Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis

This is the review for the Museum Studies program at Indiana University-Purdue Universiy Indianapolis (IUPUI). To begin, here are a few facts about the program and university:

  • The program offers not only an MA but a graduate certificate and undergraduate certificate in Museum Studies
  • A variety of courses to pick from with pre-approved electives outside of the Museum Studies program
  • Capstone project at the end which means students’ may not be required to write a thesis but complete an equally impressive project
  • Five of the Museum Studies professors hold the title of Public Scholar. Click the link, to learn more, I’m not quite sure how to explain it better than how IUPUI wrote it.


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Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis is a public research university located in Indianapolis, Indiana.

So far, I have received four responses from alumni who graduated less than a year ago up to ten years ago. Three of the four respondents graduated 0-5 years ago, one respondent graduated 6-10 years ago.

The advantages they list are:

  • Build connections with local museums and museum professionals
  • Professors attend conferences and are supportive of you attending
  • The department offers a wide range of professors. Each professor has had museum experience prior to getting their PhD and becoming professors. The professors are also public scholars who teach/work beyond the museum studies department in museums, fine arts, anthropology, public history, or education.
  • Requires 6 credits of internship which you can spread across multiple internships
  • Indianapolis is a very cheap place to live and there are a lot of apartments within walking distance of campus
  • IUPUI is inexpensive, particularly for in-state students
  • Alumni have spread out across the US and people stay in touch
  • Small program, and good rapport with peers (not heavy competition for local internships)
  • Very strong support from faculty and alumni network
  • Very community involved (with area museums)
  • Hands-on experience working in museums and with museum collections, with almost half of the courses held in a museum.
  • Required classes in each of the core departments of museums: collections, education, and administration. Students have the flexibility to build their own experience in the program with a large number of additional museum electives and approved electives in many related fields (History, Anthropology, Education, Nonprofit Management, etc.)
  • Each course had a service learning project where we would create/conduct projects for area museums.
  • The core values of the program (civic engagement, inclusion, collaboration, applied learning, integration, and learning) focus on teaching how museums need to reflect, grow, and work with their local and global communities.

The disadvantages they list are:

  • The Indianapolis job market is saturated with IUPUI museum studies graduates.
  • Funding is limited. However, the department works hard to find grants and museum partners to either place grad students for part-time work, work/study, or fellowships.
  • A more realistic look at the field and a frank discussion about finding a museum career job after graduation
  • Professors used to be supportive of working full time while in program, no longer as supportive
  • There is a large selection of Museum Studies electives, but most are rarely offered

The overall rating of the program as it was when the respondents attended is 9/10

Three of the four respondents live near IUPUI.

Two of the respondents work in an art museum, one works in an academic museum or gallery and one is currently still in school.

Two respondents’ work involves education. One respondent’s work involves public programs, collections management, registration, exhibitions, archival/library duties, curatorial duties, administration, and visitor services/membership.

Some current job titles are:

  • Directory
  • Public Programs Coordinator
  • Assistant Director of Education

Some dream jobs are:

  • Director of Youth and Family Programming
  • Collections Manager
  • Director of Public Programming

My Summary:

After a brief browse through the program’s website and reading what these respondents had to say, this program sounds solid. The Public Scholar title stood out initially and then was enforced by the respondents’ feedback about the program’s relationship with local museums and their commitment within classwork to connect their theoretical lesson to practical examples.

At this point, financial aid will always be an issue. The important part to me is how hard the program works to find the funding for students. With the program’s connections with the museums in Indianapolis and the dedication the faculty seems to have to their students, it seems like the program is doing the best with the funding they have.

I would be interested in learning more about specifics though. What are some of the museums where students regularly intern or work? How many students end up receiving funding through fellowships or scholarships offered through UIPUI? How often are the majority of the museum electives really offered? Has the time commitment changed drastically enough that working full-time isn’t an option? If you have answers to any of these question please comment below, contact me, or fill out the survey. I’ll also be contacting the program’s director to see what I can find out.

If you want to check out the program for yourself, here is the link to the website.

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. Continue reading “Tufts University, Museum Studies Certificate”

Bank Street College of Education

This is the review for Bank Street College of Education’s Museum Education department that offers three different programs. There is the Museum Education: Childhood with certification for those interested in teaching in a school classroom or without certification for those interested in teaching outside of a school classroom. Third, there is the Leadership in Museum Education program for those already working in museums. Here are some more fast facts about the program and college:

  • To apply for the Leadership in Museum Education program, students must have at least three years of museum experience. The program is for two years, with classes meeting one weekend a month and one week in June each year.
  • The Museum Education: Childhood programs, students student teach at a school in the fall and intern at a museum in the spring
  • With the certification option, students are eligible for New York state Childhood General Education, grades 1 through 6
  • At the end of any of these three programs, students earn an MS in Education
  • The College was founded by Lucy Sprague Mitchell; another awesome woman to acknowledge during Women’s History Month

Continue reading “Bank Street College of Education”

University of Illinois at Chicago

This is the review for the MA Museum and Exhibition Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago. If you didn’t know already, here are some facts about the university and the program:

  • The program does not require the GRE
  • The program requires students to complete a thesis or capstone project
  • The program partners with the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum and Gallery 400
  • UIC is among the nation’s top five most diverse campuses

These facts were found here and here. Continue reading “University of Illinois at Chicago”

Interview for the University of Missouri-St. Louis

This is the first interview for the M.A. in History, certificate in Musem Studies program at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Thank you to this graduate for providing insight into her experience!


Why did you choose the University of Missouri-St. Louis?
I was already living in St. Louis and the tuition waiver through the assistantship was very appealing.

Continue reading “Interview for the University of Missouri-St. Louis”

University of North Carolina-Greensboro

This is the review for the History program at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro. For starters, here are some facts about the program and the university:

  • The degree offered at UNCG is an M.A. in History with a concentration in Museum Studies and is a 36 credit degree.
  • Graduates of the program automatically become members of the Museum Studies/Historic Preservation Graduate Student Group (MSHP) which organizes community and recreational activities for the group.
  • The GRE is required to apply and there is a required capstone project to complete to graduate.

Continue reading “University of North Carolina-Greensboro”

Wright State University

This is the review for Wright State University’s graduate program in History with a concentration in Public History. For starters, here are some facts about the program and university:

  • The concentration is designed by those interested in working in archives and/or museums. Students can focus on either archives or museums studies or are able to take a little of both, according to the Director, Dr. Drew Swanson.
  • The History program offers graduate tuition scholarships for incoming graduate students and graduate assistantships for second-year graduate students.
  • Students are required to complete a capstone project in order to graduate
  • History professors teach the required classes while adjuncts who work in their field (archives or museums) teach the specialized courses
  • Alumni currently have positions all over the U.S. from the National Archives in Maryland to the Jamestown Sklallam Tribe in Washington

Continue reading “Wright State University”