FAQ

1. Admissions Process

What are the prerequisites for admission into the Museum Studies program?

  • A bachelor’s degree
  • A grade point average of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. For students who have been out of school for some time work experience may be considered.
  • Strong writing skills

My GPA is lower than the prerequisite you state, what can I do?

We take our GPA cutoff seriously, however, the application review committee considers your entire application package. A thoughtful, well-written statement of purpose outlining your commitment to the museum field through your experience is very important. You may also want to address the reason for your low GPA in your statement of purpose.

What are the admissions materials required for the program?

  • Advanced Academic Programs (AAP) Application
  • Nonrefundable Application Fee: $75
  • Resume
  • Statement of Purpose (approx. 750 words)
  • Two letters of recommendation that verify professional and/or academic accomplishment
  • Official transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate coursework completed within the US only (We accept official transcripts sent electronically through Scrip-Safe or Docufide, or in sealed institutional envelopes.)
  • Course-by-course credential evaluation for all coursework completed outside of the US. Study abroad may be exempt. Visit the International Applicants page to learn more.
  • TOEFL, for international students who have not graduated from an accredited college or university in the US and whose native language is not English. Visit the International Applicants page to learn more.

Note: The admissions committee reserves the right to request additional information from applicants.

When should I apply and how long does it take to go through the admissions process?

We have rolling admissions for the program, so there is no “official” deadline or standard timeframe for the admissions process. However, we have an overwhelming number of applications, so it is best for you to submit your materials approximately two months before the start of the semester in which you would like to begin studying. Please refer to the Academic Calendar for the start dates of each semester. After your application materials are complete, they are sent to an admissions review committee.

Am I required to send in a GRE score report?

No, the GRE is not an admission requirement to our program.

Who should I ask to write my recommendations? May I submit more than 2 letters?

Letters of recommendation should be from professional and/or academic people familiar with you and your work. Only two letters may be submitted through our official application process.

What should my Statement of Purpose include?

This is your opportunity to describe in detail your academic and professional experiences that have led to your decision to pursue a career in the museum field. Directly and succinctly tell us how this particular graduate degree will help you achieve your goals in the museum profession in 750 words or fewer. If you have already worked for a museum in any capacity, including as a volunteer or docent, please incorporate your experience into your statement. Your statement will be reviewed for content, organization, and writing style. Your statement should also be consistent with your resume. Any work or volunteer experience you refer to in your statement should be included on your resume.

As an international student, do I need to submit TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) scores with my application?

International students who have not graduated from an accredited college or university in the US and whose native language is not English must submit TOEFL scores along with your application. Advanced Academic Programs (AAP) requires a minimum score of 600 on the paper test, 250 on the computer-based test and 100 on the Internet-based test. Visit their website at toefl.org for more information. You will also need to have a course-by-course evaluation of your transcript by a service such as World Education Service (WES). Your TOEFL scores and WES evaluation should be sent directly to the Advanced Academic Programs admissions office in Washington, DC.

I received my undergraduate degree from outside the United States, do I need an evaluation of my grades?

Yes, students who earned their post-secondary degree(s) in a country other than the United States are required to have a “course-by-course” credential evaluation performed by an outside evaluation service. A number of organizations render this service. While most of these provide acceptable evaluations, World Education Services (WES) is recommended. WES assists students with initiating the evaluation process and can be reached at wes.org or at 800.937.3895. Please allow four-to-six weeks for an official credential assessment to be completed and forwarded to the Advanced Academic Programs admissions office in Washington, DC.

Can I take a course without being a degree student?

Yes. You may apply to the program as a “special student.” A special student is one who is eligible for admission as a degree or certificate candidate to the chosen program, but who is not interested in pursuing the credential. To be able to register for any Advanced Academic Programs course, an applicant must submit all required admissions documents for the program and be accepted to Advanced Academic Programs. Official transcripts are required. Special students are permitted to enroll in any courses for which they satisfy the stated prerequisites. As long as the special students do not interrupt their studies for more than one year and remain in good academic standing, they can take up to 4 courses as a special student.

If I do get rejected, can I reapply?

Students who are not admitted into the program must wait one year before reapplying to the same program.

Since this is an online program, are there an unlimited number of students that may be accepted? What is the acceptance rate?

Currently, approximately 40-50 qualified students are admitted each semester.

What degree will I earn in this program?

All students earn a Masters of Arts (MA) in Museum Studies from Johns Hopkins University. Your diploma will NOT specify that this is an online program. Johns Hopkins is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.

Is an internship or prior museum experience required for admittance?

