How to Apply

We admit students to the M.A. program for the fall semester.

Applications are due February 1. Only in exceptional circumstances will we consider applications submitted after the deadline.

Minimum admissions requirement: Bachelor's degree from an accredited institution. We don't require the GRE or a minimum GPA.

We welcome you to reach out to our director, Dr. Andrew Denning ( or our program coordinator, Brandy Ernzen ( to discuss the program and to schedule a campus visit prior to applying.

Complete the online application through the Office of Graduate Admissions. You'll upload the supporting documents listed below to the online application, too. Please don't send application materials directly to MUSE.

If you're interested in pursuing the dual M.A. with African & African American Studies, you'll apply to both programs using the same application.

Personal Statement

  • 2- to 3-page, double-spaced personal statement explaining:
    • those aspects of museums and museum studies that particularly interest you
    • your professional goals, including the area of museum work that most attracts you
    • your relevant experience and background
    • how you believe KU's Museum Studies Program matches your interests, and
    • anything else you think is important for us to know. If you believe your academic record doesn't reflect your potential to perform well in our program, please provide an explanation.

Resume or Curriculum Vitae

  • Resume or curriculum vitae listing your education, employment history, volunteer experience, internships, scholarships/fellowships and academic awards.
    • Please calculate and include your junior/senior GPA and include it on your resume.


  • One essay not to exceed 3 single-spaced pages. A fourth page can be added for a bibliography, if needed.

    Please respond to this prompt: How has a museum experience shaped your outlook on the function and relevance of museums? Explain how you have seen museums engage with its various audiences, stakeholders or communities.

    Feel free to draw from personal experiences of visits to museums or volunteer/paid positions you have held, current events or other instances of museum engagement you have learned about in your studies. Be analytical or critical. Our goals are to better understand your worldview and how you think critically, relatively and aspirationally about museums, and your career aspirations in them. We realize you may not have museum work experience so we want to know how you envision approaching museum studies and what your unique perspective is as an emergent scholar. We also want to see how well you write. Feel free to cite and support your essay with representational examples from museums, related socio-cultural or political events, and/or interventions that you see are necessary in the field.

    We are judging your work based on the clarity of your vision, the relative support for your perspective and claims, and your passion for the field as an incoming scholar. We want to know who you are and realize your subject position greatly impacts how you navigate the academy and the field. Therefore, we encourage you to think critically about your areas of interest and how your particular subject position and experience, broadly conceived, offers a fresh perspective to an incoming graduate cohort in Museum Studies at KU. Cogency and clarity are at least as important as content.

    In your response, please frame your response using any sort of socio-cultural-environmental-political relevance using art, science, history, anthropology, African American studies, social justice studies, etc. as entry points into your point of view. Topics you might consider, but certainly are not limited to: ethical responsibility to the community; programming surrounding collections and holdings; repatriation of collections; decolonizing museum collections; ecology; environmental justice concerns; natural history and ethics/legal aspects of collecting, exhibiting or storing materials; the role of objects in deepening people’s capacity for self-awareness.

Three Letters of Recommendation

  • The Letter of Recommendation system works on the contact information you provide when you apply.
  • Be sure your recommenders can speak to your ability to handle the rigors of academia. 
    • We suggest at least two of your recommenders come from professors you've taken courses from.


  • Transcript(s) from undergraduate or graduate institution(s) you have attended
    • Current and former KU students: Upload a copy of your KU Advising Report from the "My Progress" section of the myKU portal OR a copy of your KU academic summary, available in Enroll & Pay.
    • Non-KU students: You must include official transcripts from each college attended.
      • You may attach scanned versions of official transcripts. If you're admitted to MUSE and accept our admissions offer, you'll be required to submit an official, final transcript that shows your degree has been conferred.
      • Instructions for submitting transcripts via mail, electronically or Certifile

Application Fee

  • $65 for domestic, $85 for international applicants

Minimum admissions requirements include a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution.

Current KU Students

Current graduate students complete the online application and submit these required materials:

  • a letter stating your interest in Museum Studies and its relationship to your graduate course of study;
  • a current advising report;
  • a letter of support from your graduate degree program.

You must be in good standing with your graduate degree program to participate in the certificate program. 

Non-KU Students

If you aren't currently enrolled at KU, you’ll complete an online application, pay a $30 application fee and submit these required materials:

  • a letter stating your interest in the Museum Studies graduate certificate;
  • an official copy of your college transcript;
  • two letters of recommendation from persons familiar with your academic work or potential for graduate study.

Non-native English speakers must demonstrate English proficiency in areas of reading, writing and listening to gain admission.

This can be done by:

  • taking an English proficiency standardized test
  • completing KU's Applied English Center curriculum
  • graduating from an English-medium university
  • showing proof of U.S. military employment
  • providing an alternative proficiency documentation

Letters of Recommendation

  • Schedule a brief meeting with each recommender to talk about your plans for graduate school and your career goals. Provide them with a copy of your CV/resume and your personal statement, if you have those ready. Doing this can help them craft stronger letters of recommendation on your behalf – and maybe give you constructive feedback on the other materials.
  • Give your recommenders plenty of time – a month is common – to write and submit their letters.


  • If you have museum experience of any kind – paid, volunteer, internship, etc. – include it.
  • Don't forget to list any retail or hospitality experience, either! These jobs show you have many skills that are transferable to the museum field, whether it's customer service, thinking on your feet or handling money.

Any Part of the Application

  • Share your materials with others for feedback prior to submitting your application.
  • You don't have to submit all materials at once. You can upload and save the application as many times as needed prior to submitting it.