Getting an Online Master's Degree in Museum Studies
written by: Sonal Panse•edited by: Donna Cosmato•updated: 6/20/2010
This article takes a look at how to get a museum studies online masters degree. A master's degree in museum studies is essential for a high level career in museums and related institutions. People with this degree can work as museum directors, curators, archivists and conservators.
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Online Master's Degree in Museum Studies
You should consider getting an online master's degree in museum studies if you are interested in pursuing a museum-related career or, already having one, are seeking to acquire additional skills for career advancement.
The master's degree program generally takes two years to complete, and students can select courses appropriate to their field of interest---art, history, science and nature---and specialize in a specific area.
Students can expect to study some of the following topics:
Ethics of collecting
Educational aspects of museums
Financial management of museums
Administrative duties of museums
Organization and management of museum collections
History of museums
Human resource management
Conservation and preservation
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Getting an Online Master's Degree in Museum Studies
The requirements for admission to an online master's degree in museum studies are:
A bachelor's degree in fine art, art history, history, archeology, anthropology, science, or any other related field.
Minimum of five years of professional experience may sometimes be considered in lieu of an undergraduate degree.
Field work experience.
To get started, it will certainly help to:
Research colleges offering a museum studies online masters.
Find out courses that will help with the career you hope to pursue.
Find out about eligibility and admission criteria.
Find out about course curriculum and tuition fees.
Find out about mode of learning.
Find out if course is completely online or will require some onsite attendance and field trips.
Find about assignments and dissertation.
Complete and send in your application on time.
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Colleges Offering Online Master's Degree Programs in Museum Studies
Master of Arts in Museum Studies
John Hopkins University
Zanvyl Krieger School of Arts and Sciences
Advanced Academic Programs
To obtain the M.A. degree in museum studies, students are required to complete ten courses, consisting of five core ones and five electives ones, within five years of beginning the program. They can take nine classes online and must attend one summer seminar onsite. The onsite seminar, which is intended to give students a hands-on learning experience, can be taken in Washington D.C. or any suitable venue abroad. John Hopkins University can arrange for students to get a supervised learning experience in museums in their area.
While admissions are taken throughout the year, students are advised apply, by mail or online, by the early application date listed on the Academic Calendar. They need to include the following for admission:
Completed admission form
Completed recommendation letter
Non-refundable application fee of $75
Student visa and TOEFL certification if from outside the USA
After application submission, the admissions committee will assess the application and supporting documents and notify applicants in about four weeks. Students can then register online for their selected courses. Enrollment can be deferred for up to one year; after that, a new admission application will be required. The courses must be completed within a period of five years. Tuition fees are $2,715 per course, and the graduation fee is $100.
The following courses are included in the progra:
Exploring Museum Professions
Museums in the Digital Age
Introduction to Museum Education
The Business of Museums
Museums in a Global Perspective
History and Philosophy of U.S. Museums
New Technologies, Old Dilemmas: Ethics and the Museum Professional
Evaluation Theory and Techniques for Museums
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Museum Studies (distance learning)
University of Leicester
School of Museum Studies
The master's program at the University of Leicester is for a duration of twenty-four months. Applications are taken twice a year, in April and in October. The entry requirements are as follows:
A second class honors degree from a recognized university or equivalent qualification.
Minimum five years work experience is also accepted instead of an undergraduate degree.
Some museum work experience.
TOEFL or IELTS certification.
Tuition fees for the course for UK and EU students is £5,650 and £9,450 for International students.
To get the M.A. degree, students must complete four modules and a dissertation. The modules are:
Museum Communities and Contexts
Managing Resources in the Museum
Museum Communication and Audiences
Museum Projects: the Case of Exhibition and Interpretive Planning
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Benefits of Studying Museum Studies Online Masters
A master's degree is often a valuable asset for high profile and management positions.
Students can study under international professors and museum professionals.
Students can interact with students from around the world.
Students can get proficient in the latest computer technologies.
Students can participate in virtual field trips and work with students from around the world
Students have the flexibility to study in their own time.
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Possible careers with a Masters Degree in Museum Studies include:
Museum Technician - archive technician
Museum Conservator - art conservator, object conservator
Auction house professional
Marketing and Advertising professional
Museum exhibit designers
To do well in a museum career, it will help to:
Be interested in art, history, and culture
Have excellent oral communication skills
Have excellent writing skills
Have excellent interpersonal skills
Have excellent interpretive skills
Have a keen eye for detail
Have efficient work ethics
Have computer skills
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts an eighteen percent increase in jobs for archivists, curators, and museum technicians in the period of 2009 to 2016. However, with qualified applicants outnumbering the available jobs, competition will be keen. Earnings will depend on specialty as well as work institution. In May 2008, according to the Bureau, median annual earnings for archivists were $48,220, for curators they were $51,540, and for museum technicians and conservators they were $40,750.