Program Introduction

Established in 2011, the Program in Museum and Exhibition Studies (MUSE) is an interdisciplinary MA program with a social justice focus. Located at the University of Illinois at Chicago within the School of Art & Art History and admitting 13-15 students each year, MUSE emphasizes the evolving social and political contexts of today’s cultural institutions. The program's five core courses focus on exhibition-making, collections, writing for exhibitions, strategies for public engagement, and museum genres and histories. Students also complete least 20 hours of elective coursework chosen from across the university and can choose to finish the degree via thesis or project capstone options.

Degrees Offered

  • Museum Studies Degree, Certificate, or Minor

Program Strengths

  • Museum Studies

Credit Hour Requirements


How Many Students are Admitted Annually


MAs produced last year


Full-time Program Staff/Faculty

Dr. Therese Quinn, professor and director

Dr. Lucy Mensah, assistant professor

Dr. Maru Lopez-Garcia, post-doctoral fellow (assistant professor beginning fall 2023)

Anthony Stepter, assistant director

Financial Aid Available

Fellowships, assistantships (teaching, research, and graduate), scholarships, tuition waivers, in-state tuition status

Deadline To Apply

Dec. 1 and Feb. 15

Internship Requirements

Internships (4 credit hours)--paid or unpaid--are chosen by students with the support of faculty advisors.

Places Where Students Have Interned During the Past 3 Years

  • Field Museum of Natural History
  • Smart Museum of Art
  • Adler Planetarium
  • Rebuild Foundation
  • John Michael Kohler Arts Center
  • Sweetwater Foundation
  • Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago
  • Art Institute of Chicago
  • Gallery 400 (UIC)
  • Jane Addams Hull-House Museum (UIC)
  • College of Nursing Archive (UIC)
  • and others

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

  • Smithsonian Institution
  • Field Museum of Natural History
  • Crystal Bridges Museum
  • Museum of Contemporary Art
  • Minneapolis Institute of Art
  • Garfield Park Conservatory
  • Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design
  • California Museum
  • and others