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Museum Studies

What is Museum Studies?

One of the only undergraduate programs of its kind in the Midwest, Walsh University's Museum Studies major provides a solid foundation in non-profit management with a dual focus on the theory of museology and hands-on experiences. The program features three tracks—history, art, and the natural sciences—and thus encompasses a broad spectrum of types of collections. All aspects of the program focus on museums' missions, policies and procedures, professionalism, codes of ethics, and sensitivity to cultural material and historical perspectives.

What type of career can I look forward to with a Museum Studies degree?

Graduates who earn a Bachelor of Arts in Museum Studies from Walsh University are qualified to work in a wide variety of entry-level positions in multiple types of museums or other kinds of non-profit organizations as outlined below. For those with an eye on senior level or specialized positions within museums, Walsh graduates may wish to pursue graduate studies.

Types of Museums Career Paths 
Arboreta or Nature Centers  Administrator
Art Museums  Archivist
Botanical Gardens  Collections Manager
Children's Museums  Curator
History Centers  Development Coordinator/Fundraiser/Grants Writer
Historic Houses  Director/Executive Director  
Historic Sites or Battlefields  Donor Relations/Membership/Corporate Relations
Living History Museums  Educator/Interpreter/Outreach Coordinator  
National Historic Landmarks  Events Coordinator/Public Programs/Public Relations  
Natural History Museums  Exhibition Designer/Preparator/Art Handler
Sculpture Parks/Outdoor Art  Registrar
Science Center/Planetarium  Restoration, Preservation, Conservation
Zoological Parks  Visitor Services Coordinator

 

What makes Walsh's Museum Studies major unique?

  • Singular program. Walsh University offers the only full undergraduate major in Museum Studies in the state of Ohio, and the program is one of the few offered in the United States.
  • Real-world experience. Walsh has its own museum: the Hoover Historical Center. Museum Studies students have the opportunity to combine classroom instruction with hands-on practicum experience at the center, as well as internships in other area museums.
  • Esteemed opportunities. Walsh is a partner with the prestigious Campbell Center for Historical Preservation in Mount Carroll, Ill. Walsh students may be eligible to receive a scholarship to participate in Campbell Center workshops and work with museum professionals while earning academic credit.
  • Global Learning. Museum Studies students are highly encouraged to participate in a Global Learning experience during their degree program at Walsh. Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors can study at Walsh's center in Castel Gandolfo, just outside of Rome, Italy. Museum Studies majors may also study at other international sites, such as Paris or London, as opportunities are available.

Generally speaking, what courses will I need to take?

Students in this degree program are required to take core courses in Museum Studies, including Introduction to Museum Studies, a course for incoming freshmen that offers an overview of the civic roles of museums, basic collections care, and the types of museums and career paths. Highlights include panel discussions with professionals in area museums and an opportunity for students to visit up to four museums for oral presentations and written critiques. The Senior Seminar in Museology provides an opportunity for students to research a museological problem or topic as it relates to a specific contemporary museum. Students write a research paper on the nature of the issue and propose solutions for a real-life situation.

What experiential learning or internship opportunities are available with Museum Studies?

The Birk Center for the Arts on Walsh's campus provides the setting for students at the Sophomore, Junior or Senior levels to learn exhibition design by curating shows for the Atrium Gallery. Students jury, curate, prepare, install, and de-install shows every semester. Students also host the opening reception with gallery talks, as well as write the wall texts, labels, and press materials for the exhibition.

  • Sophomores take a Public History Practicum for one semester at the Hoover Historical Center on Walsh's campus. This supervised experience working in an actual, operating museum allows students to give tours to the general public, create small exhibitions in display cases on campus, and conduct archival, registration, or collections care projects.
  • Juniors take a two semester sequence of supervised museum Internships off-campus. Placements may include, but are not limited to, the Canton Museum of Art, the Massillon Museum, the Professional Football Hall of Fame, the National First Ladies' Library, and the McKinley Museum and Library.
  • Seniors have the option to take a variable number of credit hours over the summer at the Campbell Center for Historic Preservation Studies in Mt. Carroll, IL. In these intense, focused workshops led by museum professionals from all over the United States, students can learn specialized skills in mount-building and matting, as well as care for photographs, paintings, cemeteries, or historic structures.
  • Seniors also work with an actual museum outside of Stark County on their Capstone Projects. These independent projects can be catered to a student's interest in a particular kind of work within a museum. For example, a student who wishes to be a curator may design an exhibition. A student pursuing museum education may design a school tour or family program. A future registrar or collections manager may do an archival project. Or a student with an eye on leadership may write a strategic plan or grant proposal.

Whom can I contact for more information?

Dr. Katherine T. Brown
Director of Museum Studies and Assistant Professor of Art History
(330) 490-7509
ktbrown@walsh.edu

Dr. Mark Rogers
Chair, Division of Humanities
(330) 490-7154
mrogers@walsh.edu

 

Alumni Profile

Christine Pienoski

Job Title: Graduate Student & Teaching Assistant

Place of Employment: Kent State University

Major: History and Museum Studies

Graduation Year: 2014

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