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MA in Museums, Heritage, and Public History

The MA in Museums, Heritage, and Public History joins theoretical and practical study at an advanced level to prepare students for careers in museums, heritage institutions, historic sites and societies, and related organizations.

The program works closely with cultural resources in St. Louis, particularly the city's many museums and historic sites. We focus on community engagement, the interdisciplinary and cross-cultural study of material culture, interpreting and debating the past, new media and public education, and research in archival and material collections. Our graduates work in art museums, history museums, science centers, historic house museums, and other cultural institutions across the United States and internationally. 


Admission Requirements

Prospective students for the Master of Arts in Museums, Heritage, and Public History must apply specifically for this program on the graduate application. Applications for the Master of Arts in Museums, Heritage, and Public History will be accepted only for the fall semester.

Prospective students must demonstrate high academic potential. Typically, the History department admits only students with at least a 3.2 grade point average in their undergraduate major; most successful applicants have higher grades. An undergraduate major in History is not required for admission to this program. Applicants must submit three letters of recommendation, preferably from former teachers and/or employers, and a sample of their written work. Applicants must also complete the Museums, Heritage, and Public History Supplemental Application, which includes a statement of career intent.

Admissions decisions are based on the undergraduate transcript, the letters of recommendation, the sample of written work, and the supplemental application.

Program Requirements (34 hours)
All candidates for the M.A. in Museums, Heritage, and Public History must complete the following core courses (20 hours):
HIST 6000 The Historian's Craft 3
HIST 6001 Introduction to Public History and Cultural Heritage 3
HIST 6002 Material Culture in Historical Context 3
or HIST 6134 History Curatorship
HIST 6131 Museum Origins and Evolution 3
HIST 6142 Readings in U.S. History 5
or HIST 6143 Readings in World History
Choose one of the following: 3
HIST 6125 Practicum in Public History and Cultural Heritage
HIST 6127 Museums and Communities
HIST 6129 Emerging Museum Practices
Total Hours 20

Candidates must also complete 10 credit hours of elective courses. These may include courses listed above, if not already taken for the core, or additional courses which may include the following:
ANTHRO 4309 Archaeological Field School 3-6
ANTHRO 6139 Practicum In Exhibit & Program Development 3
HIST/ART HS 5592 The History of the Visual Arts in American Museums 3
ART HS 5593 Museum Management & Curatorial Practice 3
HIST 6130 Collections Management and Registration 3
HIST 6133 Museums and History in the Digital Age 3
HIST 6137 Museum Organization and Operations 3
POL SCI 6300 Leadership and Management in NonProfit Organizations 3
P P ADM 6311 Staff Management Issues in Nonprofit Organizations 1
P P ADM 6312 Legal Issues in Managing Nonprofit Organizations 1
P P ADM 6313 Financial Issues in Managing Nonprofit Organizations 1
Total Hours 10

Students may substitute other courses with approval of the Director of the Museums, Heritage, and Public History program. For courses outside the History Department, a maximum of six credits may be at the 3000 level. No 3000 level courses may be taken for graduate credit within the History Department.

Candidates conclude the degree with an internship or exit project represented by the course number HIST 6138 (4 credits). This capstone project will be customized to the interests and career aspirations of each students, as approved in advance by the Director.

In addition to these requirements, candidates for the M.A. in Museums, Heritage, and Public History are required to demonstrate either oral or written proficiency in one second language (in addition to English) by completing an appropriate language test. The test will be designed through consultation with the candidate and the faculty of the Department of Language and Cultural Studies.