Museum Studies Masters Graduate Programs
Graduates of museum studies programs commonly pursue careers as archivists, curators, and technicians to protect, manage, and organize collections of artwork and historical items. They typically have a graduate degree in museum studies or in a subject such as history, library science, archival science, archeology, or another closely related subject. Professionals in the field who majored in something other than museum studies often have a certificate or emphasis in museum studies to specialize their degrees.
Museum Studies Graduate Curriculum
Museum studies programs typically require students to complete core and elective courses, a written thesis or dissertation, and an internship for academic credit.
Common Courses in Museum Studies Graduate Programs:
Museum studies graduate students study an array of subjects. Some core subjects may include:
- History and theory of museums
- Museum collections and exhibits
- Museum management
- Research methodology
In addition to core subjects, museum studies majors may elect to study subjects such as:
- Development, fundraising, and grantsmanship
- Museum education and community outreach
- Museums and interactive technologies
- Political, cultural, and social landscapes and conflicts of museums
- Museum law and policy
- Cultural property and rights
Practicum or Internship Requirements for Museum Studies Graduate Students:
Many museum studies programs require graduate students to complete an internship as a part of their studies.
Licensure Requirements and Certifications for Museum Studies Graduate Students
Certification is optional in the field of museum studies. If they choose to do so, archivists can test for professional certification through the Academy of Certified Archivists.
Professional Organizations for Museum Studies Practitioners
There are numerous professional organizations
students and professionals in the field of museum studies may join. Some include:
- The American Alliance of Museums (AAM)
- The American Anthropological Association (AAA)
- Archives & Museum Informatics (A&MI)
- The American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (AIC)
- The Association of Children’s Museums (ACM)
- The American Association for State and Local History
A more extensive list of professional associations and resources that may be available to professionals in the field of museum studies is listed by the Smithsonian here.
Areas of Specialization for Museum Studies Graduate Students
Students and professionals in the field of museum studies may specialize in a variety of industries. Some include:
- Children’s museums
- Museum management
- Exhibit design and management
- Local, state, national, or international history
- Academic museums and galleries
- Zoos and aquariums
- Botanical gardens
- Archeology, anthropology, history, or geology
Specialists in these areas might choose to further specialize by becoming experts in a particular aspect of their specialty. African-American history, public history, cultural anthropology, technology and innovation, and Renaissance art are all examples of sub-specializations in the above mentioned specialties.
Potential Career Opportunities for Individuals with a Museum Studies Graduate Degree
Graduates of a museum studies program might choose to pursue career opportunities that include; archivists, curators, or technicians; other professionals in the field of museum studies work as researchers, educators, managers, analysts, or preservationists. They might work in museums and galleries, but some might work for governmental entities, educational institutions, and other public and private organizations and businesses.
Median Annual Salary Information for Museum Studies Careers
The following chart shows the annual median wage for professionals in the field of museum studies.
|2012 Median Annual Salary Information for Careers Related to the Field of Museum Studies|
|Industry||Median Annual Wage|
|Archivists, Curators, & Museum Workers||$44,410|
|Anthropologists & Archeologists||$57,420|
|Sources: http://www.bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/curators-museum-technicians-and- conservators.htm; http://www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/anthropologists-and-archeologists.htm; http://www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/historians.htm; http://www.bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and- library/librarians.htm|
Johns Hopkins University
The Johns Hopkins MA in Museum Studies offers a perspective on the theory and practice of museums in a changing technological, social and political environment.
- Oneonta, NYOneonta, NY
State University Of New York, College At Oneonta
The Cooperstown Graduate Program, prepares students for careers in museums, historical societies, and related agencies.
- New York City, NYNew York City, NY
The MS in Museums and Digital Culture prepares students with the knowledge and digital skills for careers in the rapidly expanding field of museums and digital culture and to be innovative and creative leaders in the museum field.
- Syracuse, NYSyracuse, NY
Curriculum based on hands-on training, research, scholarship, and design. Practicum-based. Concurrent degree options.
- South Orange, NJSouth Orange, NJ
Seton Hall University
Seton Hall University addresses the needs of tomorrow's museums by offering a cutting-edge graduate program to train aspiring and current museum professionals...
- Long Beach, CALong Beach, CA
California State University, Long Beach
- Providence, RIProvidence, RI
Socio-cultural anthropology and archaeology and linguistic anthropology are the major subfields represented. Other specialties include anthropological demography, medical anthropology and museum studies.
- New York City, NYNew York City, NY
Bank Street College
Bank Street offers two progressive museum education programs for those seeking to work with diverse museum visitors of all ages.
- Waco, TXWaco, TX
The Department of Museum Studies provides a wide array of coursework blending museum theory with practical experience gained in the laboratory and han...
- Baltimore, MDBaltimore, MD
Morgan State University
Museum management, museum education, collection management, exhibition design, conservation, curatorship, archiving.
- Newcastle Upon Tyne, United KingdomNewcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom
This programme aims to provide an understanding of the theoretical and practical basis of heritage education and interpretation at a local, national and international level. It offers a fast-track route to a professional qualification and is amongst the...
- Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom
- Tempe, AZTempe, AZ
Arizona State University
Established in 1978 and substantially revised in 2002, the degree program is designed to involve students with the principles, practices, and critical analyses f museums. Broad-based, the program provides opportunities for coursework and practical ex...
- Ankara, TurkeyAnkara, Turkey
Middle East Technical University
- Charleston, ILCharleston, IL
Eastern Illinois University
Preparing students for careers in museums, historic agencies, and cultural institutions.
- Natchitoches, LANatchitoches, LA
Northwestern State University of Louisiana
The Masters of Art in Heritage Resources at Northwestern State University serves students from diverse undergraduate and professional backgrounds.
- Malvern, AustraliaMalvern, Australia
- Richmond, VARichmond, VA
Virginia Commonwealth University
The School of the Arts offers three MA tracks in Art History: Architectural History, Art Historical Studies, and Museum Studies.
- Toronto, ONToronto, ON
University of Toronto
The Museum Studies program (MSP) seeks to provide students with a strong theoretical background and professional understanding of museum origins, ideo...
- Saint Paul, MNSaint Paul, MN
University of St. Thomas (MN)
The Master of Arts degree in Art History at the University of St.
- Boulder, COBoulder, CO
University of Colorado - Boulder
The museum and field studies graduate program offers flexibility around a core curriculum of courses and internship.
- San Francisco, CASan Francisco, CA
University of San Francisco
A unique Master’s Degree in Museum Studies that trains students for positions in museums, cultural and heritage organizations.
- Riverside, CARiverside, CA
University of California - Riverside