Museum Studies Graduate Degree: Master of Arts (M.A.) in Museum Studies

Are you looking for an immersive graduate program focused on community-oriented museum work? Our 36 credit hour Museum Studies Master’s Degree will prepare you for a rewarding career in museums. Six core courses (18 credit hours) provide a firm foundation in museum theory and practice. Four elective courses (12 credit hours) and 2 internships (6 credit hours) allow you to craft a course of study suited to your own goals.

You might choose to focus on a particular specialty (such as interpretation and evaluation, collections care and management, or museums and descendant communities), or take a range of courses and develop the kind of generalist knowledge and skills required in a small museum. Elective courses are available to you from at least eight different departments across campus. Your program will be uniquely yours.

Master’s Degree Curriculum: (36 cr. Total)

Core Courses (18 cr.):

  • MSTD A503: Introduction to Museum Studies (3 cr.)
  • MSTD A510: Museum Education (3 cr.)
  • MSTD A512: Exhibit Planning and Design (3 cr.)
  • MSTD A516: Collections Care and Management (3 cr.)
  • MSTD A548: Museum Administration (3 cr.)
  • MSTD A530: Museum Colloquium (3 cr.)

Elective Courses (12 cr.):

Choose four courses from the list of approved courses from Museum Studies or other programs. Electives not included in the list below or in the Museum Studies course listing each semester may be possible – but must be approved by your academic advisor.

  • MSTD A509: Applied Projects in Museums (3-6 cr.)
  • MSTD A513: Curatorial Practices (3 cr.)
  • MSTD A514: Museums and Technology (3 cr.)
  • MSTD A517: Preventive Conservation (3 cr.)
  • MSTD A518: Museums and Audiences (3 cr.)
  • MSTD A540: Issues in Cultural Heritage (3 cr.)
  • MSTD A560: Current Topics in Museum Studies (3 cr.) (see course schedule for current listing)
  • MSTD A577: Community Collaboration and Curation (3 cr.)
  • MSTD A595: Independent Learning in Museum Studies (1-6 cr.) (may be repeated)

Internship (6 cr.):

  • MSTD-A 508: Museum Internship (1-6 cr.)
  • Secure your internship prior to registration. Students with extensive professional experience may petition to waive this requirement and substitute six credits of additional course work.

Approved elective courses from other departments: (See list of current offerings for additional approved options)


  • ANTH A560: Variable Topics in Anthropology
  • ANTH A565: Anthropological Thought
  • ANTH E501: Fundamentals of Applied Anthropology
  • ANTH E509: Modern Material Culture
  • ANTH E521: Indians in North America
  • ANTH P501: Community Archaeology


  • (approved electives TBA)

Herron School of Art and Design

  • HER H560: Visual Culture: A Visual Studies Approach
  • HER H590: Topics in Art History
  • HER H610: Art Theory and Criticism
  • HER V501: Intro to Design Thinking (1.5 cr)
  • HER V511: People-Centered Design Research (1.5 cr)
  • HER Z508: Issues in Art Education


  • HIST H542: Introduction to Public History
  • HIST H547: Special Topics in Public History: Historic Preservation
  • HIST H549: Historic Site Interpretation
  • HIST H547: Special Topics in Public History: Digital Public History

Journalism/Public Relations

  • JOUR J528: Public Relations Management
  • JOUR J531: Public Relations for Non-Profits

Library and Information Science

  • LIS S502: Acquisitions and Management of Knowledge and Information
  • LIS S511: Database Design
  • LIS S581: Archives and Records Management (spring semester recommended)

Non-Profit Management

  • SPEA V522: Human Resource Management in Nonprofit Organizations
  • SPEA V525: Management in the Nonprofit Sector
  • SPEA V526: Financial Management for Nonprofit Organizations (V525 pre-req recommended)
  • SPEA V557: Proposal Development and Grant Administration
  • SPEA V558: Fund Development for Nonprofit Organizations
  • SPEA V652: Managing Workforce Diversity

Philanthropic Studies*

  • PHST P521: The Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector
  • PHST P535: Law of Nonprofit Organizations
  • PHST P532: Applying Ethics in Philanthropy
  • PHST P558: Principles and Practices of Fundraising

*Take all 4 approved PHST electives to earn a Certificate in Philanthropic Studies in conjunction with your Museum Studies M.A.


  • SOC SR551: Quantitative Methods in Sociology
  • SOC S6559: Qualitative Research Methods in Sociology

Note: the 36 credit hour curriculum must be completed with a minimum grade of B- in each course.

How to Apply:

To apply to the Master’s Degree program in Museum Studies (MSTD), please visit: How To Apply

Questions? Contact Dr. Lois Silverman (, Director of Graduate Studies.