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How to Apply

Potential applicants are encouraged to correspond with our director, Dr. Peter Welsh at phwelsh@ku.edu, and to visit the campus to discuss their interests and the program with faculty and current students.

To be considered for admission to regular graduate status in the program, a student must hold a bachelor's degree and have earned at least a B (3.0) grade-point average in previous academic work. Acceptance in the program is determined by the Museum Studies Admissions Committee. A student interested in applying for admission must submit the following:

1.   A completed application, along with a nonrefundable application fee, submitted online through the Office of Graduate Studies.

2.   Transcripts from all undergraduate or graduate institutions attended. You may upload a scanned version of your official transcript from your undergraduate institution to the online application. Please note: A printout from a student portal is NOT considered to be an official copy of your transcript. Official transcripts will be required upon admission to the program. In addition, please calculate your junior/senior GPA and include it on your resume.

3.   A statement of your academic and career objectives. In 2-3 pages, you might address topics such as why museums and museum studies are particularly interesting to you; the area of museum work that most interests you; your relevant experience and background; how the degree will support or enhance your goals; how KU's program matches your interests; and anything else you think is important to your application.

4.   Three letters of recommendation, at least one of which must be from an academic source. (Please use KU’s online letter of recommendation system when you apply.)

5.   A resume or curriculum vitae listing your employment history, museum experience (paid or unpaid), scholarships/fellowships, and awards. Please note that the Admissions Committee strongly suggests all prospective students have museum experience (paid or unpaid) prior to applying to the program.

6. Instead of a writing a sample and GRE scores, we ask applicants to submit short essays on topics relevant to our field. In about 10 pages total, please compose responses for three of the following topics. You are not expected to do new research and citations are not required; our primary purpose is to assess your abilities in a formal writing exercise.

a. Please discuss some ways a museum might engage – positively or negatively – with its various stakeholders or communities. Feel free to use personal experiences, examples from current events, or examples you have learned about from your studies.

b. Reflect on the importance and significance of objects and collections for museums. You can approach this from the perspective of any sort of object or collection – art, science, history, anthropology, you name it. Topics you might consider – but are certainly not limited to these – include the collections’ potential for research, for public understanding of other times, places, and people, for deepening people’s capacity for self-awareness, and for challenging expectations

c. Preservation is an ongoing commitment for museums. In fulfilling this responsibility, institutions must attend to multiple, and sometimes conflicting, considerations. Offer some thoughts on how a museum might balance contending concerns.

d. What are your ideas about the potential of new technologies for museums? You can respond from the perspective of collections and collections management, research, audience development, or any direction you choose.

e. Share with us a museum experience that shaped your outlook on the world. It might be a public program such as an exhibition, it might be something that occurred behind-the-scenes, it might be simply “being there.” Details are welcome.

f. Museums use exhibitions and other public programs to represent ideas, values, and events (among other things). Please discuss, drawing on your own experience or from examples you have learned about, some exhibitions that have been particularly impactful. Do not hesitate to employ your critical faculties.

OPTIONAL: Applicants may choose to upload an academic writing sample. If you choose to include a writing sample, please explain why you are choosing to do so in your personal statement.

7.   For international students only, TOEFL scores or acceptable alternative to demonstrate English proficiency.

8.   For international students only, proof of financial support. Documentation is not required at the time of application; however, if admitted, you will be contacted by International Student Services for proof of financial support.

Students are admitted to the M.A. program only in the fall semester. The deadline for submitting applications is January 15. The Museum Studies Admissions Committee seeks to notify applicants of admission decisions by early March. Only in exceptional circumstances will we consider applications submitted after the deadline.

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September 2017 Newsletter
January 2017 Newsletter