Bachelor of Science programs in museum studies help students learn how to set up and maintain museum exhibits, catalog acquisitions, and perform office duties. Programs often require internships at museums or libraries for hands-on experience. Graduates are ready for work as museum registrars, or they can pursue a master's degree to become a curator or archivist.
Students seeking to enroll in a 4-year baccalaureate degree program in museum studies are generally required to complete general education requirements before declaring a major, which may include liberal arts, math, science, and fine arts. Applicants will also need to be in possession of a high school diploma.
Bachelor of Science in Museum Studies
Bachelor's degree programs in museum studies are interdisciplinary programs that provide students with a historical and theoretical knowledge of museums and exhibitions, as well as practical training in basic museum functions. Most programs in the field are designed to provide students with the exact skills necessary to either earn a position as a museum technician or enroll in a graduate program in museum administration or supervision.
Students enrolled in bachelor's degree programs in museum studies learn about the basics of museology, history collections, historical museums and restorations, and art history. They also study the particular processes and practices carried out by museum technicians, such as planning exhibitions, maintaining displays, acquiring materials, and cataloguing items. Common course topics include:
- Introduction to museology
- Historical museums
- Museum administration
- Museum methodology
- Education and teaching in museums
- Historical research
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
In 2014, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that there were about 31,300 archivists, curators, and museum workers employed across the country. Museums, historical sites and the federal government were the primary employers of museum technicians in that same year. In 2015, the median annual salary for conservators and museum technicians was $40,340.
Continuing Education Options
Museum technicians must often complete a master's degree program in museum studies if they wish to advance to positions as curators and archivists. Some small museums might allow museum technicians to work their way up to those positions after years of on-the-job training. Some larger museums and organizations, such as the National Archives in Washington, D.C., offer further educational and training opportunities for curators and archivists.
Prospective museum technicians can gain the education and skills required for their job by completing a bachelor's program in museum studies, which will teach them the foundations of conservation, restoration and museology.