Components Overview


Southworth & Hawes (American, active 1845-1861), Rollin Heber Neal, 1850, Daguerreotype, Courtesy George Eastman Museum

The University of Rochester–George Eastman Museum PPCM master’s degree program consists of three components:

  • Classroom work
  • Internship rotations
  • Master’s essay

In the Classroom

Classroom work provides our students with a well-rounded approach to the study of photographic materials and history, as well as the technical skills necessary to manage photographic collections. Electives taken at the University of Rochester provide a framework in which to understand the production and reception of photographs as objects in both a visual cultural and an art historical context.

Internship Rotations

Internship rotations are meant to provide additional and essential practical training in various museum departments such as the Library, Registrar, Department of Photography, Object Preparation, Exhibitions and Programming, and the Conservation Lab. Students engage in everyday activities within the museum, providing support to departments while also enhancing existing skills and acquiring new skills needed to be a successful and competitive collections professional. Students are treated like colleagues and are encouraged to engage in their work with professionalism and contribute their own experiences to the projects they participate in.

Curtis Promo Girl

Edward S. Curtis (American, 1868-1952), A Promo Girl, Photogravure print, Courtesy George Eastman Museum

Master’s Essay

In their last semester, all students in the PPCM program must complete a Master's Essay, which is the culmination of the knowledge and skills they have gained while in the program applied toward a subject of particular interest to them and which contributes to the field of photographic preservation and collections management in some way. These projects may be practical, analytical, or a hybrid of the two.