Museum Studies Program
Undergraduate Certificate in Museum Studies
The University of Iowa maintains a long museum studies tradition, offering courses continuously since 1910. The number of students currently enrolled in Museum Studies courses has tripled since 2004, largely due to the program’s growing faculty and staff, as well as increased support from the University of Iowa and the Center for Credit Programs. The museum facilities at the University of Iowa include the Museum of Natural History, the University of Iowa Museum of Art and the Old Capitol Museum, just a few of the numerous resources available to students pursuing a certificate in Museum Studies at the University of Iowa.
The Museum Studies program is an 18-semester hour certificate program administered by the Center for Credit Programs. Undergraduate and non-traditional students complete a certificate alongside their major area of study. Through course work and internship experiences, the program prepares students for museum careers and graduate school while providing students with a greater understanding of museums and the important role they play in promoting education and cultural awareness on the local, national and international levels. Graduates of the Museum Studies program have become directors, curators, educators, and exhibit specialists in museums throughout the country. The Museum Studies program offers courses that are of value not only to students intending to pursue museum careers or continue their education, but also to those with a general interest in the arts, sciences, or humanities, as well as to those students who simply wish to know more about the workings of museums.
Museums are interdisciplinary institutions that embrace every aspect of cultural study, and the focus of one museum is often different from that of another. The study of museums mirrors this multiplicity. Many UI academic departments offer courses that supplement those required for the certificate. Some of these departments include American studies, anthropology, archaeology, art history, studio art, biology, business, communication studies, elementary and secondary education, English, foreign languages, history, historic preservation, library science, and recreation and leisure. Students pursuing the certificate are encouraged to connect their knowledge of museums with their major area of study, which offers each student a unique educational experience that is tailored to fit their personal interests.
A certificate in Museum Studies provides a broad foundation of knowledge that is becoming increasingly desired in the museum field. Museum Studies courses introduce students to the spectrum of museum endeavors, from organization and mission planning to institutional histories and current developments within the field. Most courses developed by the program offer hands-on experience in exhibition planning and design, collection management, educational programming, community development, and administration, so students graduate with the skills necessary for continuing their involvement with museums, whether it is on a personal or professional level.