Protect, interpret, and share our heritage.
The museum studies minor at the University of Mary Washington explores not only how museums are organized and operated, but also how they care for and interpret their collections, serve their audiences, and respond to new technologies. You will look at how museums grapple with complex legal and ethical issues unique to their disciplines including the cultural implications of the work they do and the extent of that work’s impact from the intimate community to the global market.
Areas of Study
Combining theory with practice, the curriculum incorporates classroom study and directed research with practical experiences in the form of field trips, group projects, and internships. The minor incorporates the disciplines of American studies, anthropology, art and art history, classics, historic preservation, and history, from which students may select their own concentration preference. The minor is open to students from any discipline in the arts and sciences, education, or business colleges at UMW.
The museum field is a rapidly expanding and vital part of society. The American Alliance of Museums estimates there are 35,000 museums operating in the United States alone, generating a demand for highly trained museum professionals.
Museum studies students have the opportunity to collaborate with UMW alumni working in museums all over the United States. UMW interns have worked in such institutions as the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, the National Museum of the Marine Corps, and the U. S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. UMW’s three museums also support this minor with internship opportunities.
The museum studies minor requires 18 credits. You must take two basic museum studies courses (6 credits) and complete an internship (3 credits) through one of the following departments: American studies, anthropology, art history, classics, historic preservation, or history. You will complete three elective courses (9 credits) from among the same departments, including such classes as the Anthropology of Art, Archives and Society, Digital History, Introduction to Conservation, Museum Collections Management, Museum Education, and Museum Accessibility. Approved special topics courses may count as electives.