May 25, 2020  
2017-2018 University Catalogue 
2017-2018 University Catalogue [Archived Catalogue]

Museum Communication, Master of Arts

Programs   >  Programs in the College of Art, Media, & Design  
Contacts      Description     Program Objectives    Academic Plan     Program Requirements

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Polly McKenna-Cress \ \  215.717.6328
Program Director


The Master of Arts program in Museum Communication at the University of the Arts is the only freestanding museum studies program and degree in the country devoted to the complex communication, promotional, and audience building needs of museums. The program is a unique field of study that allows students to explore the conception, research, planning, design, creation, and delivery of stories, information and media about museums and the beneficial work they do, through traditional, environmental, and digital communication channels. The program explores and prepares students in approaches to integrated communication strategies, content, and tactics in marketing and public relations, development and fundraising, advocacy and public policy, and other communication and relationship-building areas as they apply to the many internal and external audience museums seek to engage. The curriculum is designed to ready students for a variety of communication roles in the current and future museum marketplace.

Full-time Museum Communications students undertake a three-semester course of study and a six to eight week (240 hours) professional-level summer internship. Students participate in lectures, seminars, workshops, studios, and study visits to museums, historic sites, galleries, and cultural agencies in Philadelphia and the surrounding Mid-Atlantic region. Visiting scholars and museum professionals give lectures and hold discussions groups on numerous aspects of museum practice. Interdepartmental coursework, workshops, seminars, and interdisciplinary special projects supplement the program’s curriculum. Students conclude their degree program through written thesis and defense or a practice-based thesis capstone project and symposium presentation.

Program Objectives

Develop, design, and produce clear, inventive, effective, and information-driven written communication materials;

Develop, design, and produce clear, inventive, effective, and information-driven designed graphic communication materials;

Plan and conduct a final thesis or capstone project related to academic interests and professional goals.

Academic Plan

Academic plans provide a semester by semester suggested course sequence. Plans can be customized through discussions with academic advisors.

Program Requirements (45 credits)

Elective Courses: 6 credits

  • Complete 6 credits of graduate level elective coursework. This requirement is satisfied by 500, 600, or 700 level courses.  Three credits of elective courses may be outside Museum Communication.