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Adrienne McGraw

Earn Your MA in Museum Studies

Adrienne McGraw, '01, shares how the Museum Studies program prepares you for professional success.

Master of Arts in Museum Studies

JFK University is one of the few accredited institutions offering a Master of Arts in Museum Studies. Through this program, students build the repertoire of skills necessary to address the challenges that museums face as dynamic cultural and social landmarks continually balancing their educational missions, community/public roles, and financial objectives.

The Master’s program is designed for working adults with classes meeting mostly in the evenings. Full-time students can complete the program in two years. Part-time options are available.

The Master of Arts in Museum Studies program offers two specializations:

  • Collections Management, with training in the management and care of collections.
  • Education and Interpretation, preparing students to interpret collections, understand diverse audiences and their needs, plan and develop exhibitions, and design education programs in museums.

In addition to taking the core curriculum and specialization courses, all students are required to complete one or more museum internship(s) in their area of specialization. These internships allow students to assume professional responsibilities and gain an understanding of a museum’s operations and relationship to the museum field under the guidance of professionals. Students in the program intern at local, national, and international museums and museum-related institutions.

Prior to the internship, students receive extensive advising. During the internship, advisors maintain close contact with the interns and their on-site supervisors. Projects are clearly specified and result in a detailed portfolio and report.

The master’s program concludes with a master’s project, which allows students to explore in depth a specific area of interest in a museum or related organization.  The master's projects are available at the Berkeley branch of the JFK University Library.  For a listing of the these projects, see "Useful Links" on the right.

Program Learning Outcomes

  • Learn the purpose/history of museums as complex public organizations.
  • Develop and refine professional writing and oral and visual presentation skills.
  • Demonstrate collaborative working practices, consistent with practices in museum field.
  • Demonstrate a range of content expertise associated with a museum studies specialization track.
  • Acquire and utilize tools for addressing administrative and fiscal challenges.
  • Demonstrate the capacity to engage professionally in the museum field.

Requirements

To receive an MA in Museum Studies, a student must complete 55 quarter units.

  • Upon admission, all students must demonstrate writing competency as determined by department evaluation of writing ability. Some students may be required to take courses in writing in addition to the 58-unit requirement for the degree.
  • Prerequisite courses as identified at the time of the student’s admission.  Students desiring to specialize in administration must demonstrate that they have completed two undergraduate courses in accounting.
  • No more than six graduate units will be accepted in transfer. See the program advisor for specific limitations on transfer credit.
  • This degree program must be completed within five years of the initial date of enrollment.

Core Curriculum
MUS 5003 - Issues in Museums I: History and Theory (4.5 units)
MUS 5004 - Issues in Museums II: Finance and Administration (4.5 units)
MUS 5501 - Collections Management I: Foundations (4.5 units)
MUS 5610 - The Visitor Experience: Learning Theories and Understanding Audiences (4.5 units)
MUS 5321 - Museums and Communities (4.5 units)
MUS 5405 - Exhibition Development I (4.5 units)
MUS 5420 - Museums , Interactive Technology and Electronic Access (4.5 units)
MUS 5996 - Master’s Project: Topic Development  [1] (1 unit)
MUS 5997 - Master’s Project: Research Methodology (4.5 units)
MUS 5998 - Master’s Project: Writing and Production (4.5 units)

Specializations (chose from one of the specializations below)

Collections Management (13.5 Units)
MUS 5502 - Preventive Conservation (4.5 units)
MUS 5975 - Internship [2] (9 units)

Education and Interpretation (13.5 Units)
MUS 5612 - The Visitor Experience: Interpretive Methods and Applications (4.5 units)
MUS 5975 - Internship [2] (9 units)

[1] Under the supervision of a project coordinator, each student develops a project that reflects his or her expertise in a special subject area and demonstrates understanding and application of museum studies theory and practice, analytical and imaginative thinking, and mastery of research methods and writing skills. All students must demonstrate proficiency in writing and research prior to beginning the master’s project. These courses must be completed with a grade of B or better. The master’s project, including the oral presentation, must be completed in residence at John F. Kennedy University.

[2] All museum studies students are required to complete one or more museum internship(s) in the area of specialization. Internships allow students to assume professional responsibilities and gain an understanding of a museum’s operations and relationship to the museum field under the guidance of professionals. Students in the program have interned in local, national and international museums and museum-related institutions.