About Museum Studies at KU

The KU Museum Studies program offers a comprehensive overview of museums and the museum profession. Students master core components of museum practice, gain solid grounding in current issues facing museums, and engage in research to develop new and innovative approaches in the field.

The master's degree in Museum Studies offers personal attention in a small, selective program, with all courses taught by experienced faculty members and museum professionals from leading institutions. As an independent program within a major research university, Museum Studies at KU enables students to develop individualized education plans tailored to their interests. In addition to disciplines such as history, anthropology, paleontology, and art history, students are encouraged to take courses in fields as varied as public administration, education, or design. The graduate certificate program builds on this and enables students to integrate knowledge of museum studies into their own academic disciplines or professional training.

The program is designed to reflect the needs of the museum profession. Graduates gain the skills and experience they need to move immediately into positions of responsibility in the field, whether in collections, public engagement, or administration. The KU Museum Studies program has a loyal, enthusiastic network of alumni eager to help new graduates and we have a strong record of placement across the nation.

Statement of Support for KU Recognition of Indigenous Peoples Day

Together we call upon the University of Kansas to recognize October 10, 2016, as Indigenous Peoples Day. With its origins in the 1977 International Conference on Discrimination Against Indigenous Populations in the Americas, Indigenous Peoples Day recognizes the valuable contributions made by Indigenous peoples. Such recognition is especially appropriate at KU, where the University highly regards its relationship with Indigenous students, staff, faculty, and Haskell Indian Nations University.

Recognition of October 10, 2016, as Indigenous Peoples Day is also consistent with recommendations made by other groups on campus.  In the April 27, 2016 Report of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Advisory Group submitted to Chancellor Gray-Little and then acting Provost Sara Rosen, it was recommended that the University “[r]ecognize Indigenous Peoples Day in honor of Native American contributions to the community.” See https://provost.ku.edu/dei-report. Further, on October 3, 2016, the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Working Group issued a statement on recent protests and institutional change. In relevant part, the statement states:

Further, in accordance with the commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion and as specified in the DEI report from last year, we require the University recognize this coming Monday (10/10) as Indigenous People’s Day. This requirement is only a start to move forward on the recommendations laid out last year, including strengthening the relationship with Haskell Indian Nations University and enhancing KU’s commitment to Indigenous Studies and our Indigenous and First Nations communities at the University.

See https://provost.ku.edu/dei.

The City of Lawrence declared October 12, 2015, Indigenous Peoples Day. See http://www.kansan.com/news/lawrence-mayor-declares-oct-indigenous-peoples-day-in-place-of/article_6e1d6954-6ca4-11e5-a02d-077815c8a78f.html. The City’s declaration is consistent with those of numerous other cities and states, which have all decided to recognize the crucial contributions of Indigenous peoples. See https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2015/10/11/more-cities-celebrating-indigenous-peoples-day-as-effort-to-abolish-columbus-day-grows/.

Accordingly, we call on the University to honor its commitment to Indigenous peoples by recognizing October 10, 2016, as Indigenous Peoples Day.

First Nations Student Association
Indigenous Studies Program
Native American Law Students Association
Native Faculty and Staff Council
Tribal Law and Government Center
Center for American Indian Community Health, University of Kansas Medical Center
Center for the Study of Injustice
Asian and Asian American Faculty and Staff Council (AAAFSC)
Asian Law Students Association
Achievement and Assessment (AAI)
Agile Technology Solutions (ATS)
Black Faculty and Staff Council
Black Law Students Association
Brazilian Student Association
Center for Educational Opportunity Programs (CEOP)
Center for Educational Testing & Evaluation (CETE)
Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies
Center for Public Partnerships & Research (CPPR)
Department of African and African-American Studies
Department of American Studies
Department of English
Emily Taylor Center for Women & Gender Equity
Graduate Students of Color
Hispanic American Law Student Association
History Department
Humanities Program
Institute for Policy and Social Research
Kansas African Studies Center
KU Habitat for Humanity
KU Law OutLaws & Allies
Latino/a Studies Council
Museum Studies Program
Office for Diversity in Science Training
Political Science Department
Religious Studies
School of Education
School of Law
School of Law Faculty and Staff Diversity and Inclusion Committee
School of Public Affairs and Administration
School of Social Welfare
Sexuality and Gender Diversity Faculty and Staff Council
South Asian Student Association (KU SASA)
Student Senate
University Senate

