Museum Studies

The Museum Studies Program was established in 1963 as a cooperative venture between UW-Milwaukee and the Milwaukee Public Museum. The goal of the program is to provide, in a museum environment, the basic scholarship and functional training to equip the student with the skills required for professional entry-level museum positions in

  • museums
  • galleries
  • archives
  • historical societies
  • related institutions

The program is administered by the Anthropology Department at UW-Milwaukee but any UW-Milwaukee graduate student may apply. Courses are taught off-campus at the Milwaukee Public Museum (MPM) by museum professionals. All applicants to the Museum Studies certificate program must comply with a background check as required by Milwaukee Public Museum policy. Individuals with criminal records cannot be admitted to the program.

The Museum Studies Committee is represented by the following MPM staff and UWM faculty:

The Museum Studies Program provides an overview of museum work, including

  • philosophical and contemporary issues
  • museum history and methodology
  • collections care and management
  • curation
  • interpretation
  • preventive conservation
  • exhibition

Professional museum standards and ethics, proper care and interpretation of collections, as well as the development of expertise and special skills are integral to the program. Coursework is structured to develop a high degree of professionalism, including problem solving and critical thinking skills, effective written and oral communication, decision-making, and teamwork. Regular individual academic advising and career planning are one of the reasons the majority of graduates find paid museum positions within one year of graduation. Graduates of the program have assumed responsibilities in museums and related institutions across the country as directors, curators, collections managers, registrars, educators, and more.