Museums across the globe are transforming to serve expanding audiences and the MSU Museum Studies Program also is evolving to train museum professionals of the future. We focus on interdisciplinary knowledge, global issues, community engagement, and informal learning. By providing theoretical knowledge as well as practical experience, we prepare students for a wide variety of careers in museums and interpretive centers.
Our courses introduce students to object-based research, a range of educational approaches, new technologies being used in museums, evaluation methods and exhibition theory. Taught by museum professionals, the core courses cover foundations, ethics and legal issues, learning styles in museums, exhibition development, and care and use of objects. Special practicums are offered periodically to take advantage of visiting professionals’ expertise, and to delve further into topical subjects. Students complete the program by undertaking an internship at an institution of their choosing. In the past these have been at museums in Michigan, across the mid-west, Washington, D.C., California, New York as well as London, Venice, in South Africa and elsewhere.
Our graduates are working in museums and cultural institutions including the Michigan Historical Museum, Detroit Institute of Arts, Museum of Modern Art, Fashion Institute of Technology, and a range of historical centers and national parks. They are curators, museum educators, digital technologists; they work in visitor services, development, public relations, exhibition planning, among other fields. The Museum Studies minor and graduate certificate prepare students for the exciting, creative and diverse world of museums and cultural heritage institutions.