Museum Studies

Program Description

Curatorial Practice class 2016 in Print Shop MSU Museum2

2016 Curatorial Practices Class

The Michigan State University Museum Studies Program prepares individuals for innovative careers in museums and non-profit institutions. Museum Studies offers an opportunity to obtain 15-credit transcriptable minor for undergraduates or a certificate for graduate students. Either can be incorporated as a part of, or as an extension to, an MSU undergraduate or graduate degree program. Individuals who are not enrolled in a degree program but who are interested in seeking certification may do so through MSU’s Lifelong (Continuing) Education program.

For information about the undergraduate minor, program requirements and other details, please see Undergraduate Minor-Minor in Museum Studies.

For information on the graduate certificate program, please see Museum Studies-Graduate Certificate.

The graduate certificate also is one of the optional tracks for students enrolled in the Master of Arts in Arts and Cultural Management. For admission procedures and the MA requirements, see Arts and Cultural Management-Master of Arts.  To fulfill the final evaluation, MA students, together with their mentor committee, choose books from the Museum Studies Program Book list to read.

The program is designed to be flexible and tailored to a student’s specific interests. Students represent diverse majors, including art history, studio art, anthropology, communication arts, history and urban studies, zoology, fisheries and wildlife, geography, recreation, tourism and resource studies.

Museum Studies courses are taught by practicing professionals and academic faculty with museum affiliations. The core curriculum provides a broad overview of museum history as well as a solid grounding in museological theory, current issues, and museum practice with a focus on curation, education, and exhibition. Particular attention is given to issues of diversity and multiculturalism, the relationship of museums to changing populations and disciplinary trends, and the examination of diverse types of collections.

Through a required internship experience and independent studies, students have an opportunity to gain hands-on experience in a variety of exhibition, education, research, administration, and collection management activities. Students also are encouraged to seek both volunteer and paid positions in museums, botanical gardens and zoos.