2014-2015 Graduate Course Catalog 
    Oct 02, 2023  
2014-2015 Graduate Course Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Museum Studies, MA

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Edward Aiken, eaaiken@syr.edu, Professor/Program Coordinator Museum Studies
The Warehouse, 3rd Floor, 315-443-4098

The Master of Arts in museum studies prepares individuals to enter the museum profession through a course of study leading to the M.A. degree. The curriculum is grounded in research, scholarship, design, and actual practice. At the center of the program is the belief that the museum professional serves as the liaison between the viewing public and the museum object. Furthermore, the program is structured in a manner that enables our students to develop an understanding of the relationship between theory and practice. The Syracuse University Art Galleries, the Special Collections Research Center, and the Genet Costume Collection and Gallery at The Warehouse provide major settings for education and training, which is enhanced with projects at different off-campus venues around the city and the region. Students gain additional training and experience through internships at museums and cultural institutions throughout the United States and abroad. We strongly believe that this combination of academic and professional training prepares our students for their chosen fields and sustains them throughout their careers.

An important aspect of the program is the availability of courses in a wide variety of related fields, including the Department of Art, the Department of Transmedia, the Department of Art and Music Histories, the School of Education, the School of Information Studies, the Maxwell School of Citizenship, the Newhouse School of Public Communications, and the Department of Anthropology at Syracuse University. A significant number of students pursue concurrent or sequential degrees in such fields as art history, anthropology, arts administration, and information studies. However, matriculated status in the graduate program in museum studies does not guarantee admission to other graduate programs.

Students also have opportunities to study away from Syracuse by taking courses in New York City, Washington D.C., and Los Angeles, where they visit significant museums, galleries and contemporary artist studios to hear from prominent artists, curators, and gallery owners, many of whom are accomplished SU alumni.

The faculty is composed of working professionals from the University and the local museum community. They bring a wide range of expertise and experience to students in the program. Faculty and staff organize field trips to museums and conferences and bring professionals to campus as visiting speakers.


Applicants must have at least a 3.35 average (4.0=A) in the major field and an overall average of no less than 3.0. The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is highly recommended. (Graduate students from non-visual arts disciplines who are seeking concurrent degrees are encouraged to discuss their backgrounds and their programs of study with the graduate director.)

The M.A. degree requires a minimum one-year residency and 33 credits, 27 of which must be in museum studies. Students must pass a comprehensive examination in order to graduate.


Core requirements:

(All courses required, for a total of 18-21 credits)

Concentration Requirements:

(Minimum of two, one of which may be selected from courses offered as MUS 600 - Selected Topics )

General Academic or Studio Electives

(6-9 cr., at least 3 credits must be in museum studies)

Completion Requirement:

Comprehensive examination 0 cr.

Total Credits: 33


In the academic year 2014-15, the program will review its curriculum and may add Selected Topics courses not listed in the current catalogue. Applicants and current students should check with the program for additional information.

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