You are not required to have museum experience to be accepted into the program, however the review committee will take into consideration any previous museum experience as an employee, intern, or volunteer. We highly encourage our students to volunteer and/or intern if they are not currently working in a museum. Students accepted into the program may choose to do an internship, approved by the Internship Coordinator, as one of their elective courses.

How can I find out more information about the program?

The Museum Studies Program holds online information sessions twice a year. Please refer to the Advanced Academic Programs (AAP) Calendar of Events for details on the next session. Please contact Museum Studies faculty member Karen Wizevich (kwizevi1@jhu.edu), our liaison to prospective students, for help with any aspect of the application process.

How do I apply to the Museum Studies Program?

You must apply to the Museum Studies Program through an online application process. Please visit the Application page to begin.
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2. Program Experience

Who are Museum Studies students?

Students in the Museum Studies Program include current and aspiring museum professionals, of all ages, from around the world. We have students from a variety of academic and professional backgrounds, including those with degrees in areas such as art history, anthropology, history, economics, business administration, historic preservation, music, philosophy, and film and media arts.

Who are Museum Studies faculty?

The Museum Studies faculty is made up of highly regarded experts in the museum field and academia. The faculty is primarily full-time museum practitioners, who are active members of the museum community; they cover all angles of the museum field. They are passionate about training the next generation of museum professional and enthusiastic about the online course format.

Will I have an academic advisor?

Yes. All students are assigned a program faculty member as their academic advisor. These advisors can help you with any aspect of the program’s curriculum, as well as career guidance.

What can I expect from the program?

The Museum Studies Program offers a structured curriculum of required and core courses augmented with electives (See the Degree Requirements page for details on our curriculum and course requirements). This curriculum provides opportunities for students to gain knowledge and skills in current professional museum practice with an eye to the future and an integration of past philosophies and practice. The program encompasses both theory and practice, focusing on providing real-world skills and training that enable students to move into the museum field or move up to jobs with more responsibility and requiring greater skills and knowledge.

How does the program build community among participants in the program?

There are a number of ways in which students are encouraged to connect with others in the Program outside of the online course environment, including a virtual Museum Café, Facebook and LinkedIn groups, as well as in-person local meet-ups and gatherings at professional conferences.

Are there are any accommodations for students with special needs?

Yes, please see Disability Accommodations page for more information.

How do I obtain my student ID card (J-Card)?

After being accepted to the program you will become eligible for the JHU J-Card, your identification and library card. For details, see the Obtaining Your J-Card page.

I currently do not work in a museum, but hope this graduate degree will lead to more job opportunities. Does JHU help in job placement after graduation?

Advanced Academic Programs has an office of Career Services. Through that office you can obtain one-on-one counseling and/or use the JHU suite of career services. In addition, our faculty is very well connected in the museum field, nationally and internationally, and we try to help our students take advantage of this network to explore potential job opportunities.
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3. Courses

How many courses do I take to complete the program?

Each student must take a total of 10 classes: nine online classes and one two-week onsite seminar. Of the nine online classes, you will take one of the two required courses (Exploring Museum Professionals or Museums in the Digital Age), three out of five core courses, and five electives of your choice. More information on our courses can be found here. More information on the two-week seminar may be found here.

May I transfer courses from another University?

If you have started a graduate degree or certificate program in Museum Studies elsewhere, you may apply to exempt up to two courses in the JHU program at the time of your application and is considered “Advanced Standing.” To be considered for advanced standing, you must meet the criteria detailed on the Admissions Requirements page.

Is there a thesis component to the program?


No, a thesis is not required.

Will I be required to choose a concentration area?

No, we do not require or offer formal concentrations, however some students cluster courses in a particular field or thematic area (such as administration, education, exhibitions, etc.). Students are free to choose any elective courses of interest, however, some classes may recommend a core course as a prerequisite.

What is the maximum number of students allowed in each class?

Each class may have 15 to 17 students. The core courses tend to fill up quickly, so it is strongly recommended that you register early. If a class you want is already full, you may be waitlisted.

Is every class offered each semester?

Not all elective classes are offered each semester, some only once a year, but all of the core courses are generally offered every semester.

How do I decide which courses to take?

All Museum Studies students are assigned an advisor who will help you to determine which courses are best for your career goals.

Can I take a course from another JHU program and have it count towards my degree?

Students may take up to two approved electives from another JHU program and have them count toward their degree. Approval must be obtained from the program directors of each program.

If I am in the DC/ Baltimore area, may I enroll in onsite courses?

The JHU MA in Museum Studies is an online program, however you may take up to two preapproved courses as electives, online or onsite, from another JHU program.

