Museum Studies Master's Degree Programs

Earning a master's degree in museum studies can prepare you to work in a museum, cultural center or wildlife facility as an archivist, curator, educator or manager. Read about program requirements, curricula, online options and career possibilities. Schools offering Museum Studies degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Are the Prerequisites for the Museum Studies Master's Degree Program?

The museum studies master's degree program trains you in museum management, organization and education. To enroll in the graduate program, you usually must hold a bachelor's degree in a field related to museum studies such as anthropology, classics, history, administration or education.

To apply, you usually must submit your transcripts and meet a minimum GPA requirement. You also typically need to send in letters of recommendation, a resume, a statement of purpose and your standardized graduate test scores. Volunteer or internship experience at a museum or non-profit organization is usually recommended.

Admission Requirements Bachelor's degree in related field, minimum GPA, standardized test scores, resume and letters of recommendation
Course Topics Conservation, history of museums, fundraising methods, museum financing and budgeting, museum management
Online Availability Online programs are rare but some coursework can be taken online; in-person fieldwork exerience required
Career Options Curator, archivist, museum administrator or manager

What Classes Will I Take?

Museum studies classes emphasize museum administration, management, fundraising and education. You usually will gain the chance to intern at facilities outside of the school, like museums or other cultural and educational centers. You also can sometimes select an interdisciplinary concentration, like art history, education, anthropology, natural history or preservation. Typical museum studies course topics include the following:

  • Fundraising methods
  • Museum education and appreciation
  • Conservation
  • Museum management
  • Using technology in museums
  • Museum financing and budgeting
  • Exhibit and display organization
  • History of museums

Can I Earn It Online?

Online master's degree programs in museum studies are very rare; however, a small selection of schools offers online classes. These programs usually give you access to recorded lectures, videos and presentations online. You also can communicate with professors and students through e-mail and discussion boards.

There is usually an on-site requirement for the online museum studies program that includes traveling and conducting fieldwork at a metropolitan museum. Some programs also allow you to complete an independent project at a museum or center near your home.

What Can I Do with My Degree?

The master's degree program in museum studies prepares you to work as a curator or archivist in a museum, cultural center, environmental center, planetarium, aquarium, zoo or garden. The master's degree program also allows you to pursue your doctoral degree if you wish to enter into research or postsecondary teaching positions in the museum studies field.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that curator, archivist and museum worker jobs were expected to grow 7% from 2014-2024, about the average for all occupations (www.bls.gov). Competition for these jobs is high, but those with their graduate degrees will have better employment prospects, according to the BLS. The BLS stated that archivists earned an average annual salary of $52,930 in 2014, while curators made an average yearly wage of $56,690 in the same year.

You also can pursue a position in museum administration or management. The BLS reported that administrative services managers earned an average salary of $92,250 in 2014.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Southern New Hampshire University

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