CCL/Mellon Foundation Seminar Application Process

Twelve to fifteen students will be selected for the 2016 CCL/Mellon Foundation Seminar in Curatorial Practice. Applicants should be full-time students enrolled in a doctoral program (or its equivalent) in art history. Eligible candidates will have completed their oral examinations before the program begins and will have determined the topic of their dissertation research. We are seeking a diverse group of individuals from around the United States. The ideal candidate has a strong academic record and demonstrates intellectual and professional curiosity, an interest in exploring the curatorial field, and the ability to work well with others. Previous museum experience is not required.

Timeline of Application and Selection of Students

Applications for the 2016 CCL/Mellon Foundation Seminar are now closed. Please check back in December for information on the 2017 CCL/Mellon Foundation Seminar.

Online Application Procedures

Seminar applications and recommendations are submitted online. Applicants must create an account to access the online application. You can enter information, save, and return anytime before the deadline to edit and continue the application.

Application Requirements

  • General information about yourself
  • Short biography
  • Résumé (PDF, no more than three pages)
  • One confidential recommendation
  • Unofficial transcripts from undergraduate and graduate programs (scanned PDFs)
  • Three short essays (250 words each)


The recommendation should come from your graduate advisor, another professor, or a museum professional. The recommender should be someone who is able to write knowledgeably about, and in strong support of, your candidacy.

Applicants will enter the information of their recommender in the online application. We strongly encourage you to input this information as soon as you begin your application to give your recommender adequate time to prepare the letter in advance of the deadline.Your recommender can prepare the text in Microsoft Word and then copy and paste it into the recommendation submission form. You should contact your recommender and ask them to write on your behalf before you add their contact information to the application. When you enter the information and press save, the recommender will receive an auto generated email with instructions and a link to the online recommendation page.

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Are you looking for art historians in a particular area (for instance, Byzantine art)?

Just as art museums represent and celebrate a broad range of cultures and time periods, we want to cultivate young (potential) curators working in all areas of art history.

Do I need to be nominated by my graduate program?

No. You just need to submit an application and one recommendation.

Can I supply more than one recommendation?

No. We ask that you submit only one.

How much time do I have to decide if I want to accept the offer?

You will need to let CCL know within seven days of your acceptance notification whether you will be participating in June.

What if I am looking into several summer programs at once? Can I change my mind?

Once you have verbally committed to the program in April, you will be asked to sign a written contract committing to participation in the seminar in June.

Can I attend part of the program?

No. The program is set up to be a comprehensive and intensive experience. Accepted students are required to attend all sessions during the two-week period. If you know in advance that you have other commitments during the program, please do not apply.

Are you affiliated with a university or museum? Can I receive school credit?

The seminar is funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation but is not affiliated with any specific museum or university. A certificate of completion will be granted at the end of the seminar. No school credit is offered for the course.

Can I apply again to the program if I was not accepted in previous years?

Yes, candidates can certainly reapply. However, a new application must be submitted each year.

If I have further questions, whom should I contact?

Please contact

How will the participants be selected?

Applications are reviewed by CCL and a small committee composed of museum professionals and art historians.