Georgetown University

Type of education program: 
Program name: 
Art and Museum Studies

MA in Art and Museum Studies

Georgetown University’s M.A. degree program in Art and Museum Studies brings the academic study of art museums together with museum practice, and emphasizes the international contexts of museums in the modern world. Through courses, individual research, and internships, students work closely with Georgetown art history faculty, curators, and other museum professionals in Washington DC, and with faculty specialists at Sotheby's Institute of Art in London or New York.

The twelve-month course of study combines courses in museology and art history with internships at some of Washington’s premier art institutions. We examine the changing relationships between academic study of art and new configurations of museum display and interpretation. Such topics as the roles of museums in modern cultures, museum education programs and audiences, new technologies, collection management, curatorial work and the ethics of acquisition and display are discussed in classes and individual research projects. Our students take part in critical debates about art exhibition and interpretation.

The curriculum provides a sequence of varied approaches to museum study. In the first semester, students take courses at Georgetown and participate in an internship at an area museum. The following semester, at Sotheby’s Institute of Art in London or New York, students take an intensive course in a selected field, such as decorative arts or contemporary art. The Institute’s course work emphasizes connoisseurship and hands-on study of art works, and incorporates study trips to public and private collections, auction houses, and art fairs. In the summer term, students complete a full-time internship in a museum in Washington or another city; the term culminates in a capstone workshop held in late August in Washington.

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