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Seton Hall University

Program in Museum Professions

South Orange, NJ


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Seton Hall University


Master of Arts in Museum Professions at Seton Hall University

The Master of Arts in Museum Professions at Seton Hall University is the only museum studies program in the state of New Jersey. The program's applied theory curriculum incorporates guidelines from the International Council of Museums and American Association of Museums.

The program helps students develop skills in several areas including advocacy, creative problem solving, leadership, professional museum work, research, and technology. It also emphasizes appreciation of the value of museum traditions, professional and ethical behavior, and respect for cultural diversity.

MA in Museum Professions curriculum

The 39-credit MA in Museum Professions has 12 credits of core courses including an internship and a master's thesis, 15 credits of professional track courses, and 12 credits of elective courses. Professional tracks include exhibition development, museum education, museum registration, and museum management. Select course topics include the following:

- Anatomy of a Museum
- History and Theory of Museums
- Museum Technologies
- Seminar Abroad
- Writing for Museums

Exhibition Development and Museum Education Tracks

The exhibition development and museum education tracks train students to create engaging educational programs for communities, families, individuals, and schools.

The exhibition development track provides a theoretical and practical approach to designing and developing museum exhibitions. Students engage in critical analysis of exhibits and think conceptually about how exhibitions can educate and entertain. They acquire hands-on experience in every aspect of exhibition development including creating effective juxtapositions, generating budgets, obtaining loans, publishing brochures, and writing wall texts.

The museum education track equips students with the skills to create high-quality, learning-centered experiences for audiences with diverse backgrounds. Coursework in audience research, educational theory, human development, and museum programming trains students to plan meaningful museum learning experiences.

Museum Management and Museum Registration Tracks

The museum management and museum registration tracks train students to oversee various aspects of museum operations.

The museum management track prepares students for museum development and administration positions. Coursework focuses on the financial and legal responsibilities of museum leadership. Courses cover a range of subjects such as fundraising, grantsmanship, marketing, strategic planning, and volunteer management.

The museum registration track emphasizes the management and care of museum collections. Courses provide information about ethical, legal, and practical considerations. Students learn about the realities and standards concerning museum display, handling, inventorying, shipping, and storage. Plus, they're introduced to provenance and repatriation as well as the principles of connoisseurship.

Seminars abroad and internships

Each year, a faculty member leads a 10-day trip to destinations like Amsterdam, Beijing (and Shanghai), Berlin, Florence, Paris, and Rome. During these excursions, students visit historic sites and museums to gain an in-depth view of these cultural institutions and understand how museums in other countries operate.

A 200-hour internship provides hands-on experience with museum operations. In the past three years, students have interned at numerous institutions including the following:

- Benjamin Franklin House – London, UK
- Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum – New York, NY
- Metropolitan Museum of Art – New York, NY
- New York Historical Society Museum and Library – New York, NY
- Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum – Washington DC

Accomplished faculty

Faculty members in the MA in Museum Professions program are dedicated to building real relationships with their students. Their research and teaching experience help students develop the skills to make great contributions to modern-day museums.

Petra ten-Doesschate Chu, PhD, a professor of art history and museum studies, specializes in the history of nineteenth-century European art. She has published abundantly in this area. She is also the author of a popular college textbook, "Nineteenth-Century European Art."

Juergen Heinrichs, PhD, an associate professor of art history, is also an accomplished researcher. He focuses his research on four areas: encounters between African American and German culture, the impact of climate change on visual culture, the intersection between art and science, and mythology in popular culture.

Associate Professor Charlotte Nichols, PhD, received her doctorate from the Institute of Fine Arts at NYU, with a specialization in Italian Renaissance art. Her scholarly interests include the history of dress and art.

Greg Stevens, MA, is a faculty associate and earned his master’s degree from The George Washington University. He is a distinguished museum career coach and has been invited to speak at dozens of events.

Employment opportunities

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics projected that employment of archivists, curators, and museum workers will grow 13% from 2016 to 2026. This is faster than the average for all occupations. Ongoing public interest in museums and other cultural institutions is expected to fuel this demand.

Graduates of the MA in Museum Professions program at Seton Hall University are equipped with the administrative, analytical, leadership, organizational, technical, and technological skills to obtain rewarding positions in this field.

Graduate financial aid

Most students in the MA in Museum Professions program use federal, state, and private loans to pay for their education. The College and University also provide opportunities for graduate assistantships that include full tuition and monthly stipends.

Students who submit their application by the priority application deadline are automatically considered for any available internal scholarship funding, including a Dean's Graduate Scholarship. Recipients of this scholarship are determined based on academic merit and demonstrated need, and are expected to actively participate in community-building initiatives within Graduate Studies.

Seton Hall University

Established in 1856, Seton Hall University is one of the nation's top Catholic universities. It has nearly 10,000 students, more than 90 majors, and 10 schools and colleges. Seton Hall's inclusive and dynamic community makes it possible for artists, critics, practitioners, professionals, scholars, students, and theorists to thrive together. In addition, you'll have access to valuable professional development opportunities that will expand your network and your skill set.

Seton Hall’s programs combine classroom learning with real-world experience so students can make a connection between the theories they learn and how they are used in practice. This educational approach coupled with ethical development prepares students for leadership roles in both their professional and community lives.

 The university's 58-acre main campus is located in South Orange, New Jersey in the northeastern region of the United States. This charming small town has historic homes, quaint shops, and tree-lined streets. Its vibrant town center has an art center and a movie theater, banks and pharmacies, and cafes and restaurants—among other amenities. A 30-minute train ride takes students into Penn Station in Manhattan.

Degrees & Awards

Degrees Offered

Degree Concentration Sub-concentration
Master of Arts (MA) Museum registration
Master of Arts (MA) Museum management
Master of Arts (MA) Exhibition development

Degrees Awarded

Degree Number Awarded
Master's Degrees 20

Earning Your Degree

Part-time study available? Yes
Evening/weekend programs available? Yes
Distance learning programs available? Yes

Degree Requirements

Degree Requirement
Master's Degrees Entrance Exam GRE or MAT
Thesis Required for some


Acceptance Rate



Application Fee - Domestic
applications accepted?
Applications processed
on a rolling basis?

Application Deadlines

Type Domestic International Priority date
Fall deadline August 1st May 1st Yes
Spring deadline December 1st November 1st Yes

Entrance Requirements

Exam Details
Master's Degree Exam GRE or MAT
Master's Degree Requirements Official transcripts, resume, personal statement, 3 letters of recommendation

Tuition & Fees

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Financial Support

Financial award applicants must submit: FAFSA
Application deadlines for financial awards May 1
Types of financial support available Research Assistantships
Scholarship and/or loans
Graduate Assistantships

Student Body

Total Graduate Students
International Breakout (representing other countries)
Out-of-state students


Male (40%)
Female (60%)


Total faculty
Full-time - 7
Part-time - 7
Male (4)
Female (10)


Focus of faculty research: Art history
Externally sponsored research expenditures last year: 0

Location & Contact

Address 400 South Orange Avenue
South Orange, NJ  07079-2697
United States
Contact Prof. Deirdre Yates
Phone: 973-275-4871