The Museum Studies Department provides students with the skills and knowledge necessary to promote and enhance the relationship between museums and the public. In all three graduate museum programs, students take core courses addressing the character of museums, the nature of museum audiences, current museum practice, and the theory underlying museum practice.
Lecture courses, seminars, and studio courses allow students to understand the demands of museum practice, to understand past and current issues in the profession, to address the future needs of museums, to meet and talk with professionals in the field, and to acquire hands-on skills in the many areas of museum practice.
Students specialize in the areas of museum exhibition or museum education, or pursue a more general course of study focusing on the interface between the museum and the public. Most museum studies courses are open to all museum studies majors, and some are open to students from other departments who are interested in museum practice and professions. A wide range of concepts, experiences, and approaches are encountered, including hands-on visitor studies and on-site internships and practicums; computer skills are developed for use in design, publication, museum record-keeping, interactive museum media, and museum outreach via the Web.
Museum Studies graduates find career opportunities as museum educators, creators of museum exhibitions, museum digital media specialists, program specialists, and in the ranks of museum administration dealing with the public: directorships, collections management and display, public relations, development, and related activities in museums, historic sites, zoos, aquariums, botanic gardens, and specialist consultancies.