Perhaps you are interested in teaching art – but you don’t want to teach in a K-12 setting. What are your options? One possibility is to earn a graduate degree in Museum Education. Individuals who are interested in combining art education, art history, and art criticism may find working in a museum setting suitable, and if they are interested in developing curriculum and instructional methods as well, museum education may be the best fit.
Graduate-level museum education programs can be found in a range of university departments, and the focus of the museum education program will depend (to a certain degree) on the department in which it is housed. It is not uncommon to find museum education and museum studies programs in art departments, art education departments, and art history departments. However, museum education programs and courses can be also be found in education departments, anthropology departments, cultural studies departments, historic planning and preservation departments, and entertainment and management departments. Many museum education programs are offered through standalone art museums, either in-person or online.
Museum education programs typically require coursework covering the following topics: child development, curriculum development, art history, studio art, and teaching visual literacy. They will also typically require an internship at an art museum. However, some programs are more flexible, and depending on the student’s area of interest, he or she may also conduct an internship at a natural history museum, children’s museum, living history museum, a musuem of science and industry, or a discovery museum.
Finally, it is important to know that some graduate-level museum education programs offer graduate degrees, such as an MA, while other programs offer only a certificate in museum studies.
Careers in Museum Education
Graduates of Museum Education master’s programs can find employment at art museums (as well as other types of museums), as well as similar nonprofit organizations. Job titles include program coordinator, museum educator, education director, or director of community outreach.
This post is part of the series: Graduate degree options for art educators
- Getting a Master’s Degree in Art Education
- Getting a master’s degree in Arts Administration and Policy
- Masters Degrees in Museum Education