Museum Studies

The Museum Studies Program was established in 1963 as a cooperative venture between UWM and the Milwaukee Public Museum.

The goal of the program is to provide, in a museum environment, the basic scholarship and functional training to equip the student with the skills necessary to assume professional entry-level museum positions in:

  • museums
  • galleries
  • archives
  • historical societies
  • related institutions

Coursework is structured to develop a high degree of professionalism and responsibility, skills in problem solving, critical thinking and evaluation, writing, oral presentation, decision-making, and teamwork.

The program stresses professional museum standards and ethics and proper care and interpretation of collections while providing the opportunity for the development of expertise and special skills. The program is designed to be practical and realistic.

The Certificate in Museum Studies must be completed in conjunction with a UWM graduate degree program. The certificate is designed to supplement a student’s graduate discipline and assumes that each student will have a firm footing in his/her academic field.

The program is listed and administered through the Anthropology Department at UW-Milwaukee and taught off-campus at the Milwaukee Public Museum (MPM) by museum professionals. All applicants to the Museum Studies certificate program must comply with a background check as required by Milwaukee Public Museum policy. Individuals with criminal records cannot be admitted to the program.

Regular individual academic advising and career planning are important features of the program. The majority of graduates of the program find a paid position in a museum within one year of graduation. Graduates of the program have assumed responsibilities in museums and related institutions across the country as directors, curators, collections managers, registrars, educators, and more.

Graduate Certificate

Total Credits

15 credits at the graduate level

The Museum Studies Certificate Program must be completed in conjunction with a graduate program in an academic discipline (e.g. Anthropology, History, Art History).

Required Courses

Anthro 721 - Museum Collections Management, 3 credits

Anthro 720 - History and Theory of Museums. 3 credits

Anthro 722 - Exhibit Practicum, 3 credits

Anthro 723 - Museum Curation and Interpretation, 3 credits

Anthro 724 - Internship in Museum Studies, 3 credits
approved elective course

The fifth course requirement (Anthro 724) can be satisfied through supplementary coursework at UWM or through completion of a 150-hour internship at the Milwaukee Public Museum or other approved institution.

Grade Point Average

A minimum cumulative 3.00 grade point average in certificate courses taken at UWM is required.

Transfer Credit

No more than 20% of the required credits may be taken at an institution other than UWM. These courses are subject to Graduate School transfer policy and must be approved by the director of the certificate program.

Articulation with Degree Programs

  1. Credits and courses required for a certificate may double count toward meeting UWM graduate degree requirements subject to the following restrictions:
    • Degree programs must approve the courses from certificates that can double count toward the degree.
    • All credits taken in completion of certificate requirements may count towards a UWM graduate degree as long as they do not contribute more than 90% of the total credits needed to obtain the degree. (Note: Students in Ph.D. programs must still complete the minimum residency requirements)
    • Certificate courses used toward meeting degree requirements must be completed within the time limit for transfer credit.
  2. Courses completed for a degree may be counted toward a subsequent certificate, subject to all certificate policy requirements.
  3. A course may count toward no more than one certificate and one degree.
  4. Students may not earn a certificate subsequent to a concentration in the same area.

Time Limit

Certificate program time limits shall be established as follows:

  • 18 or fewer credits/Three years from initial enrollment in the certificate sequence.
  • 19 or more credits/Four years from initial enrollment in the certificate sequence.

For certificates that are designed as add-ons to degree programs and are awarded concurrent with the degree, the time limit shall be the same as that of the degree program.