How to Apply

The MRT welcomes applications from individuals pursuing master's and doctoral degrees in Anthropology, Biology, Earth & Planetary Sciences, Geography & Environmental Studies, and Museum Studies who are US citizens. 

If you are applying to a program outside the core departments above, please contact We encourage participation from other UNM departments and faculty.

Step 1. Contact Potential MRT Faculty Mentors
Before submitting a formal application, we encourage you to contact potential MRT faculty mentors to inquire if they are accepting new students and have funding opportunities. You should try to match your areas of interest with your potential faculty advisor. A listing of potential MRT faculty mentors is here.

Step 2. Complete an application through UNM Graduate Studies

  • Review the Degree Programs, Advisor Information, and Application Instructions page here.

  • Go to the UNM Graduate Studies Apply Now page. 

  • On the Program of Interest section of the application, you will choose your degree program (i.e., MA Anthropology, PhD Biology, etc.). After making your selection, there is a free text box to indicate your interest in the Museum Research Traineeship by simply adding MRT (see example below). 

    App Field
  • Please include an additional short statement of interest (350 words or less) titled "MRT Statement of Interest." In this statement of interest, please include:
  1. Why you are interested in applying to the MRT program.
  2. Which MRT-affiliated faculty member are you interested in working with. You will find a list of faculty mentors here.
  3. Your prior experience and/or interest in museum objects.
  4. How you see museum objects as an integral part of your academic research program at UNM and as part of your long-term career goals.
Note:  If you have already submitted an application and did not include a statement of interest, you can upload an addendum.


Review, Selection, and Admissions Process 
Once your application for admission is complete, it will be reviewed by the MRT program selection committee. First, we will verify that an MRT faculty has agreed to be your advisor. Then we will evaluate your grade point averages, three letters of recommendation, relevant training and experience in conservation or environmental sciences, and individual potential for achievement. We attempt to make admission and funding decisions within eight weeks of the department's application deadline. Admission and funding decisions are forwarded to the participating department, who will send an official letter of admission.

Application Deadlines by Department

Most applications are for admission during the fall semester. While we may accept applications at any time, priority is given to those who apply by departmental deadlines.