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Master of Arts in Museum Education


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This is an exciting time to be a museum educator, for the visitor experience now drives many museum decisions and activities. The museum education field has expanded from a narrow focus on teaching school children to a wide range of activities that address social, civic, and personal matters. Educators are helping their museums find new roles in fostering community, addressing social issues, and providing forums for multiple views and voices. They facilitate lifelong learning by teaching visitors make their own connections and meanings. Museum educators design and conduct programs for toddlers, families, and Alzheimer's patients; policemen, doctors-in-training, and parolees. Museum educators serve on exhibition development teams, work with community groups, create in-museum and Internet learning resources, and conduct in-person and distance learning programs. Museum educators direct departments and museums.

The Master of Arts in Museum Education is designed for those interested in pursuing careers in art, history, science, and children's museums. The two-year, eleven-course program is flexible enough to accommodate students' needs and interests. Each student takes five required museum studies courses, two required education courses, and four electives relating to the discipline of the student's area of interest. The four electives form an important part of a student's preparation for work in the field, for museum educators need both content knowledge and strategies for teaching that content. For instance, the science museum educator may take science courses and a course in the teaching of science. Since museum work is often interdisciplinary, the art museum educator may find that learning to teach math helps her develop museum programs that use art to teach math skills.

Graduate Certificate Program

The Office of Graduate Studies at Tufts University offers a graduate level certificate program in Museum Studies with concentrations in education, art history, history, and classics. The certificate program consists of four courses and an internship. Although this program does not lead to a master's degree, courses taken as a certificate student can be applied to the master's program in Museum Education if the student is admitted into the Tufts M.A. Museum Education program. For more information about the certificate program, please visit the website.

Museum Education Learning Outcomes

  1. Understanding of museum issues in the 21st century across the spectrum of museum types, and familiarity with all aspects of museum operations and how they support audiences and collections.
  2. Understanding of learning and human development theories that influence museum education practice.
  3. Ability to assess the various needs, preferences, and learning levels of multiple museum audiences.
  4. Ability to interpret primary and secondary sources, including visual and material culture, quickly and critically and to reshape it, through exhibitions, public programs, school programs, new media, and written materials, for a variety of audiences.
  5. Basic knowledge of the discipline of the museum field of choice (such as art history, American history, science, natural history, etc.)
  6. Ability to plan and implement museum-school and public programs from concept, curriculum development, budgeting and marketing to teaching and evaluation.
  7. Understanding of the importance of evaluation and basic skills in designing and conducting evaluation studies.
  8. Ability to write for a variety of audiences at different learning and reading levels.
  9. Ability to advocate for an idea, project, or program to colleagues, donors, and funding agencies.
  10. Application of skills and knowledge gained through coursework to the real-world setting of a museum.

More Information about the MA Museum Education Program

If you have further questions, please contact the Director of the Program: Cynthia Robinson at cynthia.robinson@tufts.edu or 617-627-3022.

Department of Education,  Paige Hall,  Tufts University,  Medford,  MA  02155  |  Tel: (617) 627-3244  |  Fax: (617) 627-3901