There are dozens of ways to pursue advanced degrees tied to the decorative arts and material culture. 

If you love to study objects, like we do, finding your career path can be overwhelming. To assist future curators, historians, and academics searching for masters and doctoral programs, the Decorative Arts Trust created this resource featuring American graduate programs with curricula that focus on the study of objects. While the list below is not comprehensive, our goal is to provide a resource that offers initial guidance to those seeking degrees in American studies, museum studies, art history, and humanities related to the decorative arts. 

American University
History | Public History
Washington, DC 

Auburn University 
Auburn, AL 

Bard Graduate Center
Decorative Arts, Design History, Material Culture
New York, NY 

Boston University
American & New England Studies
Boston, MA 

Brown University
Public Humanities
Providence, RI

Central Connecticut State University 
Public History
New Britain, CT

Cooperstown Graduate Program, SUNY Oneonta
History Museum Studies
Cooperstown, NY

Parsons New School/Cooper-Hewitt
History of Design and Curatorial Studies
New York, NY

Pennsylvania State University, Harrisburg
American Studies | Public Heritage and Museum Practice
Harrisburg, PA 

Rhode Island School of Design
Theory and History of Art and Design
Providence, RI 

Sotheby’s Institute of Art
Fine and Decorative Art and Design (MAFDAD) Program
New York, NY 

University of California Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, CA

University of Delaware
Winterthur Program in American Material Culture | Winterthur Program in Art ConservationHistory | Art History | Art History for Museum Professionals | Museum Studies | Center for Material Culture Studies
Newark, DE

University of Maryland Baltimore County
Public History
Baltimore, MD 

University of Minnesota
Art History
Minneapolis, MN 

University of North Carolina Greensboro
Greensboro, NC 

University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA

University of Wisconsin-Madison
Art History | Design Studies (Design History Track)
Madison, WI

William & Mary 
Material Culture & Public History | History | American Studies
Williamsburg, VA 

Yale University 
American Studies
New Haven, CT 

If you would like to suggest a graduate program for this list, please email



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