Museum Experience

The Museum Experience

“The museum experience” makes TCU’s art history program distinctive. The Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex is distinguished by its world-class art museums, several of which are conveniently close to campus.

The Kimbell Art Museum, considered one of the finest smaller museums in the world, is just a five-minute drive from TCU, as are the Amon Carter Museum, with its comprehensive collection of American art, and the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, which opened a magnificent new building designed by Tadao Ando in 2002. Also in Fort Worth is the Sid Richardson Museum, while nearby are found the Dallas Museum of Art, Nasher Sculpture Center, Meadows Museum, African-American Museum, McKinney Avenue Contemporary, and Trammell and Margaret Crow Collection of Asian Art.

As a student, you will go to museums and study original works of art as part of your classes. You will be able to view special exhibitions shown in only a few museums around the world. You may attend “behind the scenes” tours given by museum staff members and lectures, symposia, and gallery tours by experts in the field. Some TCU art history courses meet primarily, or even entirely, at museums during the semester. Our students consistently rate “the museum experience” as one of the highlights of being at TCU.

For advanced students, the museums offer the opportunity to serve–for course credit–as an intern. More than many other schools, TCU offers undergraduate art history majors and minors the practical experience of working in an art museum or gallery. The graduate program in art history focuses even more on “the museum experience.” Centering on the art object, the Master’s program provides students the practical experience of working directly with art objects and in museums with professional staffs. In a course on the Art Museum, first year graduate students design their own exhibitions. Second year graduate students serve as museum interns, and some students complete a Museum Lectureship with the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, in which they design and present their own public gallery tours, for course credit. All graduate students take at least one Museum Seminar that meets in a local museum.


“The graduate program at TCU provided a perfect mix of academic training and museum-based experiences. Thanks to close ties with local art museums, I was able to take classes in the museums, learn about different job opportunities across the field, and was able to intern at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. The practical experience gained from learning in museums paired with the critical thinking and writing skills gained in the classroom were invaluable assets as I transitioned into my current job.”

– Alejo Benedetti, MA 2015, Curatorial Assistant, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art