Museum Studies and African and African-American Studies offer joint master’s degrees with coordinated curricula so students are able to complete two M.A. degrees in three years. Fifteen graduate credit hours are applied to both programs, allowing students to complete a 33-credit-hour AAAS degree and a 36-credit-hour Museum Studies degree with just 54 graduate credits.

This program of study is designed to enhance and diversify opportunities for graduate students who are motivated to enter the cultural heritage field as specialists in African and African-American Studies. This three-year joint program allows students expand their contacts with faculty, enhance their professional networks, and deepen their knowledge of both fields of study.

Admission to Graduate Studies

An applicant seeking to pursue graduate study in the College may be admitted as either a degree-seeking or non-degree seeking student. Policies and procedures of Graduate Studies govern the process of Graduate admission. These may be found in the Graduate Studies section of the online catalog.

Please consult the Departments & Programs section of the online catalog for information regarding program-specific admissions criteria and requirements. Special admissions requirements pertain to Interdisciplinary Studies degrees, which may be found in the Graduate Studies section of the online catalog.

Students seeking admission to the joint degree will apply to both the Museum Studies M.A. and the African & African-American Studies M.A. and will be expected to meet the established admission requirements of each program.

Museum Studies M.A. - Admission Requirements
African & African-American Studies - Admission Requirements

Students who have begun course work in either Museum Studies or African & African-American Studies can apply to be a joint degree student prior to completing all course work requirements for the first degree. In consultation with the respective Directors of Graduate Study, they may be able to receive credit for course work already completed. However, depending on when the application for admission to the second degree program is submitted, the student may be required to take more than the required 54 credit hours of course work to obtain both degrees.

Please see the Admission to Graduate Study policy for additional information on admission requirements. Applications may be submitted at

Students completing the joint degree take all of the required courses in each of the respective programs, as well as fulfilling each program's requirements to gain a breadth of knowledge. Coordination in advising between the two programs enables students to take courses that satisfy the degree needs for both programs. To earn both degrees, students complete 54 graduate credit hours, 15 of which are applied to both programs. Because the required courses are offered regularly, students are able to complete the required courses in the first four semesters of the program, using the final two semesters to complete the remaining credit hour requirements. The programs' curricular requirements follow; further details on program expectations are available in the respective Graduate Student Handbooks.

Museum Studies Requirements for Joint M.A.

1. Museum Studies Core9
The Museum Studies Core ensures that all Museum Studies students gain a comprehensive understanding of the theories, history, techniques, and problems common to museums, historical agencies and related institutions. MUSE 803, taken in the student's third semester of study, is a research course that enables students to conduct research or other creative activities that advance the discipline of museum studies.
The Nature of Museums
Culture of Museums
Seminar in Current Museum Topics
2. Museum Professional Areas9
Students will develop expertise in the principal specialties of museum work by completing at least three professional area courses (9 credit hours), at least one of which must be a Museum Studies (MUSE) course. Many courses in other departments may fulfill requirements; it is the responsibility of students, and their advisors, to ensure that individual courses meet program requirements based on the general relevance of the course and assurance that the student's work in the class will be applicable to museum studies by meeting with instructors and examining syllabi. Courses taken must be at the 500 level or above. A list of available professional area courses can be found on the Museum Studies website.
3. Museum Experience3
While enrolled in the Museum Studies M.A. Program, students are required to gain at least 500 hours of museum experience, of which at least 250 hours must be in an approved, professionally supervised internship. Students enroll in 3 credit hours of MUSE 799: Museum Internship to meet this requirement.
Museum Internship

African & African-American Studies Requirements for Joint M.A.

4. African & African-American Studies Core12
Introduction to Africana Studies: African-American
Introduction to Africana Studies: African
Research Methods in Africana Studies
Seminar in Africana Studies
5. African & African-American Studies Area of Specialization6
Students are expected to choose 2 courses in their area of specialization. Courses must be numbered 500 level or above and have a AAAS course number.

Shared Requirements

6. Joint Degree Electives15
Any graduate-level MUSE or AAAS course may count as an elective. Out-of-field courses must be approved by the Directors of Graduate Study for both programs.
7. Final Project or Thesis
Students completing the joint degree program are required to defend either a final project or thesis in their final semester. The student should consult with their African & African-American Studies and Museum Studies faculty advisors to identify a project or thesis topic that effectively incorporates both areas of study. Faculty advisors from both programs will oversee and evaluate the project or thesis. Students who choose to complete a thesis must enroll in 3 credit hours of AAAS 899 in their final semester in lieu of an elective course. Students who choose to complete a final project will take 15 credit hours of joint degree electives as described above.
Each student will successfully defend their final project or thesis as their final master's examination. The final exam committee, chosen by the student, must have at least four members; at least two from the Museum Studies area and at least two from the African & African-American Studies area.

If a student decides to complete only the MUSE M.A. or AAAS M.A. and withdraw from the other program, they must complete all requirements for the stand-alone degree.