Program Introduction

Established in 1972, the Museum Studies Program at the University of Delaware offers a Graduate Certificate open to any interested student enrolled in a degree program at the University, and an undergraduate minor. Students pursue a range of courses rather than a narrow specialization, with offerings ranging from digital humanities to collections management, archives management, museum education, and historic preservation. With more than 400 alumni working at museums and cultural organizations around the world, the program awards about 15 Graduate Certificates and 12 undergraduate minors per year, mostly to students earning degrees in History, Art History, English, Anthropology, Geology, Geography, Biology, and Business, among others.

Degrees Offered

  • Museum Studies Degree, Certificate, or Minor

Program Strengths

  • Historical Administration
  • Museum Studies

Credit Hour Requirements

Graduate Certificate: 12; Undergraduate Minor: 18

How Many Students are Admitted Annually



Full-time Program Staff/Faculty

-Kenneth Cohen
Associate Professor of History
Museum Studies Program Director

-Laura Helton
Assistant Professor of English

-Cindy Ott
Associate Professor of History

-Jennifer Van Horn
Associate Professor of Art History

-Meg Hutchins
Program Coordinator

Financial Aid Available

-80% of Graduate Students are funded through their degree program (History, English, etc.), with teaching or work-placement positions at area museums providing stipends of ~$23k for 20 hours per week during terms.
-Tuition waivers available for Grad Students who plan to continue working full-time

Deadline To Apply

January 2

Internship Requirements

Graduate students must complete 350 hours of internships outside of regular coursework, for which 3 credits are earned. Undergraduates must complete 135 hours of internships outside of regular coursework, for which 3 credits are earned.

Program staff facilitate placement, but students are encouraged to lead their own searches. The Program maintains endowments that can pay students for otherwise unpaid internships. Roughly 85% of graduate student internships, and more than 50% of undergraduate internships, are paid.

Graduate students can count hours spent working the Program's annual Collections AID community service project toward internship credit. Collections AID projects run over the university winter term and help document and preserve collections at area organizations that are not legally "museums" or "archives," but that hold important material, visual, and documentary resources.

Places Where Students Have Interned During the Past 3 Years

-Brandywine Art Museum (PA)
-Delaware Art Museum
-Delaware Historical Society
-Fort Ticonderoga (NY)
-Lancaster History (PA)
-Marshall Steam Car Museum
-National Maritime Museum of Ireland
-Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture (DC)
-Plimoth Plantation (MA)
-Rehoboth Beach Art League
-Winterthur Museum

Job Placement Assistance

-Annual networking events with hundreds of alumni at a range of institutions worldwide
-Resume and interview workshops
-One-on-one application and interview mentoring

Job Placement Percentage Within One Year

70% (about half to PhD study)

Employers Who Have Hired Graduates from this Program within the Past Five Years

-Aberdeen Historical Museum (MD)
-Adirondack Experience Museum (NY)
-Alice Paul Farm Institute (NY)
-American Numismatic Society (NYC)
-American Swedish Historical Museum (PA)
-Galveston Railroad Museum (TX)
-Kalmar Nyckel Foundation
-State of Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs
-Ogunquit Playhouse (ME)
-Pennsbury Manor (PA)
-Rosenbach Museum (PA)
-Madrid Thyssen-Bornemiscza Art Museum (ESP)
-Museum of the American Revolution (PA)
-Walker Art Center (MN)
-Wyck House, Garden, and Farm (PA)

Community & Institutional Connections

Our program is rooted in community service. All core courses typically work on a project serving a local museum, and our annual Collections AID service project assists arts and culture organizations from dance troupes to churches with preventive conservation, exhibition, and/or documentation of collections. The program has earned repeated grants from IMLS, NEH, and state and regional agencies to train and equip local professionals and enthusiasts in best practices for collections care and interpretation.