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Museum Studies Minor

Learn to do it all; from artifacts to exhibits and everything in between.

Hartwick offers one of only 12 undergraduate Museum Studies programs in the country. Museum Studies at Hartwick is for students who are interested in museums as visitors, supporters, life-long learners, or are interested in developing a museum-related career. Coursework for this minor is complemented by the use of the College's Yager Museum of Art & Culture and its exhibitions and permanent collections when appropriate. The program provides students with theoretical and practical courses and experiences that enable them to understand and value the role museums play in our society.

Students take Museum Studies courses in conjunction with a major or minor in an academic field most often associated with museums, such as Anthropology, Art, Art History, Education, History, English, Business Administration, or one of the sciences. Some students may opt to design their own Individual Student Program.

Students who are interested in museum work and need advice about possible combinations of a major field with Museum Studies are encouraged to consult Vicki Howard, howardv@hartwick.edu, associate professor of history & coordinator of museum studies program.

Students who complete the minor will:

  • Understand the many ways museums are used as intellectual resources, preservers, and presenters of the world's cultures, and places of enjoyment and entertainment
  • Have a broader understanding of cultural diversity and the ways that museums reflect positions of power
  • Have an intellectual understanding of how museums provide diverse educational opportunities by offering many different modes of learning

Courses: Most Museum Studies courses will include the following:

  • Contemporary museum theory and practice
  • Practical experience, including hands-on activities using the Museum's exhibits, collections, and programs
  • Field trips
  • Community service
  • Attendance at the Yager Museum's special events

To complete the program, students take a total of six courses that include four required courses and a choice of at least two "hands-on" Yager Museum mini practica. Because experience is highly valued in museum work, students are strongly encouraged to pursue additional opportunities such as a second internship or volunteer work in another museum. This minor prepares students to be active supporters of museums, life-long learners who use museums, and possible graduate school attendees. In special cases, the Museum Studies minor provides opportunities for entry-level museum positions.