Master of Arts in Art, Gallery Management & Exhibits Specialization (MGES) 3+2

  • Bachelor of Arts
  • Master of Arts
    • Accelerated Master's Degree

    Get Involved

    A college education is more than just taking courses. Meet new people, apply your skills and stretch beyond your comfort zone. Make your education an experience.


    • Gallery Exhibits: Students have opportunities to display their work in numerous shows, exhibits, convocations and galas—on campus and in the community.
    • Pathfinder Magazine: An annual publication for student creative work.
    • Student Art League: A branch of the Council for Creative expression, the Student Art League is dedicated to providing visual arts, experiences, professional development, educational opportunities and outreach for Art students.


    • Field Experience: Seniors travel to historical locations, such as the Sand Creek Massacre and Bent’s Old Fort national historical sites, to study the role of commemoration and memory.
    • History Honor Society: Join Iota Nu Chapter of Phi Alpha Theta, one of Western’s oldest academic honor societies.
    • History League: Sponsors activities including a book club and catapult construction.
    • Internships: Land an internship with the Crested Butte Heritage Museum.
    • Study Abroad: Travel to India, Ecuador, Prague, London, Italy or Belize through Extended Studies.


    Institutional Scholarships

    Common Scholarships

    Western offers approximately 70 common scholarships for which a wide variety of students are eligible (e.g., locals, veterans, transfers). Apply for any number of these common scholarships using Western’s Common Scholarship Application, which is due April 1. For more information, visit

    Early Action Credit

    If a student is accepted to Western by Nov. 1 and qualifies for a merit scholarship, the student will receive an additional $500 for the first year. Use our Net Price Calculator to determine whether you qualify for a merit scholarship.

    Mountaineer Alumni Recommendation Scholarship

    Western Colorado University alumni can nominate prospective students for a $500 scholarship ($250 per semester) for first year only. Application deadline is typically June 1. For more information, visit

    Neighboring States Program

    Students with a permanent address from one of the seven contiguous neighboring states to Colorado who have demonstrated financial need are automatically considered for a special $1,000 per year grant, totaling $4,000 over four years.

    The Western Neighboring States program can be added to WUE, CP or merit scholarships. So, if you are a permanent resident of one of those seven states—and show financial need—you are eligible.

    For more information about the Neighboring States program, visit Western’s Tuition Discount Programs Page.

    Presidential Promise

    The Presidential Promise is guaranteed to students who have received a scholarship through the Denver Scholarship Foundation (DSF) and/or GearUp—and are eligible for a Pell Grant.

    For students who meet these criteria, Western will cover the cost of tuition and fees through the combination of federal, state and institutional aid. For more information on the Presidential promise, visit

    Tuition Discount Programs

    Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) or Central Plains (CP) tuition represents a substantial savings relative to normal, out-of-state tuition. Students eligible for the WUE or CP program will be charged 150% of Western’s total in-state tuition. For 2018-19, total in-state tuition was $8,934. WUE/CP tuition was $13,401. The WUE/CP discount is valued at $4,695.

    For more information about the WUE and CP geography-based programs, visit Western’s Tuition Discount Programs Page.

    Western Merit Scholarship

    Immediately upon acceptance at Western, every student is considered for a merit scholarship worth between $2,500-$4,500 per year for in-state students and $8,000-$10,000 for out-of-state students. The amount is based on the student's GPA and ACT/SAT scores. Visit our Net Price Calculator at to determine whether you qualify for a merit scholarship. 

    For more information about merit scholarships at Western, visit

    Faculty & Staff


    Heather Orr, Ph.D. headshot
    Professor of Art; Administrative Director Master in Gallery Management & Exhibits Specialization; Colorado State Representative, Association of Academic Museums and Galleries
    Phone: 970.943.3031
    Office Location: Quigley Hall 231
    Jeffrey Taylor, Ph.D. headshot
    MGES Grosland Director
    Phone: 970.943.2285
    Office Location: Quigley Hall 230
    Heather Thiessen-Reily, Ph.D. headshot
    Professor of History; Director of Master in Gallery Management & Exhibits Specialization
    Phone: 970.943.7128
    Office Location: Kelley Hall 225
  • Bachelor of Arts
  • Master of Arts
    • Accelerated Master's Degree


    MGES 3+2 students earn their bachelor’s degree in Art or History and master's degree in Art, Gallery Management & Exhibits Specialization in just five years. The five-year program provides advanced-level training in visual arts administration and management, designed for careers in art galleries, museums, auctions, art fairs, curatorship and collections management. 

    Degree Details

    • B.A. in Art with an emphasis in Art History & Theory: A strong foundation in Western and non-Western art history and in theory, emphasizing the development of solid research, writing and presentation skills.
    • B.A. in History with an emphasis in Public History: Prepares students with the historical foundations and communications toolkit needed to effectively engage the public with the past. 
    • M.A. in Art, Gallery Management & Exhibits Specialization: A professional terminal master’s degree focused on preparing students for life in the art world.

    How It Works

    For the first three years, students take courses to fulfill their bachelor’s degree while completing the requirements to become provisionally admitted to the MGES program. During their fourth year, students take a combination of undergraduate and graduate courses. At the end of that year, they earn their B.A. and are considered fully admitted to the MGES program. During their fifth and final year, students complete their graduate-level coursework, an internship and a capstone project consisting of a comprehensive proposal for an art gallery or museum.

    The MGES portion of the program has a flexible, “hybrid” low-residency model. MGES consists of online courses you can complete from anywhere in the world, combined with a two-week summer practicum on Western’s campus.

    Tuition & Aid

    For the first three years, students in the MGES 3+2 program pay undergraduate tuition and are eligible for undergraduate financial aid. The fourth year, students take a combination of graduate credits and undergraduate credits, maintaining their access to undergraduate financial aid as they complete their bachelor’s degree. In the final year, students pay graduate tuition. Altogether, this reduces the cost of a normal master’s degree by about one year of what a traditional program would cost. Furthermore, MGES tuition is the same for in-state and out-of-state students.

    Learn More

    Reach out to the following faculty members for more information about each program.