Major Overview

Do you enjoy spending afternoons in a museum exploring history or gazing at beautiful artwork? Is it your dream to someday work in a museum? If so, then Museum Studies could be the major for you!

A major in Museum Studies involves history and art studies, as well as the practical side of how a museum operates. Curators, directors, conservators, collection managers, and exhibit designers are all extremely important museum staff. Part of your studies will involve learning how technology can be used to reach a wider audience. You will also learn about cataloging, research, and fundraising. This major will teach you how to preserve and store artwork, how to transport valuable pieces, and how to evaluate the condition of various specimens.

Courses you should expect to take are management, conservation, museum exhibition, collections and curation, preservation, museum education, information technology, museum environment, museum planning and management, public programs, and fundraising.

Required Skills

Students who choose this major should have a driving interest in the arts and enjoy visiting museums and galleries. Be ready to use your writing, research and analytical skills to describe art and complete research papers. Your classes will teach you how to evaluate art and other pieces to determine the origin, history, and importance of the piece. You will need to master specific terminology and vocabulary to accurately describe specimens. You will be tested on logical ways to place art together and will need to create displays that are appealing to the eye.

Many Museum Studies majors will get jobs describing and explain art work to the general public. It is important to have a good memory and remember details in order to accurately explain cultural, historical, and political context for pieces of art. This career field involves continual learning and research.

Careers

This major well prepares students to work in museum in various capacities. You will be able to lead tours, give lectures, and interact with the public. You may also design exhibits or decide to follow a more business route help with the museum marketing. Research and updating artifacts in a collection is also an option. Many jobs in the museum field require an advanced degree.

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Example Careers

Here is a small sample of the careers that a degree in Museum Studies might open up.

Archivists
Curators
Museum Technicians and Conservators
Salary data is estimated by College Factual using 2013 data provided by PayScale.
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