Fran Bartlett (KU Graduate), Lawrence High School Teacher
Andrew Bricker (KU Graduate), Lawrence High School Teacher
Tyler L. Childress, KU Law Student, KU DEI Group Member, OutLaws & Allies Vice President    
Ben Dandrea, KU Student
Ann Foster, Lawrence High School Teacher    
Dr. Paul Kelton, Associate Dean for the Humanities and Professor, KU Department of History
Leah LaPointe, KU Payables-Procurement Services
Dr. Ward Lyles, Assistant Professor, KU Urban Planning
Everett Metcalf (KU Undergraduate in the SOE), KU Student
Tracy Murray (KU Graduate), Lawrence High School Teacher
An Sasala, KU PhD Student, Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies
Valerie Schrag (KU Graduate), Lawrence High School Teacher
Thomas Sherwood, KU Facilities Services
Dr. Stacy Swearingen White, Chair and Professor, KU Urban Planning
Braden Werner, KU Student

Provost's Response to 10/3/16 DEI Advisory Group Statement

Why Choose KU Muse?

Students in the Introduction to Conservation course

Our students say it best...

"The Museum Studies program can be catered to how you want it. Students can choose to focus on what interests them, and there are many opportunities both in school and out to make the most of a student’s two years at the University of Kansas."

"The small class size allows you to get to know everyone in the program."

"The staff and the students all care about helping one another develop the skills and experience needed to mold you into a strong museum professional. Also, all the students, first- and second-years, work together to network, exchange experiences, and have plenty of fun doing it."


Become a MUSE today!


Read the latest MUSE News!

Find out what KU's Museum Studies Program and our alumni are up to:

September 2017 Newsletter
January 2017 Newsletter


Museum Events

FILM - Out of State Saturday, December 09 | 1 p.m.-4 p.m.
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, 4525 Oak St. Kansas City, MO
In 2007, the state of Hawaii outsourced the care of roughly 2,000 male prisoners to a private, for-profit prison in Arizona. Exiled thousands of miles from their island home, a group of indigenous Hawaiian inmates have discovered their calling on the inside: teaching each other their native language and dances. As several of the men complete their sentences, the film follows them as they reintegrate in Hawaii. Out of State explores questions of cultural and religious identity; the overabundance of native Hawaiians and minorities in the prison system; the cycle of criminal behavior and its impact on the family; and prisoner entitlement. Join us for a moderated discussion led by Native-Hawaiian filmmaker and Out of State’s director, Ciara Lacy, and member of the Osage Nation, Jimmy Lee Beason II, M.S.W.

Meet the Experts: Christmas Crèches​
Sunday, December 10 | 2 p.m.-3 p.m.
The National Museum of Toys/Miniatures, 5235 Oak St. Kansas City, MO
Get to know the experts at The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures through this monthly exploration of special topics. On December 10, enjoy special displays of Christmas crèches from the Bud and Jan Koupal Collection. Hear a talk about the history and tradition of holiday crèches, and stay afterward for cider and cookies. The program includes a lecture and museum visit. Included with museum admission.

TALK - Civic Leader and Art Collector: Sallie Casey Thayer and an Art Museum for KU
Thursday, December 14 | 10 a.m.-11 a.m.
Spencer Museum of Art, Gallery 317 Sam and Connie Perkins Central Court, 1301 Mississippi St.
A hundred years ago, Kansas City philanthropist Sallie Casey Thayer donated her extensive collection to the KU, forming the basis for what is today the Spencer Museum of Art’s collection. Celka Straughn, Director of Academic Programs, discusses this eclectic collection, from Japanese prints and American paintings to sumptuous textiles, ancient artifacts, and even valentines. This series of informal gallery talks is designed for senior citizens but open to everyone.

TALK - Slow Art Sunday: Presepio 
Sunday, December 17 | 2 p.m.-3 p.m.
Spencer Museum of Art, Gallery 317 Sam and Connie Perkins Central Court, 1301 Mississippi St.
Slow down at the Spencer and spend time getting to know one great work of art. Slow Art Sunday features one work for visitors to contemplate and converse about with Museum staff. In December, get to know our 18th-century Italian Presepio.

TALK - Home for the Holidays 
Sunday, December 24 | 12 p.m.-1 p.m.
Spencer Museum of Art, 1301 Mississippi St.
Every year, Spencer Museum Director Saralyn Reece Hardy spends an afternoon in the galleries welcoming visitors and leading informal tours to celebrate the holiday season. This year's tour centers on the origins of the Museum and collecting and sharing art as a form of civic engagement. Tours begin at 12pm and 1pm. Join us and make this Spencer Museum tradition your own. These tours are presented in conjunction with the centennial celebration of the Museum’s collection.

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