Apply to the Dual MS/MA Degree in Conservation and Art History


The dual-degree conservation program, the only one of its kind in the nation, is four years of full-time, funded study: three years of coursework and one year of Internship. With a 98% placement rate, our graduates are leaders in the field of conservation with many serving as museum department heads, within government institutions, or proprietors of their own private practice.

Each year, the Institute receives over 60 applications for the conservation dual-degree program. Over twenty applicants are extended an invitation to interview for an entering class of no more than eight students. Competition for admission to the Institute is high. Admitted students receive a four-year tuition-free scholarship; a living stipend that increases with each year of the program; coverage in NYU's student health insurance program; starter conservation toolkits; and funded round-trip travel and accommodations to Institute-sponsored and co-sponsored archaeological digs, or to Villa La Pietra in Florence, Italy, to participate in annual conservation projects.

To speak to someone about the program or to learn more about the admissions process, contact

Requirements for Admission

  • Undergraduate B.A., B.F.A., or B.S. degree in any major
  • Minimum of four college-level courses in upper-level art history, not including introductory or survey-level courses. These represent courses where emphasis is placed on research and writing.
  • Minimum of four college-level laboratory science courses. Organic Chemistry I is required of all applicants. Additional acceptable coursework can include: General Chemistry I & II, Organic Chemistry II, Physics, Biochemistry, Biology, or Material Science. Acceptable coursework for the TBM specialization only can include: Physical Computing, Programming, Electronics, A/V Engineering, or Optics.
  • A displayed competence in studio art experience. (see below for more information)
  • The GRE is required of all Institute applicants. Institutional code: 2596. Department code is not needed.
  • A reading knowledge of French, German or Italian, or the clear intent to obtain such ability (to be tested once the student begins the program).
  • Applicants will submit a focused, 2-4 page personal statement and CV.
  • The Institute requires at least three letters of recommendation that speak to the applicant's research and writing skills, and appropriateness to the conservation field.
  • One art history writing sample is required.
  • The Graduate School requires applicants who are not native English speakers to submit official TOEFL or IELTS score results. The TOEFL/IELTS requirement is waived if your baccalaureate or master’s degree was (or will be) completed at an institution where the language of instruction is English.
  • A displayed competence in studio art experience. (see below for more information)
  • The conservation program does not have rolling admissions; incoming classes begin study in the fall semester only.

Applicants for the Mellon Library & Archive and TBM Art Conservation programs must declare their intention to enter these specializations at time of application. It is optional for all other applicants to declare a specialty when applying to the program.

Prerequisite courses must be completed at an accredited institution on a grade basis, not pass/fail, with grades of B or higher. Online coursework and high school advanced placement credits for art history and science prerequisites are not accepted. The last course in fulfillment of necessary coursework may be completed up to and including, but not beyond, the spring semester after the application deadline. Organic Chemistry I must appear on your transcript at time of application, either completed or in progress. Transcripts showing Organic Chemistry I in the spring semester following the application deadline will cause the application to be considered incomplete.

Studio Art Experience: Select, qualified applicants are extended an invitation to interview with the admissions committee (late March), comprised of full- and part-time conservation faculty. At the interview, applicants must present evidence of their familiarity with, and knowledge of, as wide a range of artists’ materials and techniques as possible through a portfolio of relevant studio arts and, if applicable, prior conservation work. Be prepared to show five studio pieces—one of which must make use of color—and no more than one treatment or partial treatment. Studio portfolios may contain examples of traditional artist techniques, e.g. watercolor, acrylics, oil paintings, photography, pen and ink drawings, life drawings, pastels, charcoals, ceramics, etc., or more non-traditional techniques, e.g. glassblowing, needlepoint, costuming, knitting, furniture making, jewelry making, bookbinding, papermaking, video editing, programming, circuit building, animation, app design, 3-D rendering/modeling, etc.

Pre-program conservation experience is deeply encouraged but not required of applicants.
Foreign students wishing to enter the conservation program must satisfy the same admission requirements demanded of U.S. students.

Candidates wishing to be considered for admission to the Institute for Fall 2020 should submit their applications by December 12, 2019.

Applications are processed electronically by NYU’s Graduate School of Arts and Science (GSAS) Office of Admissions,, 212-998-8050.

Applications to the IFA are submitted electronically through GSAS online.