Tufts University  |  Graduate School of Arts and Sciences  |  Find People  | 

Certificate Program

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply?
Apply online at the Office of Graduate Admissions website.

What courses should I take?
Based on your concentration selection, an academic adviser will be assigned to guide you through your program of study. Everyone must take the foundation course and complete an internship. However, you have the option of selecting your remaining three courses from a wide variety of certificate electives and a select group of area-specific graduate courses. This flexibility allows you to design a program best suited to your career goals.

Can I work full time while I pursue the certificate?
In many cases, yes. The Museum Studies courses are held in the evening (typically from 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.) with one class per week.

Is the GRE required for the certificate application?
GRE scores are not required for the Museum Studies certificate program. If you do have GRE scores, you may submit them with your application for admission.

What are the costs?
Tuition for the certificate program is charged on a per-course basis, unless taken as part of a graduate degree program. Courses taken through the certificate program are offered at a special rate. The 2018-2019 rate is $2,994 per course (for most courses). This rate applies only to the five required courses, which include the practicum. Additional courses are charged at the higher, non-certificate rate.

Is financial aid available for certificate students?
Students in the certificate program may be eligible for Stafford Loan assistance.

I currently work in a museum. How will this program benefit my career?
Those who currently work in a museum can still greatly benefit from pursuing the certificate program by earning a new credential for resume building, fine tuning old and/or learning new skills-sets, keeping updated on current trends and happenings in the field, meeting future colleagues, networking with experienced museum professionals through many contacts including, instructors, guest speakers, conferences and special behind-the-scenes field trips and tours, and working on museum-specific writing skills in assignments such as press releases, exhibition critiques, grant applications, educational proposals.

What other benefits would I receive as a Tufts University Museum Studies student?
Each year, incoming Museum Studies students are provided with a membership to the New England Museum Association (NEMA), which gives students discounts to area museums and discounts on NEMA-sponsored workshops and their annual conference. NEMA memberships give students many opportunities for networking in the field and developing their skills. In addition, students have the opportunity to network with classmates via the university's Trunk system. We also offer an annual "Career Night" and invite area professionals to discuss trends in the field and to provide tips on the job search.

How quickly may I complete the certificate program?
The program may be completed in one academic year (fall and spring semesters) by taking three courses in the fall and two courses in the spring (one of which is the practicum). Students must complete three museum studies courses before beginning their practicum.

Once I begin the Certificate program, do I have to take at least one course each semester?
No, but you are expected to complete the Certificate program in four years.

May I take other courses other than the Museum Studies courses listed in the brochure and on the website?
You may take one upper-level graduate course, with permission of your advisor, to count toward the certificate. This course may be out of the Departments of Art History, Classics, History, or Education that might enhance your knowledge in a particular area of interest.

May I transfer from the Certificate program into one of the MA programs?
No, you must apply separately to an MA program even if you are enrolled in the Certificate program. If you are interested in pursuing an MA at Tufts in one of the subject areas connected to the Museum Studies program, please contact the relevant departmental adviser. Each department handles admissions to its own graduate programs. If you are accepted into an MA program having already begun, or finished, the Certificate in Museum Studies, up to four courses can be transferred and will count towards your degree requirements.

Application questions

Is an interview required for the program?
No, but many students' decision to apply to the program is solidified after attending the annual Information Session and learning more about the program.

I live out of state and I cannot attend the Information Session. Do you conduct other information sessions?
We convene one Information Session annually, but it may be possible to meet with members of the program after making an appointment with the Program Administrator. You may also view a recording of our last information session.

May I submit more than one letter of recommendation?

Does the letter of recommendation have to be academic, especially for someone who has been out of school for several years?
The letter of recommendation should be a strong letter of recommendation and speak to why you would be appropriate for the certificate program. It is up to you to decide who would be best to write the letter, either an academic or professional.

What is the specific length expected for the personal statement?
There is no set limit on the personal statement, but most personal statements submitted are 2-3 pages in length.

I have a Master's degree. Should I submit this transcript with my certificate application?
Yes, copies of all transcripts for which you received a degree should be submitted with your application.

Can I switch my concentration (i.e. Art History, Classics, History, or Education) once I am admitted to the program?
Yes, with advisor approval.

May I apply to the program if I do not have a bachelor's degree?
No, the program requires a minimum of a bachelor's degree.

Does my bachelor's degree need to be in a certain field, for example in Art History?
For the Museum Studies certificate program, you will not necessarily need your degree to be in a particular field. However, if you plan on continuing onto a Master's degree at Tufts, the department may require a bachelor's degree in a related discipline or a certain number of courses in a particular area before consideration to the graduate program

Generally, what do you look for in applicants?
There's no standard answer, just as there's no standard applicant. Many qualities are taken into account. But a typical applicant will have a 3.0 or higher undergraduate grade-point average; a strong letter of recommendation/s; and a well-written, concise personal statement offering a persuasive reason for joining the Certificate program. The committee will also look favorably on a candidate who has museum experience, either paid or volunteer, to demonstrate some knowledge of the inner-workings of a museum.

After admitted to the program, may I begin my studies in the summer?
Yes, if space allows, you may take either Revitalizing Historic House Museums, Museum Evaluation, or Philanthropy and Fundraising. These courses are currently only offered in the summer. Otherwise, it would not be possible to begin the program other than during the fall semester with the foundation course. All other courses in the program require this course as a pre-requisite. Questions regarding this policy may be directed to the Program Administrator.

After I've submitted my application materials, when will I find out whether I've been admitted?
You should receive notification by mail by the beginning of May.

Can I transfer a course from another college or university into the Certificate program?
Transfer of non-Tufts courses to the Certificate program is not permitted.

What is your rate of acceptance?
Over the last few years, about two-thirds of the applicants have been admitted to the program.