graduate-level courses and an on-site internship. Alternatively, students may apply for entry into the program for a Master of Arts in History and Museum Studies.

Criteria for admission to the M.A. program in History and Museum Studies are the same as those for the Master's Degree in History alone. The requirements for the completion of the M.A. in History and Museum Studies consist of the successful completion of eleven courses, including:

  • The Historiography Proseminar (HIST 200).
  • The Museum Studies Foundation Course.
  • One research course.
  • Three Museum Studies elective courses.
  • The Museum Studies Internship.
  • Preparation of one regional or comparative field of study, and examination in that field (see requirements in the preceding description of History M.A.). A thesis is optional.
  • Proven reading proficiency in at least one foreign language (see details in the preceding description of History M.A.).
  • The presentation of one research project drawn from coursework to the Graduate History Roundtable.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand history museum issues in the twenty-first century and how these issues compare to the issues of other types of museums.
  • Show familiarity with all aspects of museum operations and how they come together to support audiences and collections.
  • Be able to interpret primary and secondary sources, including material and visual culture, quickly and critically.
  • Show familiarity with printed and electronic aids to historical research, exhibit knowledge of bibliographical search procedures and show the ability effectively to develop bibliographies for research, museum exhibitions, and museum programs.
  • Display familiarity with (and knowledge of how to find) museum literature generated by museum professionals, and show an understanding of how insider-generated work differs from museum literature produced by outsiders (academics, critics, and the public).
  • Understand broad outlines of historical interpretation and narrative in fields of specialization and with public history approaches.
  • Understand dominant schools of historical explanation and narrative, and exhibit the ability to apply the various interpretative frameworks to the investigation of data.
  • Exhibit disciplined habits of research through experience at gathering primary and secondary historical data and effectively storing them so as to be readily retrieved.
  • Show proficiency at marshaling arguments for interpretation or narrative involving complex data, and exhibit skill at writing up results or narrative in clear, persuasive language, suitable for a variety of outcomes and audiences in museum settings.
  • Present historical arguments through a variety of means and to a range of audiences orally in formal and informal settings, visually and physically through exhibitions, educationally through the design of activities in school and public programs, and through new media.
  • Exhibit knowledge of a language other than English, sufficient for research into sources in that language.
  • Work cooperatively on the investigation of an area of historical inquiry and be able to accommodate one's own research to findings of co-researchers and exhibition/program planning team members.
  • Exhibit an elementary ability to lead classroom discussion of historical material, assess historical work, and organize readings and agenda for analysis into an effective syllabus.
  • Apply skills and knowledge gained through coursework to the real-world setting of a museum.

Application Requirements

  • Application fee
  • Resume/CV
  • Personal statement
  • Official GRE required
    • GRE scores are not required for current Tufts undergraduates applying for an M.A.
  • Official TOEFL or IELTS, if applicable
  • Transcripts
  • Three letters of recommendation
Program taught in:

See 36 more programs offered by Tufts University - Graduate School of Arts and Sciences »

Last updated June 3, 2019
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Aug 2020
2 years
52,724 USD
per year.
By locations
By date
Start Date
Aug 2020
End Date
Apr 2022
Application deadline

Aug 2020

Application deadline
End Date
Apr 2022