History and Museum Studies

The master’s program in history and museum combines studies in the history of a particular area or areas with professional training for a career in the museum field.

A Tufts student working in an archive.
  • Degree Offerings
  • Faculty
  • Application Requirements
  • Contact the Program

Apply Now

Request Information

Questions about your application?

Contact us:

Office of Graduate Admissions
Bendetson Hall
Medford, MA 02155
(617) 627-3395

MA in History and Museum Studies

The Museum Studies Program combines theory and practice by bringing together scholars of the Tufts Department of History and professional experts in Museum Studies. By emphasizing both historical scholarship and practical application, the program prepares students for public history as well as museum work. Students also benefit from Tufts’ location in the greater Boston area, one of America’s most important hubs for museums and historical societies.

Students take courses in history and museum studies simultaneously. Graduates of this program typically pursue careers as curators, collections managers, educators or administrators in historic houses, sites and museums.

Visit the Museum Studies Program

Visit the Department of History

MA in History and Museum Studies Learning Objectives
  • Understand history museum issues in the twenty-first century and how these issues compare to the issues of other types of museums
  • Show familiarity with all aspects of museum operations and how they come together to support audiences and collections
  • Be able to interpret primary and secondary sources, including material and visual culture, quickly and critically
  • Show familiarity with printed and electronic aids to historical research, exhibit knowledge of bibliographical search procedures, and show the ability effectively to develop bibliographies for research, museum exhibitions, and museum programs
  • Display familiarity with (and knowledge of how to find) museum literature generated by museum professionals, and show an understanding of how insider-generated work differs from museum literature produced by outsiders (academics, critics, and the public)
  • Understand broad outlines of historical interpretation and narrative in fields of specialization and with public history approaches
  • Understand dominant schools of historical explanation and narrative, and exhibit the ability to apply the various interpretative frameworks to the investigation of data
  • Exhibit disciplined habits of research through experience at gathering primary and secondary historical data and effectively storing them so as to be readily retrieved
  • Show proficiency at marshalling arguments for interpretation or narrative involving complex data, and exhibit skill at writing up results or narrative in clear, persuasive language, suitable for a variety of outcomes and audiences in museum settings
  • Present historical arguments through a variety of means and to a range of audiences orally in formal and informal settings, visually and physically through exhibitions, educationally through the design of activities in school and public programs, and through new media
  • Exhibit knowledge of a language other than English, sufficient for research into sources in that language
  • Work cooperatively on the investigation of an area of historical inquiry and be able to accommodate one's own research to findings of co-researchers and exhibition/program planning team members
  • Exhibit an elementary ability to lead classroom discussion of historical material, assess historical work, and organize readings and agenda for analysis into an effective syllabus
  • Apply skills and knowledge gained through coursework to the real-world setting of a museum


Related programs:


Rachel Applebaum
Assistant Professor
Ph.D. , University of Chicago
Russia and Eastern Europe
David Ekbladh
Associate Professor
Ph.D. , Columbia University
U.S. in the World and International History
Elizabeth Foster
Professor; Director of Graduate Studies in History
Ph.D. , Princeton University
Modern France in the World and Colonial West Africa
Ayesha Jalal
Ph.D. , Cambridge
South Asia and the Muslim World
Gary P. Leupp
Ph.D. , University of Michigan
History of Japan
Kris Manjapra
Ph.D. , Harvard University
Modern South Asia and Modern Germany
Beatrice F. Manz
Ph.D. , Harvard University
Middle East and Inner Asia
Steven P. Marrone
Ph.D , Harvard University
Medieval and Early Modern Europe
David Proctor
Senior Lecturer
Ph.D. , Tufts University
Late-antique and Medieval Western Europe, Byzantium and Southeastern Europe
Alisha Rankin
Associate Professor
Ph.D. , Harvard University
Early Modern Europe
Professor of History at Tufts University James Rice
James Rice
Professor and Chair
Ph.D. , University of Maryland
Early America, Native American, and Environmental History
Hugh Roberts
Associate Professor
D. Phil. , Oxford University
Edward Keller Professor of North African and Middle Eastern History, North Africa, Middle East
Kendra Taira Field
Assistant Professor
Ph.D. , New York University
Nineteenth-century U.S., African American, Native American
Reed Ueda
Ph.D. , Harvard University
Industrial and urban U.S. immigration
Man Xu
Assistant Professor
Ph.D. , Columbia University
Chinese History

Application Deadline

Fall: January 15
Fall Round 2 Deadline: May 1

Application Requirements

> Application fee
> Resume/CV
> Personal statement
GRE scores are not required
> Official TOEFL, IELTS, or Duolingo English Test, if applicable
> Transcripts
> Three letters of recommendation
> Writing Sample

For more information, visit the Department of History.

For more about this program, please see the Department of History website and the Museum Studies website.

For questions about the program, including scholarships and assistantships, contact Associate Professor Elizabeth Foster, Director of Graduate Studies in History.

Museum Studies
Tufts University
Ballou Hall, third floor
Medford, MA 02155

Phone: 617.627.2320