This is the review of the Museum Studies program at Johns Hopkins University. This is an online program through the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences Advanced Academic Programs. Some other fun facts about the program are:
- Also offers certificates in either Nonprofit Management or Digital Curation
- Though, online, requires students to attend a two-week seminar in Washington D.C. or another place organized by the program
- No GRE required to be admitted and no thesis required to complete the degree
- The program does not offer grants or scholarships, though they do offer financial aid
So far, there has been eleven responses for this program and all of them graduated in the last five years.
The program had the following advantages:
- No GRE required
- Almost all online which makes schedules more flexible and easier for working full-time
- Instructors and staff were easy to communicate with and involved in the courses
- High quality professors currently working in the field
- Two-week seminar required, which introduced us to classmates and gave hands-on training.
- No emphasis on any one type of museum or museum profession (i.e., wide range of topics to choose from)
- Course assignments that encourage local networking
- Small class sizes
- Focus on technology in museums
- Diversity of student population (many international and practicing professionals) which lends itself to international networking
- Several supporting certificates/dual degree programs
- Challenging courses
- Incredible network of fellow museum professionals (very active Facebook community)
The respondents also listed the following as disadvantages:
- Expensive (though comparable to other online programs)
- Not all classes are offered every semester, so you may not be able to take a class you really want before graduating
- Would like more “hands-on” experience with things like collection management and conservation, though the on-site seminar and internships go a long way towards that
- Distance learning can be challenging, when tackling complex topics and connecting to professors and classmates
- More rigorous application and selective admittance
- More career help would have been helpful, specifically resume and job application advice specifically to museums.
- More career specific courses, i.e. more exhibit development based, or software program training.
- The Blackboard software is a little difficult to manage across platforms
- For a museum professional who had been in the field for a number of years before joining the program some of the required classes were pretty elementary
- Group projects with classmates who live around the world. While interesting and fun, collaboration was often hard due to different time zones
The overall score of the program as it was when respondents attended is 9.27/10.00
The overall score of the program as it is now is also 9.27/10.00 and there was no feedback supplied about the consistency of this score.
91% of respondents do not work near their university.
36% of respondents work in a history museum, 18% in an art museum, 9% in a historical society, 9% in a natural history museum, 9% in a children’s museum, 9% at a university, and 9% is in the job market.
36% of respondents answered that their work includes collections management, registration, and education. 27% of respondents’ work includes curatorial, administration, exhibitions, and visitor services/membership. 9% of respondents’ work includes Archival/Library duties.
Some current job titles are:
- Curator of Education
- Office and Program Assistant
- Museum Director/Curator
- Visitor Services Associate
And finally, some dream jobs/titles are:
- Manager of Museum Education
- Curator of Photography
- Museum Director
This online program seems like a great option for students who are working full-time and are looking to have a museum studies master’s degree to further their career. Based on the responses of where graduates work, I’d say it’s a successful generalist program.
One of the disadvantages someone noted was that the classes can be basic for an individual that is starting the program in the middle of their museum career. I could definitely see that being a nuisance. However, the program does offer an Advanced Standing option (scroll towards the bottom of the page to find details on this) which allows students to be exempt from up to two classes if they meet the requirements.
This program offers a practical degree. It is geared for people looking to integrate the skills learned into their working lives and allow graduates to grow in their careers. The certificates offered as options support that idea. This is different from say the online program at the University of Leicester that requires a thesis and includes a bit more theory. So, overall, great program for the working museum professional. Especially if said museum professional’s museum helps with tuition in any way.