The Andrew W. Mellon Undergraduate Curatorial Fellowship Program

The Andrew W. Mellon Undergraduate Curatorial Fellowship Program provides specialized training in the curatorial field for students across the United States from diverse backgrounds. The program aims to make a critical impact on American art museums by expanding the diversity of their curatorial staff and developing gifted curators who are committed to engaging with the full spectrum of museum audiences. In July 2015, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation published a report, Art Museum Staff Demographic Survey, which addresses the pilot phase of this program in more detail.The program is being implemented at six partnering institutions. Each museum holds a world-class, encyclopedic collection that represents the broad range of artistic production across history and around the globe.

  • Art Institute of Chicago
  • High Museum of Art, Atlanta
  • Los Angeles County Museum of Art
  • Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
  • Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City
  • Philadelphia Museum of Art

The program is organized around two components: the Summer Academy and the Undergraduate Curatorial Fellowship Program.Students must first apply to a Summer Academy, to be held at each of the six partner museums. Summer Academies are one-week immersion programs designed to provide a rich experience in the museum environment and expose the participants to career options related to art and art history. The Summer Academy introduces students to the many departments across the museum and its staff, with an emphasis on the curatorial field. Each Summer Academy includes workshops, tours, field trips, and networking events with museum professionals. Fifteen students will be selected to participate in the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s 2019 Summer Academy during the week of June 9-16. At the end of each Summer Academy, participants are invited to apply for the Fellowship Program.Fellows participate in the Andrew W. Mellon Undergraduate Curatorial Fellowship Program throughout their undergraduate career with the goal of entering into a graduate program. The two-year fellowships provide students with hands-on experience inside a museum setting, working with curators and staff on exhibitions, collections, and programs. Fellows are matched with a museum mentor/curator who works to enrich the academic experience and broaden the fellow’s understanding of art and art history. Fellowships are part time during the academic school year and full-time during the summer at a partner museum. Fellows receive a yearly stipend of $10,000.

To apply, click here.


Application Components:

  • Personal Statement: interest in program, importance of expanding diversity of curators, why are you a student representing diversity, how you can contribute to program's initiative, example of diverse perspective
  • Resume: volunteering, employment, computer & language skills
  • Transcripts
  • Letter of recommendation from faculty member or employer who can write about your skills and abilities


  • Individuals from historically underrepresented groups in the curatorial field
  • Undergraduates currently enrolled at a university, college, or community college
  • Undergraduates who, if selected as a fellow, can commit to two years in the program prior to graduating (typically a current freshman or sophomore student)
  • Individuals who are eligible to work in the United States
  • Demonstrated interest in art, art history, or the museum field
  • Enrollment at a university, college, or community college located near a partner museum
  • Openness to the idea of pursuing a masters or doctorate degree in the arts or museum field

Research Offering Location

Research Eligibility: 

Undergraduate School

College Engineering LPS Nursing Wharton

Research Offering Source


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