MA in Museum Studies
To prepare current and future museum professionals to be the visionary leaders of museums in contemporary society, Johns Hopkins University offers an innovative Master of Arts in Museum Studies. The format of the program itself—an almost fully online program—looks to the future. As an online program, we can offer the expertise of highly regarded professors and museum professionals from around the world, innovative virtual field trips, and global resources from a wide array of museums brought together in new and exciting ways. An international student body provides diverse perspectives and experiences in a dynamic online learning environment.
Museums of the 21st century are in the midst of a tremendous period of growth and change. New demands and challenges are emerging in every aspect of the museum landscape. Innovations in information and communication technologies are being integrated into the core strategies of the museum. Museums are increasing in number, expanding in size, and attracting more diverse audiences every day. The museums of the 21st century need leaders with the knowledge and skills to face these challenges and who possess a vision for the future.
This program aims to provide a perspective on the theory and practice of museums in a changing technological, social, and political environment for current and future museum professionals. It emphasizes the role of technology as a pervasive aspect in today’s museum; examines new models of education, exhibition, and business strategies; and explores the role of the museum in a global society and as an agent of social change.
We welcome students interested in all types of museums, including history, technology, science, art, special topic or themed museums, historic sites, national parks, and zoos, and those interested in collections and exhibitions for corporations, government agencies, and private organizations.
Program Specific Requirements
In addition to the materials and credentials required for all programs, the Master of Arts in Museum Studies also requires:
- Statement of Purpose: This 750-word statement should describe how your academic and professional experiences have led to your decision to pursue a career in the museum field and how this museum studies degree will help you succeed in your goals in the museum profession. If you have worked for a museum in any capacity, please incorporate your experience into your statement. Your statement will be reviewed for content, organization, and writing style.
- Recommendations: Two letters of recommendation that verify professional and/or academic accomplishment.
|AS.460.601||Exploring Museum Professions||3|
|or AS.460.602||Museums in the Digital Age|
|AS.460.610||Two-Week Onsite Seminar||3|
|Select three of the following:||9|
|Introduction to Museum Education|
|The Business of Museums|
|History & Philosophy of Museums|
|Museum Evaluation and Audience Research|
|Select five of the following:||15|
|Museums in a Global Perspective|
|Museums and Community Engagement|
|Museums, Law, and Policy|
|Museum Controversies: Ethical Issues in Museums|
|Museums, Race, and Inclusion|
|Accessibility in the Museum|
|Evaluation Projects and Practice|
|Architecture of Museums|
|Exhibition Design, Construction, and Documentation|
|Practice of Public History|
|Conservation-Restoration: A 21st Century Approach to Museums and Heritage|
|Museums, Libraries, and Archives: Issues of Convergence for Collecting Institutions|
|Curatorship: Principles and Practices|
|Curating Online Exhibitions and Experiences|
|Preservation of Analog and Digital Photographs|
|Material Culture and the Modern Museum|
|Educational Programming for Museum Audiences|
|Digital Media in the Museum|
|The Practice of Museum Publishing|
|Expanding Roles of Museum Marketing and Communications|
|Fundamentals of Museum Fundraising|
|Developing Museum Web Projects|
|Social Media Strategies for Museums|
|Introduction to Archives|
|Collection Management Systems|
|Cataloging Museum Collections: History, Standards, and Applications|
|Foundations of Digital Curation|
|Managing Digital Information in Museums and Archives|
|Digital Curation Certificate Internship|
|Digital Curation Research Paper|
|Leadership of Museums|
|Museum Procurement and Contracting|
|Project Management in Museums|
|Museums, Finance, and the Economy|
|Private Collectors, Collections, and Museums|
|Culturally Specific Museums|
|Provenance Research: Connecting Histories|
|Science, Society, and the Museum|
|Innovation and the Modern Museum|
|Museums of the Americas: Facing Challenges in the 21st Century|
The MA in Museum Studies offers a structured curriculum of required and core courses augmented with electives. This curriculum provides opportunities for students to gain the knowledge and skills necessary for current professional museum practice with an eye to the future and an integration of past philosophies. The program encompasses both theory and practice, focusing on providing real-world skills and training that enable students to move into the museum field or advance into jobs with more responsibility.
Students must take a total of 10 courses
- AS.460.601 Exploring Museum Professions or AS.460.602 Museums in the Digital Age
- Three core courses
- On-site two-week seminar AS.460.610 Two-Week Onsite Seminar
- Five elective courses
A two-week intensive period of on-ground museum study in a location organized by the MA in Museum Studies program is a required component of the program. The seminar includes practicum opportunities in a variety of museum settings, conversations with local museum professionals, observation of and interaction with museum visitors, and class sessions to integrate the daily experiences. Using the rich diversity of museums, this course provides students with the chance to use what they have learned in their prior courses, develop networks with fellow students and museum experts, and explore the latest in museum practice, including exhibition design and development, public programming, collections management, conservation, and the uses of technology in the museum. Seminars have taken place in locations as diverse as Washington, DC, New York, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Chicago, San Diego, London, Berlin, and Barcelona. Students work in teams on directed activities during the two weeks. Note: Students must have completed a minimum of two courses in the program, although four or more courses are encouraged, to register for this course. One of these courses must be AS.460.601 Exploring Museum Professions or AS.460.602 Museums in the Digital Age and some seminars may have other specific requirements. Students are responsible for travel to and from the location, accommodations, and meals, as well as any specified field trip fees.
Waiver option: Students who are unable to travel to a seminar location due to accommodation needs, financial hardship, or family challenges may apply to the program director for an exemption to the two-week seminar.
If a waiver is granted, the student must enroll in the internship option (AS.460.750 Museum Internship) to fulfill the on-site component of the degree requirement.