2017-2018 University Catalogue 
    Jul 22, 2024  
2017-2018 University Catalogue [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Museum Studies Minor

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The Department of Art & Art History also offers an interdisciplinary minor in Museum Studies, overseen by an Advisory Board that includes members from Art and Art History, Sociology and Anthropology, History and the University Museums. Courses in Museum Studies may address a range of topics, including actual museums (their histories, architecture, operations, politics, ethics, etc.), collective memory, institutional critique, cultural heritage and/or property, or public history. Courses may also count toward the program if a substantial part of their pedagogy is object-based.

The minor program consists of 5 courses and a practicum (see below). All 5 courses may come from the core course list, or 4 from the core course list and 1 from the elective list. One of the core courses must be at the 300-level. The five courses must include selections from at least two of the core Museum Studies departments (Art & Art History, Sociology & Anthropology, and History). If a student majors in Art & Art History, Anthropology, or History and minors in Museum Studies, only one course may count toward their major and the Museum Studies minor. A student minoring in Museum Studies may petition the Advisory Board to have a course not included on the list below count toward the degree if the course addresses one or more of the themes noted above.

For more information about the department, transfer credit, etc., visit the art and art history department  page. 

Minor Requirements


The Practicum in Museum Studies is an opportunity for students to gain hands-on experience in a non-profit museum, gallery, cultural center, or historical society. This may take the form of paid or volunteer work or an internship, and must be at least 140 hours in duration. It is expected that the practicum will deepen the student’s understanding of a substantive aspect or aspects of the institution’s operations through work in a department such as Curatorial, Development, Education, Collections Management, Communications, or Archives.

The practicum requirement can be satisfied by an internship at the Picker Art Gallery or Longyear Museum of Anthropology during the academic year or over the summer, or at any other suitable museum. Students who wish to fulfill this requirement at an off-campus institution are required to submit a Practicum Pre-Approval Form in the semester prior to starting that work. Financial support for internships is available through Colgate’s Summer Funding, but students should be aware of the competitive nature of these grants and of their early deadlines (usually in late February; for more information and specific deadlines, visit summer funding.

Colgate’s Upstate Institute can help students identify ways to fulfill the Museum Studies practicum requirement in central New York. The Upstate Institute supports community-based research through the Summer Field School, and can help place students as full-time paid research Fellows with institutions in the region such as the Munson Williams Proctor Institute, Everson Museum of Art, Oneida County Historical Society, Oneida Community Mansion House, Adirondack Museum, Iroquois Indian Museum, Fenimore Art Museum, the Shako:wi Cultural Center, the Corning Museum of Glass, and the National Abolition Hall of Fame in Peterboro. For more information visit the Upstate Institute website for more information on these opportunities.

Students should also consult with their Museum Studies minor advisor about the various ways this requirement can be fulfilled, and about opportunities that best meet the individual needs and interests of the student.

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