The University of Georgia recently announced a new interdisciplinary Museum Studies Certificate program. Its objective is to prepare students for careers in museums and museum-related fields.
The program “provides a broad overview of the history of museums as well as knowledge of museum theory, methodology and practice consistent with contemporary national and international standards” according to UGA’s Bulletin website.
As reported in The Red & Black, the Museum Studies Certificate requires at least 16 semester credit hours including a museum internship.
The rest of the nine credit hours can be picked from among 23 pre-approved elective courses found on the Bulletin website.
“Museum Studies is a growing field and has incredible opportunities and applications for students in a variety of academic disciplines — history, art history, art education, biology, anthropology, just to name a few,” said Callan Steinmann, associate curator of education at the Georgia Museum of Art in an email.
A variety of UGA graduates have worked at museums at one point during their careers, said James Reap, graduate coordinator of the Masters of Historic Preservation Program.
Steinmann, Reason and Reap, who worked on the program together over the past year, all emphasized the future career opportunities in museums and museum-related fields that the program seeks to offer.
Steinmann also said that because of UGA’s and Athens’ museums, such as the Georgia Museum of Art and the Georgia Museum of Natural History, students will have close access to internships and field experience.
“These institutions provide students the opportunity to work with objects, solve problems and apply concepts and ideas learned in the classroom,” Steinmann said. “Museums are such rich cultural resources, and this certificate will allow students to gain a deeper understanding of the role of museums in society and the day-to-day logistics of managing collections, developing exhibits and working with visitors.”
Even though the program was approved to begin this fall, there will be an application period before the required courses are offered, Reason said.
Reason also said a proposal for a graduate certificate in museum studies is in the works.
“We hope [the graduate certificate] will be approved for spring as well, allowing those students to take the course,” Reason said.
The Museum Studies Certificate program is being offered to all undergraduate and post-baccalaureate students who are in academic good standing (cumulative GPA is a 2.0 or above).
Students must also submit an application to the program, which may be found on UGA’s history department website soon.
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