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Museum Studies investigates the history and political role of museums, the interpretation and display of cultural productions, and topics of concern to museums as cultural organizations, using a multidisciplinary, practice-based approach to understand the historical development of this evolving field.

The theoretical and applied aspects of the concentration in Museum Studies give students the opportunity to participate in multidisciplinary graduate coursework in the humanities, social sciences, curatorial methods, and management in addition to hands-on, practical learning through the optional internship. Students learn about the history and political role of museums, the interpretation and display of a wide variety of cultural productions, and topics of special concern to museums as cultural organizations.

The concentration emphasizes critical, theoretical, and practice-related developments in the ever-changing field of museums, exhibitions, and sites of public memory. Students will acquire the knowledge and expertise to meet the challenges confronting arts and cultural organizations today.

The School of Arts & Humanities offers the concentration in Museum Studies to students in the Applied Gender Studies, Cultural Studies, English, History, and Religion programs. The concentration is awarded in conjunction with the degree and is noted on the transcript as an additional area of qualification.

Program Highlights




The School of Arts & Humanities lets you tailor your program to target your specific interests. You’ll conduct research across disciplines to approach problems in new ways, all in an intimate, collegial learning environment where faculty-mentors offer you personal attention, and opportunities for collaborative, interdisciplinary scholarship abound.

Interdisciplinary Concentrations

This interdisciplinary concentration is available for students pursuing the following degree programs:

Featured Courses

CLST 489
Remembering Trauma: Museums, Memorials & Commemoration

Examines the role that museums and memorials have played in shaping the general process of coming to terms with past acts of state-sponsored violence, war, and genocide.

HIST 315
Museums, History & Story Telling

Explores the theory, methods, and politics of museum exhibitions through a partnership between the Autry Museum of the American West and Claremont Graduate University.

CLST 404
The History & Theory of Museums

Examines the history and theory of museums as repositories and creators of knowledge, memory, and culture.

Program Requirements

Eight units must be taken as approved courses in museum theory and history, such as Remembering Trauma: Museums, Memorials & Commemoration; Heritage, Culture & Managing the Past in the Old World & the New; or The History & Theory of Museums. Students may also complete an optional internship.

Note: In some cases, fulfilling the requirements of this concentration as well as the core requirements for the student’s degree may involve additional units or Research Tools.  Students should always consult with their academic advisor before adding a concentration to their degree program.

Faculty & Research

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Frank Frias

Director of Admissions
T: 909-607-3240