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About the Program

RIT’s bachelor of science degree program in museum studies is an innovative, experiential, technically-based undergraduate program that prepares you for careers in museums, archives, libraries, historical societies, historic sites, historic houses, and photography collections. Museum studies is an exciting and rapidly changing field that increasingly needs professionals who can bring 21st century technological skills to institutions with cultural or scientific collections. The program will provide you with a thorough grounding in museum studies, supplemented by specialized professional cores. This combination, enhanced by your experiential learning in internship programs, will set you apart from others in the field.

The museum studies program is housed in RIT’s College of Liberal Arts in the Departments of Performing Arts & Visual Culture and History.

[arrow] An interdisciplinary program

The hallmark of an RIT education is its interdisciplinary approach to the design of its curriculum. The museum studies program draws from disciplines across the traditional liberal arts and sciences, as well as from specialized professional programs. You will choose a minor to complement your program of study, or to expand an area of personal or professional interest. Elective courses allow you to explore deeper specializations or to try something new.

[arrow] Career Opportunities

When you complete the Museum Studies program, you will be prepared to enter the work force with a highly marketable mix of knowledge, skills, and experience that will make you stand out from the competition. You will be well versed in the history, theory, and practice of institutional collecting; knowledgeable about specific areas of collecting; and fully grounded in the technical skills youíll need to step right in to a project. Combined with your practical internship experience at a collecting institution, youíll be an immediate asset to any future employer.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that in 2012 there were approximately 29,300 archivists, curators, and museum workers, 148,000 librarians, and 3,800 public historians in the U.S. labor force. These areas are expected to grow as current professionals reach retirement age and will have to be replaced with people, like you, whose education has prepared them for the new responsibilities of the field.

[arrow] Places You Might Work

Numerous public and private institutions have collections of cultural objects that must be acquired, registered, organized, stored, exhibited, and preserved. Among the places you might work after finishing your degree in museum studies are: museums of various types, such as art museums, museums of science & technology, museums of science & industry, living history museums, and natural history museums; additionally, you might work at historical sites, historical societies; historical houses, libraries, archives, and corporations.

[arrow] Advanced Degree Options

The BS degree in museum studies provides a solid background for those who choose to pursue graduate study. The museum studies track will prepare you for such diverse graduate programs as a master of arts degree in museum studies, art history, informatics, or arts management; a master of library and information science degree; or a master of business administration degree. Students pursuing the public history track will be well prepared to enter a masterís level program in public history, specifically, or in history, generally.

[arrow] About RIT

Founded in 1829 as the Rochester Athenaeum, Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) has been a pioneer in career-oriented education and a leader in cooperative education since 1912. RIT has one of the oldest and largest cooperative programs in the world, with more than 2,100 employers and 4,100 students participating.

RIT is a coeducational, privately endowed university enrolling 18,000 undergraduate and graduate students preparing for technical and professional careers. Its nine colleges include the College of Applied Science and Technology, the B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences, the Saunders College of Business, the Kate Gleason College of Engineering, the College of Health Sciences and Technology, the College of Imaging Arts and Sciences, the College of Liberal Arts, the College of Science, and the National Technical Institute for the Deaf.

There are more than 114,000 RIT alumni in all 50 states and more than 100 countries. RIT is internationally recognized for academic leadership in computing, engineering, imaging technology, and fine and applied arts, in additional to unparalleled support for students with hearing loss. For nearly three decades U.S. News & World Report has ranked RIT among the nationís leading comprehensive universities. The Princeton Review features RIT in its 2015 Best 379 Colleges rankings and named the university one of Americaís 322 Green Colleges.

More information about RIT rankings and recognition is available on the Overview website.


Early 20th century Indian textile


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