College of Design

Museum Studies Graduate Minor: Eligibility & Requirements



The Museum Studies Minor explores the history, philosophy, operations, and functions of museums--broadly defined to include art, science, history, specialized museums, and others. The interdisciplinary program combines a theoretical basis with practical experiences in the form of internships, field trips, and directed research projects to give students a foundation for work in university, public, and private museums in a rapidly growing profession.  The Museum Studies Minor is open to students in any major.


Because experience is highly valued in museum work, students are strongly encouraged to pursue additional opportunities such as a second internship or volunteer work in museums. In special cases, the Museum Studies Minor provides opportunities for entry-level museum positions in aquaria; art galleries; botanical gardens; corporate archives and collections; historical houses and sites; monuments; museums; national, state and county parks; nature centers, and zoos. This minor also prepares students to be active supporters of museums and life-long learners who use museums.




A graduate minor may be earned in museum studies related to the student’s graduate major field.  The museum studies minor is a structured curriculum that provides students from a variety of disciplines with an introduction to issues involved in museum practice (e.g., leadership, curation, communication, education, and collections management). The curriculum includes seminars and internships designed to suit the particular needs and interests of the student. The course of study is determined in consultation with the student’s major advisor and the Director of Graduate Studies for the minor.

Admission to the museum studies graduate minor is contingent upon prior admission to a master's or doctoral degree-granting program within the Graduate School. No more than 15 students will be admitted to this minor each year.


Credit Requirements


Master’s students:     7

Doctoral students:    12




To fulfill the credit requirements, master’s students take MST 5011, MST 5012, and engage in a minimum of one internship experience, MST 5020.  Doctoral students consult with the Director of Graduate Studies for the Minor.

MST 5011 Museum History and Philosophy
(3.0 cr; Prereq-#; A-F or Aud, fall, every year)
Historical and philosophical roots of museum development in Europe and North America from the Renaissance to modern day museums and history centers. Emerging philosophical issues faced by museums today.

MST 5012 Museum Practices
(3.0 cr; Prereq-5011 or #; A-F or Aud, spring, every year)
Practical aspects of museum work. Standards, practices, responsibilities, and issues, all set in greater museum context. Curatorial and educational duties, collections management, security, funding, boards, public relations, installation, and budgeting.

MST 5020 Internship
(1.0 - 6.0 cr [max 32.0 cr]; Prereq-5011, 5012, %; S-N or Aud, fall, spring, summer, every year)
Students arrange to perform a professional-level task in a museum of good standing under close supervision of a member of the museum's professional staff. Instructor must approve a work plan and report.  More information about Internships.

MST 8993 Directed Study in Museum Studies
(1.0 - 4.0 cr [max 16.0 cr]; Prereq-[5012 or & 5012], #, %; A-F or Aud, spring, summer, every year)
Study by a student, largely self directed with consultation of a faculty member, on a topic not covered (or not covered in depth) by another course. Program of study is determined jointly by student and advising faculty member.


For PhD students, here is the approved list of courses that may be applied to the minor.


Links to University of Minnesota Museums and Galleries


Links to Museum Professional Organizations


Contact us for more information about the Museum Studies Minor.

Contact Information

College of Design

Saint Paul Offices

32 McNeal Hall, 1985 Buford Ave, St. Paul, MN 55108

P: 612-626-9068 | F: 612-625-1922

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Minneapolis Offices

101 Rapson Hall, 89 Church St SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455

P: 612-626-9068 | F: 612-625-7525

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