Curators must have a master's degree in historical preservation, archival administration, or a closely related field. I am currently a master's student studying Library Science and many of my peers are interested in museum curation and archival management.
Museum studies programs prepare people to maintain and display historical items in exhibits. Students learn to manage archives and collections. They prepare to work as curators, museum technicians, or museum directors. They may learn how to restore artwork and other items. There are many things you have to learn to work in museum. To be a curator, you have to learn how to manage items in collections and put together exhibits. Likewise, technicians must learn how to preserve items. Museum directors need to learn the nuts and bolts of running a nonprofit organization. And all of these museum professionals need to learn more about the subject of their museum. Contemporary photography, botany, Civil War history - the list could stretch on indefinitely!
Some courses that would prepare you for a masters degree would include:
- Ancient Civilizations
- Art History
- Business Computer Applications
- Business Management
- Integrated Fine Arts
- Introduction to Business
- Issues of American Culture
- Issues of Western Humanities
- World History
Admission to graduate programs is competitive. You need a bachelor's degree, good grades, and good test scores. There are no recommended majors for entry into this graduate program. However, you may want to major in a subject that relates to your job interests. For example, if you know you want to work as a curator at an art museum, you should major in art history.
Graduate programs that lead to a master's degree typically include courses in the following subjects:
- Collections Care and Conservation
- Development and Fundraising
- Exhibit Planning and Design
- History and Theory of Museums
- Information Technology in Museums
- Museum Administration and Management
- Museum Education and Public Programming