MA in Critical Museum Studies

Mockingbird by Skylar Borgstrom

Critical Museum Studies is a pre-professional interdisciplinary MA program under the aegis of three programmatic sponsors and core departments/programs: Art, Anthropology, and Arts Management. Students are required to take courses in each of the three core programs thereby ensuring that an interdisciplinary perspective is built into the program. 

Critical Museum Studies offers a theoretically informed and politically engaged perspective on the current museum field. The museum world is in the midst of new pressures and is struggling with shifting paradigms, attempting to negotiate perhaps the most seismic changes since its 19th century origins. Today, as museums negotiate a digital shift in a newly globalized museum world, a host of new pressures have arisen. This program places these issues front and center. 

The MA consists of a minimum of 36 credit hours and is entirely self-funded as no TA support is available for this program. All students will be required to take 3 core courses in the three core departments/programs, write a thesis and participate in a practicum/internship program in one of the core departments/programs. 

Program Plan

Core Courses, 9 Credit Hours

  • VS 501 Intro to Visual Studies (3) OR VS 521 Critical Theory (3)
  • APY 514 Museum Management (3)
  • AAP 519 Critical Questions Concerning Museums (3)

Electives, 9 Credit Hours
Choose from the three participating departments

Independent Study, 6 Credit Hours

First and Second Semesters
Choose one, three credit hour independent study from any of the three departments:

  • AAP 599 Independent Study
  • APY 602/607 Individual Reading cultural anthropology/physical anthropology
  • VS 595 Independent Study: Advanced Reading

Internship, 6 Credit Hours

  • Anthropology concentration: APY 538 Field School or APY 557 Internship/Practicum
  • Arts Management concentration: AAP 511 Fieldwork in Arts Management
  • VS concentration: VS 501 Politics of Museums in NY or AHI 598 Museum Studies Internship

Master’s Thesis, 6 Credit Hours
(in accord with department of enrollment)

  • AAP 513 Thesis Guidance
  • APY 600 MA Project/Thesis Guidance
  • VS 598 Thesis Guidance


For more information

Contact Us

Stephanie Rothenberg

138 Center for the Arts

Phone: (716) 645-0546

Director, Graduate Program
Graphic Design Program Head
Associate Professor
Department of Art
College of Arts and Sciences

138 Center for the Arts

Phone: (716) 645-0546

Lisa Hewitt
Lisa Hewitt

202C Center for the Arts

Phone: (716) 645-0537

Academic Advisor
Department of Art
College of Arts and Sciences

202C Center for the Arts

Phone: (716) 645-0537