The purpose of the Museum Studies Program is to educate students as to the history of museums, the various aspects of museum work to include administration, collections management, exhibition development, education, community development, tourism, and fund raising.
Also, the program strives to acquaint students with the opportunities and problems faced by museums and museum personnel, and to create career opportunities for students who might seek employment in a museum.
Emphasis is placed on practicum experiences involving such basic museum functions as exhibition, curatorial research, cataloging, acquisition, community service, education, and administration.
This program offers coursework through the departments of Art, and Recreation, Park and Tourism Administration working in conjunction with museum professionals at the Figge Art Museum in Davenport, Iowa.
With a degree in Museum Studies, you can work in a wide variety of settings including:
Zoos and aquaria
National and state park museums and visitors centers
Science and technology museums
Outdoor education centers
As a practicing museum professional your work can include:
Managing and caring for museum collections
Hosting exhibitions and special events
Engaging in educational outreach
Providing interpretive programming for visitors
Performing research and publication activities
Administrating museum resources and personnel
The Western Illinois University Master's/Certificate program in Museum Studies focusses on professional preparation and requires an internship rather than a thesis as the exit option for graduation. Admission to the program does not require the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) and instead is based on grade point average, current resume, letters of recommendation, and an essay statement of academic and professional interest.
Preference will be given to applicants who come from the following background areas:
Recreation, Park & Tourism Administration
Western Illinois University offers instate tuition for Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Missouri, and Wisconsin residents. The Museum Studies Master's program requires 34 semester hours, and the Post-Baccalaureate Certificate program requires 18 semester hours. A majority of Master's seeking students complete the Master's degree in 18 months.
Executive Director - Campbell Center for Historic Preservation Studies
Administrator - Bishop Hill Heritage Association
Curator - Amana Colonies
Adult Programming Coordinator - Nelson - Atkins Museum of Art
Assistant Director and Curator - German American Heritage Center
Manager - Member and Donor Relations Development - Shedd Aquarium
Membership Coordinator - Science Museum of Minnesota
Visitor Services Manager - Milwaukee Art Museum
Museum Outreach Educator - Figge Art Museum
Assistant Curator - Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum
Associate and Museum Internship Coordinator - Albright - Knox Art Gallery
Collections Assistant - National Mississippi River Museum
Executive Director - Pella Historial Society and Tulip Time Festival
Preparator - Northern Arizona University Art Museum
Educator - Play Museum of Illinois State Museum
Account Manager/Special Events - Field Museum
Museum Educator - Putnam Museum and Science Center
Research Assistant - Grout Museum District
The Museum Studies Program offers a several of assistantships that provide a full tuition waiver and a monthly stipend (currently $629/month for the 2014-15 academic year). Students receiving an assistantship are required to work 13 hours a week doing a variety of administrative and/or research tasks.
Assistantships may be located both at the WIU-QC campus and Quad Cities area museums and other related agencies. Inquires about assistantships should be made to
Pamela J White, JD, PhD
Director, Museum Studies
Western Illinois University
Quad Cities Complex 1225, Moline, IL 61265
Phone: (309) 762-3999 ext. 62340