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MA in History with a Concentration in Museum Studies

The MA in History with a Concentration in Museum Studies is a 39 credit-hour course of study leading to the Master of Arts degree in History with a Concentration in Museum Studies and the Graduate Certificate in Museum Studies. Our curriculum includes courses that address: cultural heritage, emerging museum practices, museums and communities, public archaeology, public history, collections-based research, the history of visual arts in museums, museum, arts, and visual resources management; material culture, documentary filmmaking, grant-writing, American philanthropy, and museum history. The MA (with Certificate) is designed as a full-time, two-year degree. Many students pursue this option as a terminal program, entering the museum and heritage profession immediately upon graduation. Some students continue onto other advanced degrees, such as the Ph.D, Ed.D, or MBA.    

Program Requirements (39 hours)

The following three core courses (11 credit hours) are required:

HIST 6131 Museum Origins and Evolution (3)
HIST 6001 Introduction to Public History and Cultural Heritage (3)

HIST 6138 (5), or ANTHRO 6138 (5), or ART HIS 6138 (5)

Candidates conclude the degree with an exit project or thesis represented by the course numbered HIST 6138, ANTHRO 6138 or ART HIS 6138. This capstone project will demonstrate competence in museum studies. The specific form will be customized to the interests and career aspirations of each student, as approved in advance by the candidate’s advisory committee.

In addition to the core courses, two of the following courses (6-8 credit hours) are required:

ANTHRO 6139 Practicum in Exhibit and Program Development (3)

HIST 6130 Collections Management and Registration (3)

ART ED 5588 Museum Education and Visitor Research (3)

HIST 6134 History Curatorship (5)

HIST 6132 Digital Video for Museums and Community History (3)

HIST 6133 Museums and History in the Digital Age (3)

HIST 6137 Museum Organization and Operations (3)


Students must also complete an additional 20-22 elective credits to fulfill the 39 credits required, of which at least 12 credits must be History courses.  These must be approved by the Director of Museum Studies.  Students may choose from the preceding list of electives, the History department curriculum, and a range of offerings in Anthropology, Sociology, and Languages; Art and Art History; Media Studies; and Nonprofit Management and Leadership. 

In addition to these requirements, candidates for the MA in History with a concentration in Museum Studies are required to demonstrate either oral or written proficiency in one second language (in addition to English).  Proficiency at a level that enables the candidate to conduct research must be demonstrated by passing either an oral or written test, whichever is most appropriate for the candidate’s research methodology, in a language that is relevant to the candidate’s chosen specialization.  The test will be designed through consultation with the candidate and the faculty of the Languages Program.