Tufts University, Museum Studies Certificate

This is the review for the Museum Studies Certificate offered at Tufts University. Students can earn the Certificate by completing five courses, including one internship course. This is built for working professionals with classes offered in the evening and the option to complete the program as a part-time student. The University also offers combination options with the Department of Art and Art History, History, and Education.

  • Recently, the program has admitted two-thirds of its applicants
  • The program does not require the GRE and only requires one letter of recommendation
  • The internship course requires students to complete 200 hours of the internship
  • Offers four different concentrations, History, Art History, Education or Classics.

This information is found here, and here.


tufts map
Tufts University is a private University in Medford, Massachusetts right outside of Boston. It takes less than 15 minutes (according to Google) to get to the Museum of Science.

So far, five alumni, who graduated less than a year ago to fifteen years ago have submitted responses. The breakdown is three graduated 0-5 years ago, one graduated 6-10, and one graduated 11-15 years ago.

The advantages the responses listed are:

  • Excellent instructors that work in the areas they teach
  • Practical experience
  • Night classes
  • Exhibit design course where we developed and put on our own exhibit
  • Strong internship program
  • Well respected as a program and Tufts University in general
  • Good, intense classes,
  • Good networking and connections to local museum professionals and institutions

The disadvantages the responses listed are:

  • Most classes are at the survey level
  • it’s really just a tiny program within a much larger school
  • Better help with job placement
  • Expensive school
  • More class topics about grant writing, non-profit management, accessibility in museums

The overall rating of the program as it was when the respondents attended is 8.6/10.0

The overall rating of the program as it is now is 8.0/10.0

These changes are based on the program canceling the museum evaluation summer course once the professor retired and not replacing the professor. This was one of only two management-oriented museum studies courses offered. The program is really more focused on museum education and collections management than development/administration.

Four of the five respondents do live near Tufts University.

One graduate works in a history museum, one works with the National Parks Service, and three work outside of the museum field.

Three graduates hold jobs with duties that include administration, one hold a job with duties that include curatorial, collections management, registration, archival/library, exhibitions, education, and visitor service/membership.

Some current job titles are:

  • Educator
  • Architectural Historian
  • Director of Development

Some dream jobs are:

  • Executive Director
  • Events Coordinator
  • Public Programs Coordinator

My Summary:

This program looks good for those with a full-time position in the Boston area. The evening classes, extended timeline and a small number of classes could make it a really good fit. Of course, being a private school, the cost is going to be a bit more expensive ($2,994 per credit for the 2016-17 year).

It’s a little disappointing, personally, that the classes are described at “survey level. ” I figure that means that the classes give students a broad, but shallow understanding of the material. This program really could be the perfect fit if you’re looking into a way to increase your credentials within collections management or museum education. If you want to learn more, here is the website.

If you agree or disagree let me know by commenting, contacting me, and completing the survey.

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