Teachers of grades K–12 are welcome to independently lead students through the galleries at the Getty Center. We have grade-specific activity packets for your visit (see Visit Activities), or you can create your own lessons.
Please read the information below before filling out the request form.
Scheduling Your Visit
School Visits at the Getty are FREE and are booked on a first-come, first-served basis.
Self-Guided Visits are available September 4, 2012 to June 28, 2013 for up to 120 students in grades K–12. Submit your request online, or print out a Request Form and mail it in.
Q: What if I want to bring a group that is larger than 120 students?
You should submit two applications for two groups. The groups will be scheduled at different times, and may not be scheduled on the same day.
Q: May I make a school group reservation over the phone?
No. Due to the high volume of school requests and the number of details we must collect, we need you to fill out a form. You may do this online or download the request form, fill it out, and mail it in.
Q: I am bringing more/fewer students than I indicated on my request form. How do I make a change?
To modify attendance on an existing reservation, please call (310) 440-7322 and speak with a school group associate.
Q: I don't want a tour. Do I have to make a reservation?
Reservations are required for all school groups. We have a maximum capacity for school groups in the parking lot and in the galleries.
Within 8 weeks of submitting your request, you will receive a confirmation letter indicating how your group can be accommodated. If you have any questions or have not received a confirmation letter after 8 weeks, please call (310) 440-7322 and speak with a school group associate.
Q: What if you cannot accommodate my requested date?
We make every attempt to contact you by phone to offer alternative dates. We will leave voicemail messages, so please be sure to provide contact information so we can reach you.
Q: Why wasn't my visit booked for the date/time/lesson format I indicated as my first choice?
All applications are booked on a first-come, first-served basis. If you select more than one option on your request form, it is possible that you will be assigned to any one of those options.
Chaperones must divide students into small groups of 15 or fewer and are responsible for monitoring and accompanying students at all times during their visit.
Only one self-guided group is allowed in a particular gallery at a time—each group must tour independently.
We highly recommend that you visit the Center with a plan for your visit. Bring gallery activity worksheets for each student (see Visit Activities) or create your own.
Q: What responsibilities do chaperones have?
All chaperones are responsible for monitoring student behavior and making sure the group stays together.
Q: Is there a maximum number for chaperones?
No. You may bring as many chaperones as you like, as long as you have at least one for every 15 students.
Q: Do I really need chaperones for my high school students? They are practically adults.
All school groups in grades K-12 must be accompanied by a non-student adult age 18 or older for safety and security purposes. We are legally obligated to enforce this requirement. If students are found wandering the sites without adequate chaperones, they will be queried by Security.
Student Architecture & Garden Tours
Self-Guiding school groups of up to 60 students can request a docent-led exploration of the gardens and architecture of the Getty Center. The docent does not accompany students into the Museum galleries for the self-guided portion of the visit.
Tours are scheduled first come, first served. They last 40 minutes and are available Tuesdays–Fridays. If you choose this option, you must arrive at 9:15 a.m. (tour is 10:15–10:55 a.m.). Select this option in the Self-Guided Visit Request Form.
Q: What if it rains? Will my Student Architecture & Garden tour be canceled?
In the event of inclement weather, tours will be canceled, and school groups will be on their own to tour independently.
Q: Do my chaperones need to accompany students on the Student Architecture & Garden tour?
Yes. Unchaperoned groups may not tour with docents. A tour will be canceled if a school arrives with an insufficient number of chaperones (see Chaperone Requirements above).
Before Your Visit
In preparation, please do the following activities with your students in the classroom before your visit:
Q: Will clipboards and pencils be available for my visit?
Yes. Pick up clipboards and pencils in the designated School Group Area when you arrive. These are available on a first-come, first-served basis and cannot be reserved. Please return all materials after use so that the next school group may use them. Please note that we do not provide paper.
Q: Can my students have a tour of particular exhibit or display?
Any exhibit may be the topic for your tour. Due to capacity limitations in each gallery, only one group of 15 students is allowed in a particular gallery at a time. Learn about exhibitions currently on view.