How many courses can I take per semester? About how much time should I expect to spend on each class per week?

Since this is a part-time graduate program, most students take one to two courses a semester. You may take up to three classes per semester, with approval from the Program Director, however a high course load is not recommended if you work full time or have family responsibilities. You can expect to spend approximately 12-15 hours per week for each class. Each semester is 14 weeks long.

How long do I have to complete the program?

You have five years to complete the program and classes are offered in the Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters. Students may take two consecutive semesters off without formal permission. However, if you do not take classes for an entire year, you must apply for a leave of absence.

When and how do I register for classes?

Please refer the Academic Calendar to see when the registration period is for each semester (advanced.jhu.edu/registration/academic-calendars/index.html). JHU provides a simple step-by-step registration process for students.

Does the Museum Studies program abide by a specific citation style?

Yes, the JHU Museum Studies Program follows the APA (American Psychological Association) citation format. For more information on APA style, visit the APA website.
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4. Financial Details

How much should I expect to pay for each class?

Tuition and fees for the Museum Studies program can be found here. The same tuition applies to the two-week onsite seminar, but there are other associated costs, such as travel and meals.

Is financial aid available?

In order to qualify for financial aid at JHU, you must be enrolled in at least 2 classes. AAP also maintains a financial aid site, which is available for all AAP students to explore their financial options. Students may find more information on, and apply for, financial aid here. All questions concerning student finances, aid, credits, invoices, refunds, and charges may be directed to the Office of StudentAccountsusing this form, or you may call the office directly at 410.516.8158.

Are there any grant or scholarship opportunities offered by the program?

There are currently no grants or scholarships available from the program.
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5. Online Learning Experience

I have never taken an online course before and am one of those students who learn best by interacting with my professor and classmates. How does this interaction take place?

All online courses are administered asynchronously through a course management system called Blackboard. Course content is delivered via text notes, voice-over PowerPoint, streaming video, and discussion threads to provide a connection between students, and between students and their professors through visual, auditory, and text-driven interactions. Professors will also provide their personal contact information so students will be able to reach them to ask questions or discuss any concerns. Courses may also use blogs, wikis and other social media tools/web 2.0 tools (e.g., Facebook and Twitter) to foster interaction. Tutorials and other help are always available to help you learn these online learning tools.

Will I be given a tutorial on Blackboard before my classes begin?

All new students are required to pass an orientation class that introduces Blackboard and its various online learning tools. Students have a week before classes start to begin and complete the Blackboard orientation tutorial. You will receive an email that contains the link to access this course material. It is strongly recommended that students complete this course on the computer(s) they will likely be using throughout the semester.

When will my assignments be due if I’m in a different time zone than the University?

The Museum Studies Program and the Blackboard interface are set to ET (Eastern Time) as that is the time zone of the University’s physical location. All class deadlines will be set in Eastern Time.

As an online student, do I have access to JHU library resources and services?

The JHU library has a homepage specifically for the Museum Studies Program where students can access online periodicals, journals, etc., which pertain to the museum field. The library also has a service from which you can request hard copies either by mail or by actually picking them up at a local library near you. You are required to pay for the return shipping fees. However, most readings assigned by your professor are accessible through electronic reserve [e-reserve], a common function of your courses.

Are courses offered all year-round?

Yes, courses are offered in three, fourteen-week semesters: Fall, Spring and Summer. You can review the current Academic Calendar for an example of semester start and end dates.

Are there any onsite requirements?

Yes, there is one onsite requirement – a two-week Onsite Seminar, which you are required to take to graduate. Students must have completed a minimum of two courses in the program to register for this class, however four or more courses are recommended.
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6. Hardware and Software Recommendations

What computer hardware and software do you recommend for this program?

Hardware: (PC System minimum)

  • Operating System: Windows 7, Vista or XP
  • CPU: 1 GHz
  • Memory: 512 MB RAM
  • Hard Drive: 500 MB free space
  • Monitor: 800×600 16-bit color display or better
  • Sound Card
  • Microphone and Speakers
  • Headset

Hardware: (Macintosh System Requirements, minimum)

  • Operating System: Mac OS 10.5+
  • CPU: PowerPC G3, G4, or G5
  • Memory: 512 MB RAM
  • Hard Drive: 500 MB free space
  • Network: 256+ kbps
  • Monitor: 800×600 16-bit color display or better
  • Sound Card
  • Microphone and Speakers
  • Headset

Are there any special computer skills I need?

Learning online requires some basic knowledge of computer technology and demonstrable computer skills.

State-specific Information for Online Programs

Note: Students should be aware of additional state-specific information for online programs. For more information, please contact an admissions representative.