December 11, 2019

Final call for applications: MA in Decorative Arts, Design History, Material Culture

Bard Graduate Center

Photo: Maria Baranova.

Learning from things. The BGC MA in Decorative Arts, Design History, Material Culture

“I use the BGC approach—which puts objects into the larger social and cultural context of their time—in my work everyday.” —Susie J. Silbert, BGC MA 2012, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Glass, The Corning Museum of Glass

At Bard Graduate Center, we study the cultural history of the material world. Our scope is global and ranges from antiquity to the present. Using interdisciplinary and object-based approaches, our faculty train the next generation of curators, museum and arts professionals, and educators. Our core curriculum emphasizes critical writing, research and technical analysis, digital literacy, and professional experience.

Bard Graduate Center is located on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, steps from Central Park and near major museums, galleries, auction houses, and makers’ studios.

Career placement
85% of recent BGC graduates are employed in the field within one year of graduation, and 30% of alumni will go on to PhD programs within three to five years.* BGC alumni work all over the world, including at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Guggenheim, LACMA, the Denver Art Museum, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and the National Trust in the UK. Internship opportunities at the Victoria & Albert Museum, the Louvre, and the Smithsonian among many other locations help students build their résumés.

Generous scholarship support is available. On average, 80% of students receive funding. Comfortable and affordable housing is available near Columbus Circle, a short walk away. Our library’s extensive collection and our Digital Media and Object Labs provide resources for research and encourage new modes of scholarship. Our faculty provide close guidance and mentorship during the program and beyond.

Applications for fall 2020 admission to the MA program are due Friday, January 3, 2020. Find application information here.

Questions about the admissions process? Email: admissions [​at​] or visit to find answers to frequently asked questions.

*Based on data from the classes of 2014 to 2018.

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