Museum Studies Graduate Certificate

Akiko Walley, Certificate Director

The Graduate Certificate in Museum Studies (GCMS) is a transdisciplinary program open to UO graduate students interested in pursuing a career in a museum or in any profession that involves exhibition or curation. It addresses the demand for a deeper understanding of the guiding principles behind a museum’s mission and its practical day-to-day operations.

Today, the practice of exhibiting is not just the purview of art and cultural museums. Exhibition history and practice is integral to museums of science, medicine, natural history, ethnography, theater, and music as well as institutions such as zoos, aquariums, art galleries, botanical gardens, and libraries.

Housed in the College of Design, the GCMS collaborates with departments, programs, and museum professionals across campus to provide foundational theoretical and practical training in the museum field, while allowing students the freedom to explore museum operations from a variety of perspectives.

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this program, students will be able to:

  • Identify and explain the guiding principles of museum operations.
  • Engage in theoretical and practical training relevant to museum careers.
  • Apply their theoretical and practical training to first-hand experience in museum operations through an internship.

Graduate Certificate in Museum Studies

The Graduate Certificate in Museum Studies is a transdisciplinary program open to graduate students enrolled in any graduate program at the University of Oregon. The curriculum is designed to provide both scholarly engagement with issues related to museums and an introduction to the specialized skills pertinent to museum professionals. Students must complete a minimum of 24 credits in approved courses.

Among the minimum 24 credits, 4 credits must come from the core course, ARH540 (Museology), and 3 credits from DSGN604 (Internship). The remaining 17 credits are devoted to Electives. You may count up to 12 credits of relevant courses offered through your home department/program toward both the certificate and your major requirements.

The certificate requires a minimum of 17 Elective credits. Elective courses provide students the opportunity to explore issues surrounding museums today and to familiarize themselves with skill sets expected of the specific museum careers they are interested in. Students may choose courses from any of the preapproved elective courses, or may petition to the certificate director to substitute other courses when they are germane to their specific interests.

Interdisciplinary Requirement: You must take at least 5 credits of elective courses offered through a department or program outside of your home department/program.

Distribution requirements: The electives courses must fulfill the following two distribution requirements:

  1. Topics in Museum Studies (at least one course): A topics-based course involves historical, theoretical, or philosophical exploration of issues surrounding museums, for instance a course on museum ethics (PPPM 571 Cultural Policy, for instance).
  2. Practice/Methods in Museum Studies (at least one course): A practice/methods-based course deals with practical knowledge of and skills in museum operations, for instance a course on connoisseurship, exhibition planning or educational programming (ARH 510 Inside Museum Exhibition, for instance).