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MA in Museum & Cultural Heritage Studies


Based within the FSU Department of Art History, the Museum and Cultural Heritage Studies (MCHS) Master of Arts program encourages emerging scholars to think critically about the role, use, and display of art and material culture while preparing them for future careers within the museum and heritage sectors. The program provides a solid theoretical and practical foundation with an emphasis on ethics, community engagement, and culturally responsive museum practices. We critically examine the power dynamics that are inherent within the politics of collection, exhibition, and curatorial practice in museums as well as how the past is taught, represented, and publicly debated.

The program offers two exciting courses of study: The Tallahassee Course and The Ringling Course. In their second year, students may choose to remain in Tallahassee, working with the Florida Department of State, National Park Service Southeastern Archaeological Center (SEAC), local archives, galleries, museums, historic homes, and other cultural heritage-based organizations; or they may apply for  The Ringling Course, to spend their second year of study in Sarasota at the John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art, one of the largest and most prestigious university art museums in the country.

The MCHS MA program at FSU is part of the Southern Regional Education Board  Academic Common Market. Students from Louisiana, South Carolina and Tennessee may pursue a degree in the program at in-state tuition rates through the Academic Common Market.

Faculty who teach MCHS courses include Mora Beauchamp-Byrd, Kristin Dowell, Kyle Killian, Paul Niell, Erika Loic, Michael Carrasco, Brendan Weaver, Susan Baldino, and Carey Fee, as well as other courtesy and visiting faculty and Ringling Museum professionals.


Prospective students should have a Bachelor of Arts with a concentration in Art History or a related field, such as anthropology, archaeology, art, classics, or history, and reading knowledge of one foreign language, which may be completed concurrently with the master’s program. Admissions are based on scholastic record, letters of recommendation, foreign language proficiency, and a writing sample.

Review of applications will begin on January 1st and will continue throughout the spring semester until all positions are filled. The final application deadline is June 1st. For funding consideration, please apply by February 5th.

For additional information please contact the Director of Museum & Cultural Heritage Studies, Dr. Mora Beauchamp-Byrd,  at

Graduate Application

Application window for 2024-2025 school year is now open.


The two-year Master of Arts in Museum & Cultural Heritage Studies consists of 12 hours of core courses (Art History Methods, Museum Basics, Cultural Heritage: Theory & Practice, and The Museum Object), 6-9 hours of Art History (depending on the track), 6 hours in MCHS electives which can be taken inside or outside the Department of Art History, 6-9 hours of internship (depending on the track), and 3 hours of a capstone project, for a total of 36 credit hours.

Language Requirement

A reading knowledge of at least one foreign language relevant to the student’s area of study is required for completion of the master’s program. The student has the option of passing an exam in reading knowledge by the end of the first academic year or successfully completing an intermediate-level course.

Capstone Project

The degree program culminates in a capstone project which is completed in the final semester of the program. Capstone projects are designed to connect with student’s research and professional interests and are often connected with a student’s internship experience. Previous capstone projects have included curatorial proposals, museum education programming, film series, research for guided tours at historic house museums, and data analysis of conservation efforts with an archaeological collection. Students also have the option of a research paper for the capstone project.

The Ringling Course Internship

After completing eight museum and art history courses in Tallahassee during the first year of study, students in the MA Program in Museum and Cultural Heritage Studies may apply to participate in The Ringling Course, spending their second full year of study at The John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art. Read more about The Ringling Course…