Museum Studies

College of Humanities
Dean: Paul Sherwin

Museum Studies Program
HUM 514
Director: Linda Ellis

Graduate Coordinator: Linda Ellis



Assistant Professor—Luby


M.A. in Museum Studies

Program Scope

The museum studies program is designed to provide graduate professional training in major areas of museum work—museum administration, fundraising, collections management, exhibition design, museum educational programming, and curation. The museum studies degree also assists those students who plan to continue graduate studies in conservation or in doctoral programs.

The museum studies program operates a series of specialized facilities where students may obtain training: Museum of Ancient Civilizations (public exhibit gallery for visiting archaeological exhibitions and collections storage for the permanent Sutro Egyptian Collection), exhibition preparation workshop, conservation laboratory, archaeometry center, x-ray laboratory, documentation center, and darkroom.

Career Outlook

The museum studies program prepares students for employment in all types of museums, cultural arts centers, arts commissions, historical sites and houses, science centers, environmental education centers, libraries with exhibition programs, exhibit design firms, auction houses, planetaria, aquaria, zoos, and botanical gardens.


Graduate Advisers—Bernstein, Ellis, Luby

Admission to the Program

Students are admitted in this program for fall terms only. To be admitted to classified status, a student must meet all general university requirements. No more than six units of work taken in post-baccalaureate status is transferable to M.A. degree credit in the museum studies program.

Applicants must:

Written English Proficiency Requirement

Level One: satisfactory performance in final research paper for MS 700, MS 800, or MS 860. Level Two: successful completion of master's thesis or creative work project.

Advancement to Candidacy

Besides meeting all general requirements for advancement to candidacy, applicants must, in addition, have completed with a grade of B or better each of the following courses: MS 700, MS 860, MS 880.

Core Requirements Units
MS 700 History and Organization of Museums [required during first semester of program] 3
MS 860 Museum Fundraising 3
MS 880 Museum Internship 3
Total for core 9
Area Requirements
One course selected from each of the following 3 groups:
Collections Care and Conservation
  MS 740 Museum Conservation and Restoration  
  MS 760 Conservation of Natural History Collections
  MS 794 Museum Collections Management and Registration
Museum Management
  MS 800 Museum Management, Law, and Ethics  
  MS 830 Museum Governance
  PA 745 Administration of Nonprofit Organizations (4)
Exhibition Design
  ART 719 Exhibit Design  
  MS 730 Museum Exhibit Design and Curation
Total area requirements 9-10
Area Emphasis
Select four electives relevant to the following areas. No more than 6 units of non-museum studies courses may count towards electives in the area emphasis. Courses must be chosen in consultation with a museum studies faculty adviser.
  Exhibition Design
  Conservation and Restoration
  Museum Management and Fundraising
  Museum  Education and Public Programming
  Registration/Collections Management
Total for emphasis 12
Culminating Experience Requirement
MS 894 Creative Work Project or 3
  MS 898   Master's Thesis
Minimum total 33-34

Students who do not complete their culminating experience by the end of the spring semester in which they are enrolled in either MS 894 or MS 898 must thereafter enroll in MS 897, Directed Thesis Advising and Support, each spring semester until their work is completed and accepted by the faculty.

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Last modified July 05, 2012 by