Program Website: www.rit.edu/museumstudies
The bachelor of science degree in museum studies is an innovative, interdisciplinary, technically-based major that prepares students for careers in museums, archives, photo collections, and libraries.
The major includes a set of introductory and advanced core courses to familiarize students with the fundamentals of museum studies, including the history, theory, and practice of institutional collecting, conservation, and the technical investigation of art. To broaden and deepen their knowledge, students choose a professional track in art conservation, management, or public history.
The major requires students to complete a 200-hour internship in a cultural institution. This experience gives students the opportunity to apply what they've learned in the classroom to a professional setting and gain valuable work experience before they graduate.
The professional tracks (art conservation, management, and public history) include course work that meets the criteria established by professionals in the field and reflects current opinion about necessary skill sets. Since 2000, the International Council of Museums (ICOM) and the Committee on Museum Professional Training (COMPT) have called for revisions in the training of museum professionals that reflect evolving needs for management, leadership, information technology, fundraising, and grant writing skills—all of which are included in the management track. The art conservation track features the traditional criteria for entry into the field as well as course work in chemistry and studio arts, two areas that have been identified as deficient in other undergraduate programs. The public history track offers students core courses in learning how to think historically, make a sound historical argument, and present history effectively to a public audience.