Higher Education FAQ

Reservations for higher education visits to SFMOMA are scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis and tend to fill up quickly. Make your reservation as early as possible using our online request form. Please note that reservations cannot be made over the phone.

I’d like to discuss my visit with someone over the phone. Is there someone I can call?

Due to the large number of requests for visits that we receive each month, we ask that all faculty fill out the higher education request form. If you have any questions, please email tours@sfmoma.org and a representative from SFMOMA’s Education and Public Practice Department will respond as soon as possible.

I missed the deadline. Can I still bring my students to the museum?

We try our best to accommodate all requests in the order that we receive them. Late requests may be accommodated as self-guided visits on a case-by-case basis if capacity allows.

My class is from outside the Bay Area, can I still request a guided tour through the higher education program?

We are happy to arrange complimentary guided tours for higher education classes from outside the Bay Area, but you will need to purchase your admission tickets separately from our Group Sales department or through the SFMOMA website. Please submit a higher education request form and email a copy your confirmation of purchased tickets at least four weeks before your requested visit date.

The tour I’d like is not listed. Can I arrange for a custom tour?

Custom tours can be arranged with advance notice on a limited basis. These can include temporary exhibition tours, themed tours such as Architecture and Women Artists, and non-art specialty tours such as psychology, technology, and foreign languages. Please choose a guided tour or discussion with staff to arrange for a custom tour on the request form by the deadlines listed.

When are tours offered?

Tours are offered during museum hours Friday–Tuesday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m., and Thursday, 10 a.m.–9 p.m. The museum is closed on Wednesdays. There are K–12 school tours throughout the museum from 10 a.m.–2 p.m. every weekday on Floors 2, 3, and 5. If you are interested in a tour or visiting the galleries on Floors 2, 3, and 5, please request to schedule your weekday visit for after 2 p.m. A PDF map of the museum indicating where artworks are on view can be found here.

I would like to see a work on Floor 2, 3, or 5 during a time when K–12 school visits are in session. Is this possible?

It is sometimes possible to arrange for a visit to Floors 2, 3, and 5, between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. with prior arrangement. However, we highly recommend that groups that are interested in touring or visiting the galleries on these floors request to schedule a weekday visit for after 2 p.m.

How do I sign up for a tour?

Fill out the higher education online request form. Please submit visit requests before the stated deadline for each month. Visit requests cannot be made over the phone.

How do I cancel my reservation?

Please email tours@sfmoma.org to cancel your reservation. We appreciate as much advance notification as possible so that we can accommodate as many higher education groups at the museum as we can.

Can I take pictures?

Photography/videography is allowed for personal, non-commercial use (except where indicated in each gallery). Flash photography, tripods, and selfie sticks are prohibited.

Who will be my tour guide?

Higher Education guided tours are led by our incredible Museum Guides. SFMOMA’s Museum Guides initiate dialogue, foster discovery, and open students’ eyes and minds. More of a guided conversation in the galleries than a traditional lecture, our interactive tours are full of surprising stories about artists, and fun facts about the museum and works on view. We encourage students to share their ideas and engage with one another as we explore modern and contemporary art together. Your class will leave with new ideas about how to look at art and the world around us.

Are your tours wheelchair accessible?

All tours are wheelchair accessible. Please let your guide know ahead of time so that we can make any necessary arrangements. Wheelchairs are available from coat check.

What is your reschedule policy for tours?

Tours can be cancelled at anytime but we appreciate as much advance notice as possible. Tours can only be rescheduled due to extenuating circumstances and will be subject to availability. Rescheduled tours are not guaranteed to take place during the same semester as the original date.

Is sketching permitted in the galleries?

Yes, sketching and note-taking are allowed using pencils only. Pens and markers are prohibited in all galleries.

What is available for those who are not English language speakers?

We offer tours in a variety of foreign languages. However, availability is very limited. In your online request form, please specify any desired foreign language accommodations.

Is there a place to eat at the museum?

Yes, food and drink is available for purchase at the museum. Visit Cafe 5 on Floor 5 or Sightglass Coffee Bar on Floor 3. We do not allow outside food in the dining areas or anywhere else in the building, but you’re welcome to enjoy a bagged lunch in Yerba Buena Gardens across the street from the museum (weather-permitting). Learn more about dining at SFMOMA here.