The Minor in Museum Studies, an interdisciplinary and intercollegiate program is administered by the College of Arts and Letters and is available as an elective to students who are enrolled in bachelor’s degree programs at Michigan State University. The minor provides an opportunity for study focused on the development, interpretation, management, preservation, and access of collections of art, cultural history, and natural history. This minor complements a number of major fields of study: art history, anthropology, apparel, textile and design, botany, business, history, park, recreation and tourism resources, studio art, and zoology. Students who plan graduate study or who wish to pursue careers in museums, libraries, archives, other educational institutions, or corporate collections may find this minor particularly appealing.

With the approval of the department and the college that administer the student’s degree program, the courses that are used to satisfy the requirements for the minor may also be used to satisfy the requirements for the bachelor’s degree.

The Minor in Museum Studies includes course work and an internship experience. Courses are planned to provide a broad overview of museum history as well as knowledge of museum theory, methodology and practice consistent with contemporary national and international standards. A wide variety of collections, audiences, interpretive formats, cultural and demographic change, and scholarly directions, are studied. Campus and regional museums, informal learning environments, collections, and exhibitions provide active integrated learning experiences. The Broad Art Museum, the Michigan State University Museum, Beal-Darlington Herbarium, Abrams Planetarium, Michigan State University Library Special Collections, MSU Archives, Anthropology, Apparel, Textile and Design are among some of the relevant campus sites.

Students who plan to complete the requirements for the minor should consult the undergraduate advisor in the College of Arts and Letters (see advising path). As of Fall 2021, the minor has new requirements. If you began your Museum Studies minor prior to Fall 2021, you may still continue on the previous requirements (see your advisor for the details).

The student must complete the following (16 credits):

  1. All of the following courses (7 credits):
    • MUSM 485 Foundations of Museum Studies (3)
    • MUSM 496 Museum Studies Internship (1)
    • ACM 471 Arts & Cultural Management Seminar (3, take at end)
  2. At least 3 of the following courses:
    • MUSM 487 Museums, Arts, & Culture in the Digital Future (3)
    • MUSM 488 Museum Curatorial Practices (3)
    • MUSM 489 Museum Collections Management and Care (3)
    • MUSM 490 Independent Study
    • MUSM 492 Special Topics in Museum Studies (varies 1 to 3)
    • MUSM 494 Museum Exhibitions: Theory and Development (3)
    • MUSM 497 Practicum in Museum Studies (varies 1 to 3)
    • MUSM 498 Learning and Experience in Museums (3)

With approval of the undergraduate advisor for Museum Studies, a course selected from a wide range of disciplines may be counted toward the requirements for the Minor in Museum Studies.

If you are interested in pursuing this area further, you might qualify to use some of your credits toward a Master’s in ACM&MS here at MSU. See details about the dual degree enrollment here.