University News

IBHE Approves Master of Arts in Museum Studies

June 3, 2008

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MACOMB/MOLINE IL -- The Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE) today (June 3) approved a Western Illinois University request to offer the Master of Arts in Museum Studies degree.

The Master of Arts in Museum Studies, which was approved by Western's Board in December 2007, will be offered at the WIU-Quad Cities campus. The degree program is designed to educate students in the history of museums and the aspects of museum work and will be comprised of coursework offered through the art and the recreation, parks and tourism administration departments, in conjuction with museum professionals at the Figge Art Museum in Davenport, IA.

According to WIU College of Fine Arts and Communication Dean Paul Kreider, Western's Master of Arts in Museum Studies is the only program of its kind in Illinois that ties together the areas of art and recreation, parks and tourism administration. Only one other graduate degree program related to museum studies is offered in the state; however, it does not resemble Western's newest major, he added.

"The intent of the program is to provide graduates with solid training that includes all aspects of museum work, from fundraising to program development," explained Kreider. "We're excited to collaborate with the Figge Art Museum. This partnership will provide our students an outstanding professional experience."

The curriculum consists of 34 semester hours, including a graduate portfolio and a 10-week internship. During the internship, students will complete a special project approved by the Figge Art Museum and the program director. In addition to the internship, students will use the Figge as a laboratory to gain onsite experience.

"We are pleased that this innovative degree program was approved by the Illinois Board of Higher Education," said WIU President Al Goldfarb. "The Master of Arts in Museum Studies is in keeping with the University's strategic goals of enhancing academic offerings and serving the educational and cultural needs of this region. We look forward to working with Figge Museum professionals in the region to provide this quality academic program to the Quad Cities region."

Posted By: Darcie Shinberger (
Office of University Relations