The Museum Studies Program at the University of Kansas began in 1981. Over the years, the program has regularly produced graduates who go on to pursue distinguished careers in museum work.
The Museum Studies Program is unique among the interdisciplinary graduate programs in the College. Since its creation, the program has relied upon a partnership between discipline-based academic units and museum practitioners who teach “core” courses. The original group of professors who developed the program had a particular intent in training students in the care of historical archives, so the program was born as a Master in Historical Administration and Museum Studies (MHAMS) until 2002, when it changed to the Museum Studies Program (MUSE) and the MHAMS degree was changed to a Master of Arts in Museum Studies (M.A.).
In 2012, Dr. Peter H. Welsh was appointed full-time director and professor of Museum Studies. His arrival brought a change to the structure of the program, which went into place for the Fall 2013 semester. The original track system was eliminated in favor of a thematic structure that gives students greater flexibility to take courses that correspond with their interests. In the spring of 2014, the program introduced a a new graduate certificate in Museum Studies.