GettyGuide® Multimedia Players
GettyGuide interactive multimedia content features videos, audio recordings, and detailed information about the works of art on display at the J. Paul Getty Museum. GettyGuide can be accessed on an iPod touch® at the Museum, on your smartphone with the Goggles® app for iPhone and Android, and on the Museum Collection section of this website. Teachers of students in grades 6–12 may request and reserve GettyGuide multimedia players at no cost during Self-Guided Visits on a first-come, first-served basis. Learn more about GettyGuide.
Q: How do I request multimedia players?
On the request form, there is a field where you can indicate that you would like to reserve GettyGuide multimedia players. An adult must provide picture ID as collateral for the players, and will be held responsible for any missing or broken players.
Q: How many multimedia players may I reserve?
You may reserve up to 120 players.
Can I preview the content on the multimedia players?
We recommend that you visit the Getty prior to your visit and use a multimedia player to pre-plan your stops. Make a free reservation by calling (310) 449-7322 and speaking with a school group associate.
Are there any age restrictions for multimedia players?
Only teachers of grades 6–12 may request and reserve GettyGuide multimedia players.
Length of Visit
Please arrive on time. Arriving late may affect your picnic time, and would necessitate a shortened Student Architecture & Garden Tour since docents are scheduled to lead consecutive tours at appointed times.
Q: How long will my entire visit last?
For planning purposes, estimate that your entire visit will last three hours. However, your group may stay at the Getty in small groups with chaperones as long as your schedule permits.
Q: When does my group have to leave the Getty Center?
You may stay as long as you like.
Parking is FREE for school groups.
Q: Some chaperones want to arrive separately by car. Do they have to pay and do they need a reservation?
When filling out your application, use the field to indicate that additional chaperones will be arriving by car in order to receive accommodation. If you need to make changes to an existing reservation, please call (310) 440-7322 and speak with a school group associate.
An unsheltered, outdoor picnic area is available at the Getty Center for school groups to use at pre-scheduled times. Your picnic time is determined by your arrival time and is not changeable. On rainy days we cannot accommodate picnics; teachers will need to make other arrangements.
Q: May we purchase lunches at the Getty?
Teachers can pre-order box lunches for students and chaperones with at least one week's notice. Questions? Please contact Bon Appetit's catering department at the Getty Center at (310) 440-6213 for current prices and menus.
Q: May we change our scheduled picnic time?
No. Due to the high volume of school groups using the picnic facilities, your picnic time cannot be changed.
Q: When it rains, may we eat lunch inside the Getty Center Cafe?
We cannot allow large school groups to eat in the Getty Center Cafe due to fire code safety and capacity regulations. On rainy days, we recommend that school groups eat lunches on the bus or in the car before arrival, or after visiting the Getty Center.
Q: I don't want a tour. Do I have to make a reservation?
Reservations are required for all school groups. We have a maximum capacity for school groups in the parking lot and in the galleries. If you will guide your students yourself, please sign up for a Self-Guided Visit.
Q: Do I have to submit an application for each location if I want to come to both the Getty Center and the Getty Villa?
Yes, two separate applications are required.
Q: Do you have programs for homeschools?
Homeschool groups of 15 students or more are welcome to request a Guided or Self-Guided Visit. Homeschool groups must follow the same procedures and guidelines as all other school groups.
Q: My school is concerned about the appropriateness of the artwork at the Getty.
The Getty Center displays works of art produced throughout Western art history. Many of these depict nudity and religious scenes.
If you are concerned, we recommend you review our collection on our website and also welcome you to make a free reservation to come see our galleries before your scheduled visit. Please call (310) 440-7322 and speak with a school group associate. We also recommend that you request a Self-Guided Visit so that you can determine the exact sequence of artworks you wish to see.
Q: What happens if I arrive late?
Arriving late will impact your visit since docents and picnic times are scheduled at consecutively appointed times.
Q: Why didn't I receive a free bus?
Getty bus funding for eligible Title I schools is extremely limited and distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. Bus funding is not guaranteed and not automatic. If bus funding is available at the time you request a school visit, the online request form will provide further instructions and information.
Q: I am receiving bus funding. When will you schedule my bus?
It is the school's responsibility to schedule transportation. If you are approved for bus funding, you will receive instructions about how to schedule your bus in the mail 30 to 60 days after approval.