Curriculum & Philosophy

With three areas of scholarship at its core – cultural research and policy, communication strategies, and creative content – the program readies students for a wide range of communication, planning, and management roles in the museum and related fields, helping institutions connect to the audiences, community members, donors, media representatives and policy-makers they seek to engage.

Students in the Museum Studies program pursue a course of study that balances theory with application. The curriculum is grounded, current and relevant. Courses on information literacy, graphic and content design, marketing and communications planning, visitor experience, governance, and fundraising are complemented by immersive hands-on learning experiences as well as internships and apprenticeships with many of the greater Philadelphia region’s more than 1,200 museums and cultural institutions. Students also benefit from inter-departmental courses shared with other Museum Studies students at UArts.

Sample Curriculum:

Total Credits: 45
Duration: 1.5 years, full-time

Year One

Basics of Graphic Software (1.5c)
Museology (3c)
The Museum Audience (3c)
Museum Graphics (1.5c)
Museum Communication Research (3c)
Development, Fundraising, and Grantsmanship (3c)

Year Two

Media for Museum Communication (3c)
Museum Governance: Legal Issues, Ethics & Museums (3c)
Museum Communication Thesis/Capstone (3c)
Elective (3c)

Branding and Marketing Principles (3c)
Integrated Communication Strategies (3c)
Museum Audience Seminar (3c)
Independent Study Practicum (3c)
Graduate Museum Project: Museum Communication (3c)

Internship (3c)

Internships, Off-campus Experience and Part-Time Jobs

Collaboration with outside institutions are integrated both within the semester coursework, as well as the required six-week summer internship (120 hours minimum). Recent collaboration between Museum Studies students and the National Constitution Center allowed students to conduct program planning and installation for the exhibit “From Asbury Park to the Promised Land: The Life and Music of Bruce Springsteen,” while at the Academy of Natural Sciences, Museum Communication students managed communication for the museum and Geekadelphia’s “Philadelphia Geek Awards.” In yet another community partnership, students managed press and media activity for the Michener Art Museum’s “From Philadelphia to Monaco: GRACE KELLY Beyond the Icon” exhibition. Students have explored crowdfunding as a millennial donor cultivation and engagements tool for museums, the benefits and drawbacks of social couponing and discounting for museums, and professionalizing and training museum volunteers.

Who Should Apply

Our students recognize the need for interdisciplinary and cross-functional skills and approaches in the museum workplace. We want you to bring your own perspectives, experiences, and academic expertise to the mix. We look for team-oriented students with a strong desire to successfully connect museums and similar cultural organizations with diverse audiences, internal stakeholders, and partners. Our students hail from a diverse range of undergraduate programs from anthropology, sociology and history, to graphic design, art, and english.

Start your application, view the complete curriculum with course descriptions on the Registrar's Course Catalogue site, or return to Museum Studies home page.

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