Museum Studies Certificate
Student working in Collections with flint tip from the Museum of Natural History’s Archeology & Ethnography collection

Through preservation, education, and research museums provide space for communities to share ideas about their past, present, and future.  The University of Iowa maintains a long tradition of training and preparing professionals for the interdisciplinary work that takes place in museums, offering courses continuously since 1911.

Currently, The University of Iowa offers the Museum Studies Certificate, an 18-semester hour certificate program administered through the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS). Undergraduate and non-traditional students can complete a Certificate alongside their major area of study or as a stand alone Certificate.  

In addition to offering a wide range of museum studies courses on-campus, the program is pleased to present the Certificate online. With the support of Distance and Online Education, the Certificate offers a growing number of online courses taught by the same faculty teaching in the on-campus courses. Both online and on-campus courses make use of the many museum facilities on campus including The University of Iowa Stanley Museum of Art, the Natural History Museum, and the Old Capitol Museum.

Why get a Certificate in Museum Studies?

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. 

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.

What is a Certificate?

A Certificate is an official University credential indicating that you have specific gained expertise by engaging in focused studies in a specific area, usually related to your major. It provides clear evidence of this focused strength to potential employers or graduate schools. Museum studies is an undergraduate Certificate offered through the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS). Its academic home is the Department of Anthropology and the online certificate is supported by Distance and Online Education.