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The course of study leading to the Certificate in Museum Studies comprises 15 credit hours at the graduate level.

Required Courses (6 credits)
MUSE 801 The Nature of Museums
MUSE 802 The Culture of Museums

Other Courses (6 credits)
Students must take one MUSE course that focuses on one of the Museum Professional Areas, and one course that focuses on one of the Museum Conceptual Domains. Conceptual domain courses are taken outside of the MUSE program. For instance, our students have taken courses in anthropology, art history, curriculum & teaching, educational technology, evolutionary biology, geology, history, women, gender & sexuality studies, and more.

Museum Experience (3 credits)
Students must complete an approved 3-credit-hour internship of at least 250 hours. See the guidelines for internships described for the master’s degree in Museum Studies.

Museum Professional Areas (3 credits)

Students earning a Graduate Certificate must complete at least one Museum Studies (MUSE) course in one of the museum professional specialties: Leadership and Management, Interpretation, Collections, and Community Connections. For each specialty, courses incorporate training in best practices, policy development, legal and regulatory concerns, as well as future trends.

  • Leadership and Management addresses avenues for building resilient institutions through administration, planning, collaboration and fund raising, as well as the legal issues related to the management of contemporary nonprofit organizations.
  • Interpretation considers the processes and practices of making meaning through exhibition design and installation, graphics, marketing, public programs, and innovative approaches to the use of new and emerging technologies.
  • Collections focuses on expertise in the practices and policies associated with the management and care of the wide range of objects and materials in museum collections.
  • Community Connections encompasses the ways museums can engage and collaborate with different publics through programming, curriculum planning, visitor studies, and audience development.

Museum Conceptual Domains (3 credits)

The conceptual domains of museum work, Materiality, Engagement, and Representation, address in depth the conceptual and theoretical foundations of museums. Courses that emphasize conceptual domains will place museological subjects in broader historical and intellectual frameworks. Students may take courses focused on one or more of these areas, and which may be offered in one or several disciplines. Courses will be selected with the approval of director of Museum Studies, as well as the course instructor. Approval will be based on the general relevance of the course, and assurance that the student’s work in the class will be applicable to museum studies.

Museum Experience (3 credits)

Students in the Museum Studies Graduate Certificate program are required to complete at least 250 hours in an approved, professionally supervised internship. The internship forms a critical component of the student’s total program and gives the student valuable training in the field as well as a chance to work closely with professional museum staff on meaningful projects to prepare for a career as museum professional.

The internship must be mutually beneficial to both the student and the participating institution and be focused on activities relevant to the student's interests. The primary goal is to offer high-quality educational and practical experience in which the student acquires in-depth understanding of museum operations and activities while making a substantial professional contribution to the institution. Students should discuss possible internships with their advisors and the Museum Studies director. Students may apply for internships at local, regional, national, or international museums. Internships may be paid or unpaid.

Work done prior to enrolling in the Museum Studies Program cannot be credited toward the museum experience requirement.

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

June 2020 Newsletter
January 2019 Newsletter
September 2017 Newsletter
January 2017 Newsletter