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Department of Education

Museum Education

Teacher interacting with young student

Courses and Requirements

The M.A. in Museum Education is a two-year, 33-credit program. Each student takes five required museum studies courses, two required education courses, and four electives relating to the discipline of the student's area of interest. The electives form an important part of a student's preparation for work in the field, for museum educators need both discipline-based knowledge and pedagogical knowledge and strategies for teaching content.

5 Museum Studies Courses

  • Museum Foundations Course:
    ED 285 Museums Today: Mission and Function
  • Museum Education Foundations Course:
    ED 280 Museum Teaching and Learning in the Museum
  • Museum Curriculum Course:
    ED 281 Museum Education for K-12 Audiences
  • Seminar:
    ED 282 Proseminar in Museum Interpretation
  • Museum Practicum:
    ED 284 Practicum in Museum Education

2 Education Courses (one from each category)

Education Foundations Course:

  • ED 161 Anthropology and Sociology of Schooling
  • ED 162 Critical Histories of U.S. Education
  • ED 163 Philosophies
  • ED 167 Critical Race Theory
  • ED 168 Pedagogies

Psychology of Development and Education:

  • ED 130 Human Development and Learning
  • ED 142 Education of the Exceptional Child
  • ED 252 Group Dynamics
  • CSHD 211 Theories of Human Development
  • CSHD 161 Advanced Personal-Social Development
  • CSHD 262 Cultural Sensitivity

4 Electives, as determined with your advisor

Program Objectives

  • Understanding of museum issues in the 21st century across the spectrum of museum types, and familiarity with all aspects of museum operations and how they support audiences and collections
  • Understanding of learning and human development theories that influence museum education practice
  • Ability to assess the various needs, preferences, and learning levels of multiple museum audiences
  • Ability to interpret primary and secondary sources, including visual and material culture, quickly and critically and to reshape it, through exhibitions, public programs, school programs, new media, and written materials, for a variety of audiences
  • Basic knowledge of the discipline of the museum field of choice (such as art history, American history, science, natural history, etc.)
  • Ability to plan and implement museum-school and public programs from concept, curriculum development, budgeting and marketing to teaching and evaluation
  • Understanding of the importance of evaluation and basic skills in designing and conducting evaluation studies
  • Ability to write for a variety of audiences at different learning and reading levels
  • Ability to advocate for an idea, project, or program to colleagues, donors, and funding agencies
  • Application of skills and knowledge gained through coursework to the real-world setting of a museum