All students earn a Master of Arts (MA) in Museum Studies. The MA requires ten courses, two required, three core courses and five electives, to be completed within five years of beginning the program.
The core curriculum offers grounding in the theory and practice of museums in a changing technological, social and political environment emphasizing the role of technology throughout the museum. Elective courses address all aspects of the museum, from collections and exhibitions to marketing and development. Students work with an advisor to design a course of study that best suits their needs and interests.
Students must take a total of 10 courses
- Exploring Museum Professionals or Museums in the Digital Age
- Three Core Courses
- Five Elective Courses
- Two-week Onsite Seminar
- Optional internship (An internship or project at a student’s local museum, approved by the Internship Coordinator, may be substituted for one elective course)
Required Courses (two required courses)
- 460.601 – Exploring Museum Professions or 460.602 – Museums in the Digital Age
- 460.610 – Two-week Onsite Seminar – A two-week, intensive, period of on-ground museum study in Washington, DC, or in another location organized by the Museum Studies program is a required component of the degree. The seminar includes practicum opportunities in a variety of museum settings; conversations with local museum professionals; observation of and interaction with museum visitors; and class sessions to integrate the daily experiences. Using the rich diversity of museums in the Washington area or an equally suitable site, this course provides students with the chance to use what they have learned in their prior courses, develop networks with fellow students and museum experts, and explore the latest in museum practice, including exhibition design and development, public programming, collections management, conservation, and uses of technology in the museum. Students work in teams on directed activities during the two-week period. Note: Students must have completed a minimum of two courses in the program, one of which must be 460.601 or 460.602, to register for this class. Some seminars may have other specific requirements. Students are responsible for travel to and from the location, accommodations, and meals, as well as any specified field trip fees.Waiver option: Students who are unable to travel to Washington, DC, or to other seminar locations, due to accommodation needs, financial hardship, or family challenges, may apply to the program director for an exemption to the two-week seminar. If a waiver is granted, the student must enroll in the internship option (460.750) to fulfill the onsite component of the degree requirement.
Core Courses (select at least three of five)
- 460.604 – Introduction to Museum Education
- 460.606 – Exhibition Strategies
- 460.608 – The Business of Museums
- 460.609 – Museums in a Global Perspective
Students must have completed two courses in the program to register for this course and we strongly recommend that students have two other core courses before enrolling
- 460.666 – Collection Management
Electives (select five)
- 460.601 – Exploring Museum Professions
(if 460.602 has been taken to meet the requirement)
- 460.602 – Museums in the Digital Age
(if 460.601 has been taken to meet the requirement)
- 460.611 – History and Philosophy of Museums
- 460.612 – Multimedia History, Theory, and Practice
- 460.614 – Ethnically Specific Museums
- 460.615 – Museums and Community Engagement
- 460.616 – Museums, Law and Policy
- 460.617 – Ethics, Technology, and the Museum Professional
- 460.618 – Museum Controversies: Ethical Issues in Museums
- 460.620 – Accessibility in the Museum
- 460.621 – Evaluation Theory and Techniques for Museums
- 460.628 – Architecture of Museums
- 460.630 – Exhibition Design, Construction, and Documentation
Prerequisite: Exhibition Strategies (460.606)
- 460.633 – Core Aspects of Conservation: A 21st Century Approach
- 460.634 – Museums, Libraries, and Archives: Issues of Convergence for Collecting Institutions
- 460.635 – Curatorship: Principles and Practices
- 460.636 – Living Collections
- 460.639 – Material Culture and the Modern Museum
Students are strongly encouraged to have completed two courses in the program before registering for this course
- 460.640 – Educational Programming for Museum Audiences
Prerequisite: Introduction to Museum Education (460.604)
- 460.641 – Digital Media in the Museum
- 460.642 – Creating Online Learning Environments for Museums
Students are strongly encouraged to take 460.604 – Introduction to Museum Education, before registering for this course.
- 460.645 – Museums and Mobile: Adapting to Change
- 460.650 – Fundamentals of Writing
- 460.652 – The Practice of Museum Publishing
- 460.655 – Expanding Roles of Museum Marketing and Communications
- 460.657 – Fundamentals of Museum Fundraising
- 460.660 – Culture and Management of Technology in Museums
- 460.662 – Developing Museum Web Projects
- 460.667 – Collections Information Management Systems
- 460.668 – Cataloguing Museum Collections: History, Standards, and Applications
- 460.670 – Digital Preservation
Students must have completed two courses in the program to register for this course and we strongly recommend that students have two other core courses before enrolling.
- 460.671 – Foundations of Digital Curation
Students must have completed two courses in the program to register for this course.
- 460.672 – Managing Digital Information in Museums
- 460.673 – Digital Curation Certificate Internship
- 460.674 – Digital Curation Research Paper
- 460.675 – Leadership of Museums
Prerequisite: Students must have completed ONE of the following courses to register for this course: History & Philosophy of Museums (460.611); Museums, Finance and the Economy (460.684); or Fundamentals of Museum Fundraising (460.657)
- 460.682 – Museum Procurement and Contracting
- 460.683 – Project Management in Museums
- 460.684 – Museums, Finance, and the Economy
- 460.690 – Science, Society, and the Museum
- 460.750 – Museum Internship
An internship or project at a student’s local museum, approved by the internship coordinator, may be substituted for one elective course. Students must have completed two courses in the program to register for this course.
- 460.755 – Museum Projects
Offered on an occasional basis; prerequisites vary depending on project.
Students may take up to two related courses in other Johns Hopkins University departments subject to the approval of the Program Director.
State-specific Information for Online Programs
Note: Students should be aware of additional state-specific information for online programs. For more information, please contact an admissions representative.
- Admissions Requirements
- Degree Requirements
- Course Descriptions
- Tuition and Fees
- Career Opportunities
- Course Schedule
- The Experience