Interview with Emily Anstey for Tufts University

This is the first interview for Tufts University’s Museum Education program. This alumnus graduated in August 2015 and currently works as a National Park Ranger. Thank you, Emily, for answering these questions!


Why did you choose Tufts University?

I chose Tufts because of how it blended both the theoretical and academic viewpoint of museums with the practical applications (internship and professionals as instructors). I also loved that it was located in the Greater Boston area, an area rich with so many museums of every type. Finally, I wanted something more general in terms of types of museums that the program focused on. I knew I wanted to work in museums, but I wasn’t sure if art, children’s, or history museums would be where I wanted to end up. This program looked at the museum field holistically and prepared me no matter what type of institution I wanted to work for.


What was your favorite class and/or professor and why?

My favorite class was the Proseminar in Museum Interpretation taught by Program Director, Cynthia Robinson. Cynthia is a wonderful facilitator of discussion, which was really the crux of this class. More than that it was the perfect blend of the theories and trends in the field with the experiences of my and my fellow classmates. The class challenged my thinking while affirming that I had gone into the correct field.


What particular skills were taught in the program?

I think the biggest skill that is taught in this program is how to think critically through the issues and apply theory, trends, and creativity to come up with a solution. This is seen in the assignments which forced us to articulate our thoughts about museum governance, ethics, evaluation, interpretation, exhibition planning, etc.


Did you complete a thesis or capstone project? If so, what was your topic?

The internship is the sort of capstone experience. I did mine at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. I created some self-guided activities for field trip groups, an inventory of school field trip program logistics in the field, and training activities for docents that used museum education techniques.


Where were you and your classmates in your career? Just out of undergrad, or coming from an entry-level museum position, or coming from outside of the field, etc.?

One the BEST part of the Tufts Program is that the classes are a mix of recent grads, entry-level professionals, and even some mid-career folks. I was in the Master’s program which tended to skew towards more emerging professionals, but many of our classes were with certificate students in the Museum Studies program and that was where you met professionals from every museum department, many of whom were mid-career professionals. Additionally, in my elective courses which I took in the education and child development departments, I interacted with graduate students from other fields and areas of interest, which is a huge benefit.


Related, who would you recommend your program for? Any particular focus or for those interested in theory vs. application?

I would recommend this program for those who are looking to blend theory and application. The Tufts’ program truly strives and succeeds at that.


Did you find that many of your peers or the alumni network was mainly based in the New England region or do you feel that alumni are well spread out all over the country?

I feel like there is the highest concentration of Tufts graduates in the New England Area. I run into them at NEMA conferences. That being said, there are people in museums around the country and even as professionals across the globe!


Was housing provided for grad students or did you find your own housing and was it a challenge?

No housing provided, but the program was willing to work with us to find it through the graduate services at Tufts.


Did you or any of your peers work while pursuing their degree?

Yes, many of us did. During my degree, I worked with Jumpstart (a national Americorps preschool literacy program), the Museum of Science (part-time in the evaluation department), and the USS Constitution Museum (part-time Educator).


Any other insider information you would like to provide about your program or university?

Take advantage of the network that is available to you through so many museums, museum professionals, and Tufts Graduates in Boston!


Any advice for those looking into graduate school and beginning a career in museums?

Do it. I feel like my theoretical background from my Master’s Program gives me the credentials and qualifications to really excel at my job as a National Park Ranger at a National Historical Site. I also feel more confident to execute my programs and projects because of the education I received at Tufts.

Thanks for sharing more information about your graduate school experience, Emily! If you’re interested in learning more about the program, check out their website and the blog post. If you’re looking to add your own input, fill out the survey or contact me!

Tufts University, Department of Education

This is the review for the Museum Education program offered by Tufts University. This is a two-year program through the Education Department that includes Museum Studies courses in its curriculum. This program includes the Museum Studies Graduate Certificate program that can also be completed by itself.

  • About 35 students are accepted yearly
  • The two-year program requires students to complete five museum studies courses, two education courses and four elective courses on a topic of the student’s choice
  • The GRE is required

This information was found here and here. Continue reading “Tufts University, Department of Education”

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”

Interview with Ilene Frank for the Cooperstown Graduate Program at SUNY Oneonta

Introducing Ilene Frank who graduated from the Cooperstown Graduate Program at SUNY Oneonta in 2001. She currently works as the Chief Curator at a historical society. Thank you to Ilene for answering these questions about her graduate school experience.


Why did you choose the Cooperstown Graduate School?

I was accepted to another program as well but that program focused solely on Museum Education.  My experiences working at Historic St. Mary’s City prior to going to graduate school showed me that unless you are working at the largest of museums, you often end up in jobs that at times include curatorial, administrative, education, programmatic and fundraising duties.  I wanted a graduate program that would provide training and experience in the full range of museum work. Continue reading “Interview with Ilene Frank for the Cooperstown Graduate Program at SUNY Oneonta”

The University of the Arts

Updated on February 11, 2017 to incorporate additional responses.

This is the review for the Museum Studies Department at The University of the Arts (UArts). This review is based on eight responses for this university. Here are some quick tidbits on the school and department:

  • The Museum Studies Department offers three different programs, a MFA in Museum Exhibition Planning and Design, a MA in Museum Communication, and a MA in Museum Education.
  • All three degrees require a thesis or capstone project as well as an internship
  • Required to submit a portfolio or example of academic writing in addition to the Statement of Purpose.
  • The campus has 10 galleries
  • There are 103 graduates enrolled in the College of Art, Media and Design, the college that the Museum Studies Department is part of.

Continue reading “The University of the Arts”

George Washington University, Graduate School of Education and Human Development

Updated January 18, 2017, to incorporate additional responses.

This is the review for the Museum Education Program at George Washington University (GWU) based on six responses. GWU offers two entirely separate museum related master’s degrees, Museum Studies and Museum Education. If you would like to learn more about their Museum Studies Program go here. If you are looking for information on the Museum Education Program, continue reading.

To start here are some facts about GWU and the Museum Education Program offered there:

  • application deadline is March 1st but if you would like to be considered for scholarships, the deadline is January 15th. As long as you submit by this date, you are considered for half-tuition merit scholarships
  • the degree is a Master of Arts in Teaching
  • the graduate school has a Twitter (@gwGSEHD)
  • the program is only 14 months long and begins in the summer
  • only 10-15 students are accepted a year
  • the GRE is not required

Continue reading “George Washington University, Graduate School of Education and Human Development”