Since 1981 the graduate program in Museum Studies at the University of Kansas (KU) has offered nationally acclaimed training for professional careers in museums, historical agencies, and related institutions. The program (1) prepares graduates for professional careers in museums and related institutions; (2) promotes innovative multidisciplinary research in museum studies; and (3) seeks opportunities for engagement by students and faculty to enhance the professionalism of museums in the state and the region.
The KU master’s degree in Museum Studies is a 36-credit-hour program built around 3 fundamental components – Foundational courses and experiences, Conceptual inquiry and application, and Professional specialization and expertise. Students who earn the M.A. in Museum Studies will have acquired mastery of the professional and conceptual dimensions of museums in the broadest sense, while also developing the specialized skills necessary for success in the field.
The graduate curriculum in Museum Studies provides a comprehensive overview of the discipline, opportunities for mastering core components of museum practice, avenues for exploring the interdisciplinary nature of museums, solid grounding in current issues facing museums, and possibilities for research to develop new and innovative approaches in the field. The Museum Studies Program’s core courses provide a foundation in the theories, history, techniques, and problems common to museums, historical agencies, and related institutions as well as the specialized operations of such institutions. Students also receive classroom and field training in methods and subject matter within their chosen professional specialty: Leadership and Management, Interpretation, Collections, and Community Connections. The Museum Studies program also has well-established connections with academic disciplines such as American Studies, Anthropology, Geology, Art History, History, and Natural History, and students have many opportunities to take courses in those fields. Museum Studies graduates are well-equipped to undertake professional and leadership responsibilities in museums, historical agencies, and related institutions.
Graduates of the program work as curators, archivists, directors, exhibit designers, collection managers, and much more at museums across the country and around the world.