Curatorial Studies

What is creative curation?

Contemporary curatorial practice has expanded to embrace creative modes of selecting, presenting, and framing a vast array of cultural products, including artworks. The M.F.A. in Curatorial Studies prepares students for careers in that expanded field. As the first three-year hybrid M.F.A. in Curatorial Studies in the United States, this practice-based terminal degree uniquely equips graduates for positions in a wide variety of arts and cultural organizations, as well as teaching positions at the college level. 

Through internships, online courses, and residential seminars, students gain direct experience in exhibition development and design, art event planning, catalogue design and writing, fundraising, grant writing, conducting studio visits, promotion and marketing, community-based programming, and similar activities related to careers in visual arts organizations. 

With courses in art history, art studio, art education, and arts administration, among others, the M.F.A. offers a dynamic interdisciplinary degree that prepares students to be highly competitive in a diverse job market. 

student looking at art

Facilities & Equipment

Bolivar Art Gallery 
UK Art Museum 
Lucille Caudill Little Fine Arts Library 
UK Special Collections Research Center 
Digital Labs & Media Center 

Why study here? 

  • Individual mentorship by distinguished faculty 
  • Opportunities for local, national, and international internships
  • Dynamic visiting artist, curator, and critic series 
  • State-of-the-art facilities in an historic building 
  • Urban campus in the heart of the Bluegrass 
  • Central location within driving distance of Cincinnati, Louisville, Indianapolis, Nashville, Chicago, Atlanta 
  • Accessible network of partners for independent projects: 21C Museum Hotels, Parachute Factory, Lexington Art League, Living Arts & Science Center, Institute 193, Lyric Theatre, among others.  
  • Funding available for research projects 
  • Financial aid available, including tuition-waivers & paid teaching assistantships 

The strength of the curatorial studies program at UK is its faculty and students. They have contributed to my personal and professional growth by encouraging me to develop a curatorial practice that is personally expressive, socially conscious, and critically engaged. - Aaron Reynolds, MFA Curatorial Studies 2022


Admission is competitive and is based on:

  • A strong writing sample (along with optional examples of curatorial work or a digital portfolio)
  • A statement of purpose
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • An undergraduate transcript (with GPA of at least 3.3)
  • GRE quantitative and verbal test scores (with a verbal score of at least 500)

International students must be able to demonstrate English language proficiency (with Graduate College’s minimum TOEFL score requirements met).


Application Deadline: January 5

For specific questions regarding the program and admission, please contact Curatorial Studies Graduate Advisor Anna Brzyski,

Curatorial Studies Faculty

Director of UK Art Museum
Part Time Instructor, Museum Studies
Singletary Center for the Arts, 405 Rose Street Lexington, KY 40506-0241
Gallery Director, Lecturer
Curatorial Studies
114A Art and Visual Studies Building
Professor of Art History & Visual Studies
Director of Graduate Studies, Art History
303A Fine Arts Bldg
Senior Lecturer
Art Education
308E Art & Visual Studies Building
Associate Professor
Art History & Visual Studies, Contemporary and Visual Studies
301 Fine Arts Building
Associate Professor
Art History & Visual Studies, Arts of Asia
203A Fine Arts Bldg
Art History & Visual Studies, Arts of Africa and Contemporary
307 Fine Arts Building