United States Graduate Programs in Museum Studies
Museum Studies Graduate Programs focus on how to maintain and manage a museum or certain aspects of one. Museum studies programs, sometimes called “museology,” are highly interdisciplinary. Depending on the school, this could mean studying business, public leadership, or art history and collections. Students may also choose to study a specialized field like anthropology, or practice advanced archival skills.
What do all these paths have in common? An unyielding passion for community, education, culture and history—not to mention the drive to share all that with others.
Types of Museum Studies Graduate Programs
A variety of museum studies graduate programs might be available, at different academic levels ranging from masters to doctorate. In some cases, these programs are highly specialized, reflecting a certain discipline, work area, or type of museum.
If that’s not the case, a museum studies program might be partnered with a related subject area, like education, anthropology, or art history, for example. However this may not be required, but rather come down to personal preference or competitive advantage.
Alongside graduate programs in museum studies, you might also find related program, which could offer similar content. This could include museum management and museum curator degree programs. To fully understand your options, it may be best to talk to schools directly to learn about what each program entails.
Popular Museum Studies Graduate Programs
Master of Arts in Museum Studies
Advanced Certificate in Musem Studies
Museums and Digital Culture
Museum Studies Masters Programs
Masters in Museum Studies programs are typically two year programs to prepare students for leadership postiions. Some applicants may have a bachelors in museum studies degree as a foundation for study. Others may also seek a museum studies masters degree with another relevant degree under their belt. This could be anything from education to history to art.
Masters in Museum Studies programs may focus on how to manage and develop certain types of museums or exhibits. They could also take a more business-oriented approach, developing the organizational and leadership skills to keep a museum running.
Museum Studies masters programs might confer Master of Arts (MA), Master of Science (MS), or MBA degrees, depending on the nature of the program. Check with individual schools to learn more about courses, degree types and requirements.
Museum Studies Doctorate Programs
At the doctorate level, museum studies graduate programs typically award a PhD degree. Museum Studies PhD Programs tend to focus on a specific area of discipline. This could include options like art history, conservation, or archival science, to name a few examples. That’s because museum studies doctoral programs aim to hone in-depth subject-matter expertise.
Most PhD museum studies programs are research focused and include a dissertation requirement. Here students conduct independent research in their area of interest in an attempt to contribute new knowledge to the field.
Coursework may touch on advanced topics in museum studies, as well as research methodologies and best practices. Because programs vary and may be designed to reflect student interests, its best to speak with your preferred museum studies programs directly.
Museum Studies Graduate Certificate Programs
Graduate Museum Studies Certificate Programs tend to be shorter than full degree programs. Less courses may be required, allowing full time students to graduate in 1-2 years. Because of this, some students may prefer to earn a certificate in museum studies to complement a degree in another discipline like art history or anthropology.
Certificate museum studies programs could be offered at the masters or doctoral level. They may be broad in nature or focus on a specific discipline.
Remember as you search that these and other related programs may vary from the descriptions above. You could find contrast in content, approach, or other details.
You may also come across some program types that are not listed here. For more information, reach out to the museum studies graduate programs you’re considering attending.
Museum Studies Program Formats
Not sure what kind of grad program would work in your life? Museum studies or museology graduate programs could be offered in several potentially convenient formats. So whether you want the stability and resources of a physical classroom, ultimate flexibility to accommodate your hectic schedule, or maybe a little of both, you might find a museum studies program that suits your preferences.
- Museum Studies Graduate Schools: Earning a graduate museum studies degree on campus could have advantages. For one, there’s the fact that you’d have access to the materials, resources, and lab spaces at your school. With a subject as interdisciplinary and hands-on as museum studies, this could be a great help. Your program and faculty might also be familiar with your community. They could have knowledge and experience of the museums in your area where you might want to work.
- Online Museum Studies Programs: Online programs bring advanced museum studies education to the student, wherever they are. Students could access course materials using their compatible laptop, computer, or internet-enabled device. As such, museum studies gradaute programs online could be an attractive choice for working professionals who want to learn more while still working. Online programs may also allow you to consider programs from all over the country. That might help you to search for one more closely aligned with what you want to study, without having to worry about the commute.
- Hybrid Museum Studies Programs: Hybrid museum studies programs try to provide the best of both formats. That means they bring the flexibility of online study to a program anchored on a local campus and all the resources that might entail. How in particular they organize this could vary widely between programs. Because of this, make sure you are familiar with that information for whichever museum studies hybrid program you choose. Other names for hybrid programs include blended or partially online.
Each individual museum studies program may be organized a little differently. Details could depend on the school, the program level, the focus, and other contributing factors. On top of that, the way each program is scheduled, and the resources offered by that program, may also vary. For more information, follow up with your selected programs.
Choosing Graduate Programs in Museum Studies
On top of selecting a program level, degree type, and program format, you might have a few additional concerns when deciding between musuem studies graduate programs. Here are some more things you might want to think about.
- What does the program focus on? While not all programs may offer formal concentrations, some might. Or they might just be designed to look specifically at the needs of a certain kind of museum. Especially if you have concrete career goals in mind—for example, you want to curate exhibits in a modern art museum, or work in a museum of anthropology—it might be useful to look for programs that support those interests.
- What kind of experience does the program offer? Getting hands-on experience could be a valuable opportunity, specially if you’re not already working in a museum. This could range from hands-on preservation work in the lab, to externships and internships in the field, where you could put your learning into practice and make professional connections at the same time.
- Is the program associated with any nearby museums? Are any of those museums pertinent to your interests or area of focus? This could be a useful asset, whether you want to seize internship opportunities, or lean on the networking in your program to support your job hunt once you graduate.
These are only a few examples. Your specific needs might vary, so feel free to modify or add to this list while you search!
Search for Museum Studies Graduate Programs in United States
If you already know a little about what you want—for example, the degree type or program format—use the menu on this page to select those options. Then read more about those programs and check out the listings that match your search. You can use the form to get in touch, set up a visit, or even start your application today!
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.
- Brooklyn, NYBrooklyn, NY
This innovative program prepares information professionals for careers in museum libraries, archives, and special collections in today’s global digital world.
- 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.
- Providence, RIProvidence, RI
Socio-cultural anthropology and archaeology and linguistic anthropology are the major subfields represented.
- Tempe, AZTempe, AZ
Arizona State University
- Baltimore, MDBaltimore, MD
Morgan State University
Museum management, museum education, collection management, exhibition design, conservation, curatorship, archiving.
- 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...
- 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.
- Long Beach, CALong Beach, CA
California State University, Long Beach
- 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...
- Syracuse, NYSyracuse, NY
Curriculum based on hands-on training, research, scholarship, and design. Practicum-based. Concurrent degree options.
- Milwaukee, WIMilwaukee, WI
University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee
The Certificate in Museum Studies is designed for students who are interested in pursuing careers in the museum world...
- 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
- Savannah, GASavannah, GA
Savannah College of Art and Design
Students combine business skills with the tools of community building and a passion for the arts.
- Lubbock, TXLubbock, TX
Texas Tech University
The program emphasizes thorough preparation in the broad spectrum of museum theory and practice.
- Normal, ILNormal, IL
Illinois State University
Graduate work in history is designed to give the student a perspective of change in human societies through time, develop skills in research and analy...
- New Rochelle, NYNew Rochelle, NY
College of New Rochelle