Fall 2021 Admissions Deferral

Due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the UCLA/Getty Conservation Program will proceed with our admissions process as normal during this Spring 2021, however, the next cohort of MA and PhD students will be deferred for one year and begin their studies in our program in Fall 2022 instead of Fall 2021. Successful applicants will be informed by late March 2021. We all look forward to returning to in-person education after the pandemic and we believe this deferral is in the best interests of our present and future students.

Students will be accepted for matriculation by the UCLA/Getty Master’s Program in the Conservation of Archaeological and Ethnographic Materials on alternate years, in the fall of 2022, 2024, etc. Applications should be submitted online through UCLA Graduate Division. The requirements for admission are outlined on this page. For information on financial aid, fees, and other topics of interest to potential students, please read UCLA’s Graduate Division page for Prospective Students. International students should also read the Requirements for International Applicants. Individuals interested in applying are welcome to contact the program for additional information. The following is required and must be completed or submitted before your application can be reviewed:

Undergraduate Degree

For admission to the program a B.A. or B.S. degree is required. Degree majors in the following areas of study are preferred: archaeology, anthropology, art history, cultural history, the sciences, or fields related to the study of past societies. Applicants, including those with degrees in other disciplines, may need to take a number of university courses in anthropology and/or science in order to meet admissions requirements. 

Course Prerequisites 

  • A minimum of one academic year (2 semesters or 3 quarters) of study is required in each of the following areas:
  • Archaeology, Cultural Anthropology, or Ethnography
  • Art History (studies in archaeological or ethnographic materials and/or traditions preferred)
  • General Chemistry (with lab): Distance learning lab experience will be accepted for Fall 2021 applications due to restrictions related to COVID-19.
  • Organic Chemistry (with lab): Distance learning lab experience will be accepted for Fall 2021 applications due to restrictions related to COVID-19.
  • One other Science (i.e., Physical Chemistry, Biology, Geology, Physics, etc.) is preferred, but is not essential to be considered for admission.



Evidence of documented practical experience in conservation will be accepted, but is not required, for Fall 2021 applications due to restrictions related to COVID-19.

Between 200–400 hours (the equivalent of 5 to 10 weeks of full-time work) of documented practical experience in conservation is required for admission to the program. The requirement is meant to ensure the applicant’s familiarity with conservation as a career option. Appropriate experience (volunteer, paid, or a combination) includes fieldwork, laboratory experience, exhibit preparation, or similar responsibilities performed under the supervision of a professional conservator. A letter of recommendation is required from at least one conservation supervisor (see Letters of Recommendation).


Application for Graduate Admission 

Please visit Graduate Division to apply online. Note: In response to the question, “Name of Department or School which offers the program” indicate “Conservation of Archaeological and Ethnographic Materials.”

Statement of Purpose 

Each applicant is required to submit a “Statement of Purpose” that describes his or her previous experience in conservation and related fields, plan of study, and professional goals.

Letters of Recommendation 

Three letters of recommendation must be submitted by each applicant. One letter must be from a conservation supervisor, and one must be from a former professor. 

Writing Sample 

Each applicant is required to supply a written sample of previous research in archaeology, anthropology, art history, conservation, the sciences, or related fields. This may be in the form of one or more publications, papers for college courses, conservation reports, etc. 

Graduate Record Examination (GRE) Report 

Results from the GRE test will not be required for Fall 2021 applications due to restrictions related to COVID-19.

Official Transcripts

Transcripts for all university work must be submitted with the application for admission. 

TOEFL Scores (international applicants only)

Applicants for whom English is not the first language are required to submit TOEFL scores.


Portfolios will be accepted, but are not required, for Fall 2021 applications due to restrictions related to COVID-19.

Each applicant is required to submit a portfolio that demonstrates an understanding of the characteristics of materials and dexterity in their handling, fabrication, and preservation. Because of their common application in the conservation field, it is recommended that the portfolio include samples of treatment reports, representational drawing, photography, and/or scientific illustration. These samples should demonstrate the use of drawing and photography for documentation purposes, particularly those produced during an applicant’s experience in a conservation lab, fieldwork, or exhibition preparation. Samples of other studio arts and crafts such as painting, ceramics, sculpture, weaving, papermaking, woodworking, basketry, etc, may also be included. The portfolio should include only those examples that best represent the applicant’s skill. Evaluation of the portfolio will consider the applicant’s familiarity with materials and their handling, technical aptitude, and clarity of presentation. To submit your portfolio, please upload it directly on the application portal.


Those applicants who reach the final stages of evaluation will be interviewed in person as part of the admissions evaluation process.