Museology Master of Arts Program

We are now accepting applications for autumn 2020. All materials must be received online or postmarked by January 15, 2020 by 5 pm Pacific Time. We encourage all applicants to prepare and submit your applications well before the deadline.

Apply now

The Program receives about 100 – 150 applications per academic year. We typically invite around 30-35 to join the Program. All those admitted commence study in the Autumn Quarter, without exception.

Before beginning your online application, we recommend gathering the following items and saving them as separate electronic documents if necessary.

PLEASE NOTE: Museology does not require you to submit GRE scores to apply.

Statement of Purpose

The Museology Graduate Program desires individuals who have a unique passion and vision for their future in the museum field, and may benefit from our particular set of values and expertise. In your statement of purpose, please discuss how you hope the Program will help you to fulfill your aspirations in the museum field.

In your purpose statement, please tell us:

  • why you want a graduate degree in museum studies;
  • why you want a degree from our program specifically; and
  • what difference you hope to make in the museum field.

Your Statement of Purpose should be no longer than 500 words. The Statement of Purpose should be double-spaced, and each page should be numbered and clearly identified with your full name.


TrendsWatch is an annual forecasting report published by the Center for the Future of Museums (CFM), a division of the American Alliance of Museums (AAM). The report summarizes five key trends in society that have strong implications for museums, as identified through CFM’s research.  Review the TrendsWatch 2019 report and choose a trend that interests you. Write a critical response to one of these five trends. Summarize the trend itself, and then analyze its significance and implications for your future as a museum professional.

A link to the TrendsWatch 2019 report is available in the online application.

Your response should be no longer than 500 words. Essays should be double-spaced, and each page should be numbered and clearly identified with your full name.

Inclusion Statement

The Museology Graduate Program seeks to foster an inclusive and diverse* community of scholars and emerging museum professionals. Please share how would you contribute to creating and sustaining an inclusive community within the Program.

Your response should be no longer than 250 words. Inclusion Statements should be double-spaced, and each page should be numbered and clearly identified with your full name.

*The University of Washington describes diversity as: “groups or individuals with differences culture or background, including, but not limited to, race, sex, gender identity, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, disability, nationality, religion, and military status. The term diversity is fluid in that the status and representation of groups shifts over time.” – UW Diversity Council, Diversity at UW: A Blueprint for the Future 2010–2014.

Three Letters of Recommendation

Museology requires three letters of recommendation from both academic and professional sources. We require at least one academic letter of recommendation from faculty members from your previous undergraduate or graduate degrees, and recommend two such letters. Professional letters of recommendation should be from a supervisor, manager, or mentor from your previous professional experience relevant to your interests in the museum field (for more tips, see our application tips page).

On the Online Graduate School Application you will be asked to provide names and contact information for three persons from whom you have requested recommendations. Your recommenders will be sent an e-mail prompt with instructions for submitting their letter of recommendation online.

Please email you recommenders the following prompt:

The University of Washington Museology Program is a two-year interdisciplinary graduate program that seeks to inspire students to use museums to create strong communities. Applicants to the program are rated across the following three dimensions:

Academic Potential: The applicant displays an exceptional academic track record, and has demonstrated analytical thinking, quality writing, and a passion for a relevant aspect of the museum field.

Professional Experience: Applicant has considerable, relevant experience related to the applicant’s stated area of interest

Contribution to the Program: Applicant’s interests, academic background, and life experiences make a significant contribution to the overall cohort and/or the museum field. The applicant also supports the creation of an inclusive environment in Museology program.

Academic Recommenders: Please comment on the applicant’s previous academic work, and how they would do in a rigorous interdisciplinary graduate program grounded in research. Please provide concrete examples and detailed feedback about what the applicant has accomplished academically.

Professional Recommenders: Please comment on the applicant’s previous professional work related to their area(s) of interest in the museum field. Please provide concrete examples of dedication, leadership, innovation, and/or creativity in their work.

*A Note about Question 2 in the recommendation form (“In making this evaluation, what group are you using as a basis for comparison?”): It is intended to provide context to your relationship with the applicant. For instance, are they one of 1000 undergraduate students who you’ve taught over the past 10 years or are they one of 10 employees you supervise on a daily basis?

You will be able to see when the letters have been submitted on your application status page.

We prefer that recommendations be submitted online. However, letters may be sent via regular mail. If one of your recommenders would like to submit a paper document, it should be written on letterhead and sent to the following address:

UW Museology Graduate Program
Admissions Committee
Box 359485
Seattle, WA 98195-9485

You are advised to request recommendations well in advance of the application deadline to ensure your application packet is complete when submitted. For more tips on designating recommendations, see our Application Tips page.

Résumé or Curriculum Vitae

Upload an electronic copy of your curriculum vitae or résumé, in Microsoft Word, RTF, or PDF format. PDF format is preferred. Your curriculum vitae or résumé should include the following information:

  • Work experience related to the museum field (include employer, position title, and dates of employment)
  • Other types of employment experience (include employer, position title, and dates of employment)
  • Involvement with volunteer, community, and/or diversity-related activities (include organization, position title, and dates of service)
  • Relevant honors, awards, publications, and presentations

Unofficial Transcripts

Please create a PDF of your transcript for upload to the Online Graduate School Application. You can accomplish this by scanning your original transcript or by printing an unofficial electronic transcript to PDF.  See application checklist for transcript instructions.

Please note

  • UW and Museology staff cannot see applications until they are officially submitted.
  • Please ensure that the e-mail address you provide in your application will be valid for several months. We will use it to communicate with you throughout the admission process.
  • The online application fee must be submitted directly to the Graduate School, not to the Museology Graduate Program. Please view the Graduate School Application for Admission page for current fee information.