Interdisciplinarity. Theory and practice. An applied theory program.

The Museum Studies Program provides a forum for critical debates, scholarship, and practices relevant to museums on our campus and beyond. We offer an interdisciplinary certificate program that affords graduate students the opportunity to study and engage with museums and allied institutions. Our dynamic curriculum links museum history, theory, and practice combining traditional classroom learning with applied experience through internships and field trips. Students examine museums’ entangled histories with colonialism and nationalism, tap the promise of museums for the communities they serve, and explore reparative and decolonial museum practices.

Through teaching, capstone projects, and internships, we open pathways to museum careers. With the MSP certificate students gain professional credentials for work in museums. We also strengthen and support museum-related research by offering fellowships for students whose dissertations contribute to the field of museum studies.

On campus and beyond, MSP is supported by a vibrant network of museum professionals. Curators, museum educators, directors, collection managers, registrars, designers, and conservators share their expertise during museum visits, workshops, and in the classroom. The program is a member of the Michigan Museum Association (MMA) and students benefit from close ties with alumni who work in museums and the academy.

Our public events and programs invite diverse audiences to engage in questions central to the changing practices and politics of museums. Lectures, gallery tours, panel discussions, and webinars serve the larger public and support our student-centered curriculum while forging partnerships with museum communities and scholars regionally, nationally, and internationally.