Graduate Certificate in Museum Studies

Why do museums matter in the 21st century? The University of St. Thomas Graduate Certificate in Museum Studies was created in response to the interdisciplinary job market and has been designed through the Department of Art History to meet the needs of students seeking to establish or retool their skill sets in order to enter the field of museum studies and non-profit work.

Through the Certificate in Museum Studies, students will investigate the critical issues facing diverse types of museums today, including museums of history, art, science, natural history, music, sports, memorials, entertainment, and zoos/aquariums, just to name a few. Students will explore, through five graduate-level courses, the practical skills necessary for successful museum careers and consider the ways in which new audiences, technology, theory, exhibitions, collections, and innovative programming shape the museum field. The Graduate Certificate in Museum Studies program includes opportunities for dialogue with museum professionals, hands-on projects, and visitor experiences.

What are the admissions criteria?

Applicants to the certificate program will be required to meet similar admission requirements as applicants to the degree-seeking MA program. Since students in both programs will be taking the same classes, it is essential that they have the same level of preparation for graduate study. Priority application deadlines are November 1st for spring enrollment and March 1st for summer and fall enrollment. Applications are also accepted on a rolling basis throughout the year.

Application requirements:

Track 1: Certificate in Museum Studies

  • A completed application (online).
  • A resume or curriculum vitae (CV).
  • At least one confidential letter of recommendation from an individual (professor, supervisor, etc.) with knowledge of the applicant’s relevant abilities and achievements. (Three letters of recommendation must be submitted. Personal references are acceptable for the remaining two letters.) 
  • A personal statement of no more than 500 words describing why museum studies is important to the applicant’s research and career goals, any experiences that the applicant has had in museums, non-profit, library science, or collections work, and what the applicant hopes to gain by earning the Certificate. 
  • A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university verified by an official transcript.

Track 2: Joint Certificate in Museum Studies and MA Program in Art History

The Certificate in Museum Studies can be completed jointly with the MA program in Art History. Twelve (12) of the fifteen (15) required credits for the Certificate also satisfy requirements in the MA program.

  • A completed application (online). 
  • Three confidential letters of recommendation from individuals with knowledge of the applicant’s relevant abilities and achievements. At least one must be from a former professor. 
  • A personal statement of no more than 500 words describing the applicant’s interest in art history and reasons for pursuing graduate studies at St. Thomas. 
  • An additional personal statement specific to museum studies, of no more than 500 words, describing why museum studies is important to the applicant’s research and career goals, any experiences that the applicant has had in museums, non-profit, library science, or collections work, and what the applicant hopes to gain by earning the Certificate. 
  • A writing sample showing research and writing expertise. 
  • A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university verified by an official transcript.

What courses are required? 

Two Required Seminars on Museum Studies (6 credits)

ARHS 570        Museum Studies: Visitors, Trends, and Exhibitions

ARHS 571         Museum Studies: Collections, Curation, and Controversy

One Required Museum Internship (3 credits)

ARHS 595        Internship

Two Seminars with a museum component (6 credits)

Courses that qualify will vary each semester but may include:

ARHS 500        Methods and Theories of Art History

ARHS 510        Topics in Ancient and Medieval Art

ARHS 515        Topics in Renaissance and Baroque Art

ARHS 520        Topics in Modern Art

ARHS 525        Topics in American Art

ARHS 540        Topics in Architectural History

ARHS 545        Topics in Design and Applied Arts

ARHS 550        Topics in Textiles, Ceramics, and Metalwork

ARHS 570        Topics in Museum Studies

ARHS 530        Topics in East and South Asian Art

ARHS 535        Topics in the Art of Africa and the African Diaspora

ARHS 536        Topics in the Art of the Pacific

ARHS 537        Topics in Indigenous American Art

Questions?

Please contact Dr. Jayme Yahr, Assistant Professor of Art History & Museum Studies and Director of the Graduate Certificate in Museum Studies Program, for more information.