Otsego Lake and the surrounding hills

The Science of CGP

Announcing the Science Museum Studies Master's Program at CGP! Founded in 2015, the Science Museum Studies program provides an environment where participants get hands-on experience in communicating science to the public in a diversity of science venues and organizations.

Project oriented and collaborative in nature, the program facilitates a deep understanding of the process of science and develops the skill sets required for working in today’s science venues. For more information, course descriptions, and examples of projects and content, please visit Our CGP Science Website or contact Carlyn Buckler, PhD. at carlyn.buckler@oneonta.edu.

Who we are


The Cooperstown Graduate Program (CGP) is the premier program for the training of museum professionals in the United States. One of only two programs in the country located on a museum campus rather than a university campus, students have the opportunity to interact regularly with museum professional staff, with objects, and with exhibitions.


The Cooperstown Graduate Program trains creative, entrepreneurial museum leaders committed to generating programs and services for the public good.

Highlights of the program

Why choose CGP?

Cooperstown Graduate Program - About Us
Otsego Lake and the surrounding hills

frequently asked questions

So, what is museum studies?
Museum studies is the academic and professional knowledge that supports all aspects of museums and similar public institutions. Here at CGP, we focus predominately on history-based curriculum, however the generalist nature of our program ensures opportunities in a broad spectrum of museums, including art, decorative arts, science, and children’s museums.


Okay, then what is history museum studies?
Though CGP focuses much of its efforts on history-based institutions, our generalist nature means that our alumni are fully qualified to work in a broad spectrum of museums, including art, decorative arts, and science museums.


What is the relationship between CGP and SUNY Oneonta?
CGP is an academic division of SUNY College at Oneonta, and students are enrolled in and will ultimately graduate with a degree from Oneonta. That being said, students are only rarely required to go to campus, though many visit far more often. The SUNY Oneonta campus is roughly a 30 minute drive from CGP.


What is the relationship between CGP and NYSHA?
NYSHA provides CGP with facilities, learning opportunities, and a number of professional staff members who act as adjunct faculty. CGP provides NYSHA with a group of enthusiastic individuals, many of whom volunteer themselves in a variety of ways.


Do I need to be a history major?
While many students come with pervious degrees in history, a wide variety of majors are represented, including Archaeology, Anthropology, Art History, Business, English, Computer Science, and Geology.


Is there financial aid?
Though availability of financial aid differs somewhat from year to year, students typically receive some amount as a grant or scholarship. Stafford and Perkins loans are available through SUNY Oneonta for the remaining tuition and expenses.


Are there graduate assistantships?
Part-time assistantships are available. Some of the positions include working in the NYSHA library, providing research help to faculty, giving administrative assistance to the staff, or maintaining the computer or exhibit labs.


Is it possible to have a part-time job?
Yes. Although CGP's academic schedule is quite intensive, many students take employment at a variety of local establishments, including the local gym and a variety of restaurants.

Do I have to pick a specialization within the program?
CGP is at its core a generalist program, and there are no official specializations. Students are free to choose electives based on their background and career interests.

Where is CGP located?
CGP is located at 5838 State Route 80 Cooperstown, NY 13326 along Otsego Lake.

What is there to do in town?
Despite its size, the Cooperstown area has a number of entertainment options. More information can be found outside the classroom page.


How many apply? How many are accepted?
While the number of applicants differs from year-to-year, it is typically between eighty and one hundred. Roughly thirty applicants are invited to Interview Weekend, and of those, about fifteen are selected to join the incoming class.


Can I come for a visit?
Yes. The faculty highly recommends that prospective students visit the program if possible. A visit typically includes sitting in on a class or two, as well as the opportunity to learn more about the program by talking to faculty members and current students.


Where do alumni work?
The short answer is all across the country in a variety of positions and institutions. For more information on alumni click here.


Will I have to write a thesis?
In order to successfully graduate, students must complete a thesis paper or project. More information can be found here.


Do students find their own internships?
Internship announcements are sent to all students, as well as listed in a binder located in the office at all times. Students can find a list of resources here. Additionally, students are encouraged to talk to faculty and alumni, which may be helpful in locating an appropriate internship.


Are there real-life projects?
The great majority of CGP class assignments of any significance are real-life projects. Faculty make arrangements with other institutions, including NYSHA and the Farmers' Museum, as well as museums and other organizations throughout the region. These projects can be administrative, educational, interpretive, or collections-oriented.


Are there opportunities for professional development?
CGP recognizes the importance of professional development to students. Events include seminars, conferences, field trips, and networking with alumni and other colleagues in the field.


Can I talk to a student?
Certainly. Please e-mail Rosemary Craig or Gretchen Sorin, and they can put you in touch with a current student to answer your questions.


Do graduates find jobs?
Yes. While job hunting is rarely a stress-free process, CGP alumni tend to find significant success in the field. Most graduates who are open to moving to a new area find employment within six months, if not sooner. While those tied to specific city are more at the whim of the local job market, with a degree from CGP, they are well placed for positions that do appear. On average CGP graduates have a 90-100% success rate in finding jobs within twelve months of graduation.


What is the faculty-student ratio?
CGP has four full-time faculty, and numerous part-time adjunct faculty, and a student enrollment of about thirty.


Does the Folk Culture program still exist?
Despite the closing of the American Folk Culture program in 1979, its legacy lives on in our fieldwork class and other projects, as well as the yearly Buckley lecture.


What about the Conservation program?
In 1987, the Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works program was moved to Buffalo because of space considerations.

What is the housing situation like?
There is no campus housing as a part of the CGP program. However, CGP is well known in the community and has a variety of housing contacts for accepted students. Additionally, during Interview Weekend, prospective students will be shown the houses available for rent and receive contact information at that time.

What is Interview Weekend?
Interview Weekend is where CGP invites around 30 perspective students to visit the program. Prospective students will stay with current students, tour the village, learn more about the program, meet with CGP staff and faculty, explore the museums in town, and interview for admittance into the program. Interview Weekend also offers prospective students available housing for the upcoming year.