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Museum Studies or Public History MA+Want to Study Abroad


MuseoFiend

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I'm an American who wants to work in museum/cultural heritage/historic preservation and could use some input in finding the right program. My focus is history, not art. 

I want to study abroad in another country, but haven't found many programs that seem to fit OR I'm unfamiliar with how those Masters would work. A lot seem to be only 1 year? Do those have any weight? I do not intend to get a PhD and only want a MA. I also need funding if I can get it to avoid student loans, which seem unavoidable. 
 

I want to work with new methods of engagement and be someone that brings people into an institution, especially those that say museums are boring. I've spent the last few years aggressively traveling and seeking out non-traditional museum spaces and am inspired by the innovative ways things can be presented. I find myself being more interested in the presentation rather than the objects lately.
 

I've also got a Latino background and see myself engaging with this large, untapped demographic in the US and figure out ways to have them included in more ways than they are now. I know the Smithsonian has the Latino Center, and I want to eventually be a part of it or something similar OR see a Latino Heritage Museum in DC one day. I can see myself collecting stories, but also love the history behind buildings and places. I would rather go to a historic house than a big box museum type because I like the personal touch and the history of the people that once lived in those kinds of places. 
 

I've got a BA in Journalism from 2011 and professional experience in the field, along with a writing project that's all about museums and history. I am currently volunteering for a local historic society since deciding I wanted to attend graduate school.


Should I be pursuing a Museum Studies degree, or should I be looking into some other sort of program or field? Public History is also a big contender, and I want to incorporate my Journalism experience with a future position in any way I can. Is there a hybrid somewhere I don't know about, or a program that lets me shape my own MA around an already existing program? 

I REALLY want to study in another country, am I being realistic?

 

Currently I've singled out:

In the USA:
Northeastern: Public History
George Washington: Museum Studies
Drexel: Museum Management 

Abroad:
Marist: Museum Studies program in Florence (Which I wonder if it's even legit since it seems like it's catering to a certain crowd)
Brandenburg: This joint archaeology thing that also takes place in Cairo
Courtauld in the UK seems to be more art focused. 

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I'm a public history student with a fair amount of (paid!!) museum experience.

Since your focus seems interdisciplinary, I would suggest you go for public history, or even American Studies. Visitor engagement, exhibit design, and oral history are what you seem to be interested in. 

If the Smithsonian is part of your dream, you need to only look at schools in the DC area so you can take advantage of the internships (and networking opportunities). 

Studying abroad is great, but you really need to be present and consistently working/volunteering--and attending conferences!--the US to keep your resume fresh. 

As for funding, it's rare at the MA level--especially for this field. 

In closing, lol, stay in the US. Get experience with what you specifically want to do. Attend school in the cities where you would like to work.

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