MA in Critical Museum Studies

Mockingbird by Skylar Borgstrom.

For program and admission information for the MA in Critical Museum Studies information, see the Department of Anthropology page here.

Critical Museum Studies is a pre-professional interdisciplinary MA program with coursework in Art, Anthropology, and Arts Management

Students are required to take courses in each of the three core programs, providing an interdisciplinary perspective and preparing graduates for real world applications of their degree.

Critical Museum Studies offers a theoretically informed and politically engaged perspective on the current museum field. Today, as museums negotiate a digital shift in a newly globalized museum world, a host of new pressures have arisen for curators and collections. This program put these new possibilities and challenges 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 were 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

Students select 3 courses from 5 core areas. Courses selected must be from 3 different areas.

  • VS 501 Intro to Visual Studies (3) OR VS 521 Critical Theory (3)
  • APY 514 Museum Management (3) OR APY 618 Critical Heritage (3)
  • AAP 518 Issues in Museum Management (3) OR AAP 519 Critical Questions Concerning Museums (3)
  • CL 580 Roman Ceramics & Small Finds (3) OR CL 712 Roman History - The Classical Art Museum (3)
  • DMS 532 Graduate Seminar II

Electives, 12 Credit Hours

Choose from the three participating departments: Anthropology, Arts Management or Visual Studies. Additionally, other electives are available in Digital Media Studies and Classics, with approval from the program directors.

Independent Study, 3 Credit Hours

Choose one three-credit-hour independent study from any of the three departments:

  • Anthropology concentration: APY 538 Field School
  • Arts Management concentration: AAP 511 Fieldwork in Arts Management
  • Visual Studies concentration: AHI  598 The Politics of Museums in New York or Museum Studies Internship

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

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


For more information