Graduate Certificate in Museum Studies

The Department of History of Art & Architecture offers a Certificate in Museum Studies to students enrolled in appropriate master’s or doctoral programs at Boston University. This certificate is usually completed in conjunction with the MA in History of Art & Architecture; however, the certificate program in museum studies is also open to students enrolled in cognate BU graduate degree programs. The certificate is awarded at the completion of the master’s degree.

Learning Outcomes

  • Students learn oral communication of museological arguments.
  • Students acquire facility with tools and methods of museological inquiry.
  • Students are prepared for a museum career.

Course Requirements

Students must complete four courses to satisfy the certificate’s requirements:

  • CAS AH 520 The Museum and Historical Agency
  • CAS AH 521 Curatorship
  • CAS AH 501 or AH 502 Practicum in Museum Studies, which, for the certificate, must be an approved graduate-level internship in a museum or nonprofit arts organization
  • An elective chosen with the approval of the director of museum studies. Options include:
    • CAS AH 501 or AH 502 Practicum in Museum Studies, whichever not already taken
    • Other graduate-level courses, including those offered by other departments and Metropolitan College’s Arts Administration program, approved by the director of museum studies to suit the student’s individual interests

These courses may be taken either as part of, or in addition to, the courses required for the MA or the PhD. Students enrolled simultaneously in the MA and the certificate program may complete the course requirements for both programs by taking nine courses instead of the eight for the MA alone. This typically includes five required area courses, including two seminars, and four museum courses; however, such students may choose to take more than nine courses.

With approval from the director of museum studies and director of graduate studies, the curatorial seminar may occasionally double as an area distribution for the MA, but in this case, the total of nine required courses remains.


Prior to beginning an internship, students must complete the CAS AH 501/502 Internship Approval Form. Internships taken for credit must meet certain requirements and be approved by the director of museum studies.

The department has close ties with the American & New England Studies Program, the Preservation Studies Program, and the Department of Archaeology—all within BU. Internship placements are regularly held at a range of local and regional institutions, and across the country, including:

  • Addison Gallery of American Art, Phillips Academy
  • Harvard University Art Museums
  • Institute of Contemporary Art
  • List Art Center at MIT
  • Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
  • Nichols House Museum, Boston
  • Peabody-Essex Museum
  • Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities/Historic New England