Frequently Asked Questions
How do I apply?
Apply online at the
Office of Graduate
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
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,
Is financial aid available for certificate students?
Students in the certificate program may be eligible for Stafford
I currently work in a museum. How will this program benefit my
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,
What other benefits would I receive as a Tufts University Museum
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
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
May I transfer from the Certificate program into one of the MA
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
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
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
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
Transfer of non-Tufts courses to the Certificate program is not
What is your rate of acceptance?
Over the last few years, about two-thirds of the applicants have
been admitted to the program.