M.A. Admissions and Application Procedures

We welcome and encourage all eligible applications to SF State Museum Studies

Admissions Overview

Applications to SF State Museum Studies are accepted between October 1 through February 1 for Fall admission only; there is no Spring admission cycle. Late applications will not be accepted, and waiver petitions are not allowed.

The Master of Arts program in Museum Studies is impacted, or receives many more applicants than there are seats available, and highly competitive. Thus, it is not possible to admit all qualified individuals. Please review this page and the FAQs section of our website before contacting our office. Both the Graduate Admissions Office and the Museum Studies Program must accept an applicant. 

Admission Requirements for the M.A. in Museum Studies

In addition to meeting the University's minimum requirements for graduate study, applicants to the Museum Studies Program should also have:

  • GPA of 3.20 or better in the most recent two years of BA/postbaccalaureate study. Note: Applicants with a GPA of 3.00 (the CSU minimum to be eligible for graduate study) in the last two years of study will be still be considered.
  • A minimum of six months of volunteer or paid experience in a museum or related setting, including internships, prior or concurrent to your formal application to the program
  • Academic background in anthropology, art history, classics or classical archaeology, design, education, history, science, or public/arts administration. Additional museum experience beyond the minimum required is expected when the applicant possesses a degree in a discipline related to Museum Studies, such as communications, environmental studies, fine arts, humanities, or other fields relevant to Museum Studies.
  • GRE scores with a qualitative score of 156 or better and an analytical writing score of 4.5 or better. GRE scores must be current, taken within five years of the semester you wish to apply. Applicants with scores just below our benchmarks will still be considered for conditional admission. No test substitutions for the GRE are allowed.
  • If an International applicant, TOEFL Scores of 550 or better or Internet-Based Test TOEFL Scores of 80 or better are required, taken within two (2) years of the semester you wish to attend. The TOEFL is a requirement of the CSU and cannot be waived.
  • Two Letters of Reference, from previous professors, museum supervisors, or other work supervisors who know you well and can speak to your skills and aptitude for graduate study.

If you do not meet the requirements in one or more of the required background elements listed above, we still encourage you to apply! Please address why you do not meet the required background element(s) in your Statement of Purpose, as outlined below.

Annual Application Deadline

February 1 for Fall admission only

How To Apply

To apply to SF State Museum Studies, complete an application online at CalStateApply. Before submitting your application, please review tips and guidance provided by the Division of Graduate Studies:

Application Procedure

The following materials will be required for your application:

  1. Apply online through Cal State Apply for a Graduate Program. You will be required to create a personal login to manage your application. Select "San Francisco" for campus, and "Museum Studies" for degree program.
  2. Application fee of $ 55.00 USD. We recommend that you pay online by credit card at the moment you submit your application. If you selected the option to pay the application fee by check or money order, make the check payable to “San Francisco State University”
  3. Unofficial transcripts from all institutions attended; these are in addition to the Official Transcripts required by the University
  4. Current resume or CV
  5. Your 1000-word Statement of Purpose, addressing: your career objectives; the path that led you toward museum work and reasons for attending SF State Museum Studies; any research completed on the field to determine an emphasis; your relevant educational background and/or coursework or workshops; your museum experience(s) or volunteer work, including internships
  6. Your 750-word comparison/contrast essay of current exhibitions at two museums or related institutions in your area, addressing what you liked and or what could be improved in terms of curatorial content, display technique or visitor education.
  7. Two Letters of Recommendation from individuals qualified to testify to your capabilities and readiness to enter graduate study in Museum Studies. You will be providing the name and email address of two recommenders. Once you submit the Cal State Apply application, the system will send your recommender/s an email with a summary of what is happening and a link, which will bring them to a private portal to upload their letter. Once submitted, reference letters are merged with the applicant’s account, and are kept confidential from the applicant.
  8. GRE General Test Scores are required and will be evaluated in conjunction with other qualifications, taken within five years of the semester you plan to attend. The ETS Code for SF State is 4684; there is no major code for Museum Studies. Please provide an unofficial electronic copy of the GRE Score Report. If your GRE Test is still in process, score reports can be sent directly to the Program at museumst@sfsu.edu by March 1, in time for a timely admit recommendation.
  9. If an International Applicant, a copy of your TOEFL or iBT TOEFL Score Report, taken within two years of the semester you plan to attend. TOEFL Scores of 550 or better or Internet-Based Test (iBT) TOEFL Scores of 80 or better are required. Note: The TOEFL is a CSU requirement of all International Applicants and cannot be waived.
  10. Send all required documents noted on your online SF Gateway Portal “To Do List” to the Division of Graduate Studies:

             Graduate Admissions
             San Francisco State University
             1600 Holloway Ave., ADM 250
             San Francisco, CA 94132

Electronic transcripts can be sent to: graddocs@sfsu.edu.

Tips for navigating the online system

There are four sections in the online application, but you can opt out of the following:

  • In "Academic History" section, opt out of transcript entry and GPA entry.
  • In "Supporting Materials" section, opt out of all supporting materials.
  • For Statement of Purpose section, write “Uploaded to Program Materials Section.”
  • In "Program Materials" section, click on "Documents" tab to upload unofficial transcripts, statement of purpose, writing sample, test score report (if desired), and any other documents. 
  • Click on Questions tab to answer questions.

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The documents on this website have been identified as having barriers to accessibility.  The site owner is working to remedy these access barriers by July 2016.  If you experience problems using this site/ the documents, contact museumst@sfsu.edu.