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institute for research in art

The Graduate Certificate in Museum Studies is currently on hiatus and not accepting new students at this time. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Graduate Certificate in Museum Studies
University of South Florida

USF CAM collection vault The Graduate Certificate in Museum Studies is a professional program designed to give students the opportunity to engage in a comprehensive study of the contemporary museum and its social and cultural context. Course offerings range from the theoretical to the practical and introduce the many issues and challenges confronting museums today, especially as related to the visual arts. The program includes course work and internships that focus on administration, management, public relations, curatorial work, exhibition design, grant writing, fundraising, education etc.
Administered and coordinated by the Institute for Research in Art / Contemporary Art Museum, Graphicstudio and Public Art, at the University of South Florida (USF), the Graduate Certificate in Museum Studies is an interdisciplinary program that draws on the expertise of scholars from various departments across USF including Art History, Anthropology, Communication, Public Administration and the School of Library and Information Sciences. Museum professionals from the USF Contemporary Art Museum and Graphicstudio, USF Library as well as regional museums such as the Museum of Fine Arts in St Petersburg, the Salvador Dali Museum, the Ringling Museum of Art, the Tampa Museum of Art, the Gulf Coast Museum of Art, the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts and the Florida Craftsmen Gallery serve as lecturers and supervise student internships. 

Course of Study
Total Credit Requirement: 19 credit hours

Students in the certificate program are required to take 4 core courses including a 6 credit hour internship in an approved institution. The remainder of the required credits may be fulfilled from the elective courses listed below.

Core Requirements – 16 credit hours

Institute for Research in Art, College of The Arts:
• IDS 5178 – Problems in Museum Studies – 3 credits
• IDS 5177 – The Atelier: Its Management and History – 3 credits
• IDS 6948 – Gallery and Museum Internship – 6 credits

School of Art and Art History, College of The Arts:
• ARH 6798 – Art History Seminar – 4 credit hours. This course must be an art history seminar or may be substituted for a course in another department upon the program’s director’s approval.

Elective Requirements – 3 credit hours
Select one course from the following list:

Department of Public Administration, College of Arts and Sciences:
• PAD 6146 – Nonprofit Management and Leadership
• PAD 6231 – Resource Development: Fund Raising and Grantsmanship
• PAD 6335 – Strategic Planning for Public and Nonprofit Organization
• PAD 6208 – Financial Oversight of Nonprofit Organizations

Department of Communication, College of Arts and Sciences:
• COM 6045 – Communicating Leadership
• COM 6121 – Organizational Communication

Department of Anthropology, College of Arts and Sciences:
• ANG 6081 – Museum Methods

School of Library & Information Science, College of Arts and Sciences:
• LIS 5937 – Archive Management
• LIS 6724 – Classifications & Cataloging of Non-Book Materials

School of Business Administration:
• MAR 6815 – Marketing Management

Course Offerings:

Problems in Museum Studies (required)
This course is designed as an introduction to the basic operations and current issues confronting art museums. The course is in seminar format with lectures, presentations and discussions. The focus will be on the Contemporary Art Museum as a model. The course is designed to blend academic theory with practical museum experience. Guest museum professionals, representing a variety of types and sizes of museums, will enrich the class experience.

The Atelier, Its Management and History (required)
This course surveys the history, development, production and management of the artist workshop, or atelier, in Western art from the 1400s to contemporary time. Students who successfully complete this course will gain an awareness and understanding of: the contributions of the collaborative atelier to Western culture; the aesthetic and technical history of major processes and principal practitioners; and the structure and management of the contemporary collaborative atelier. Students will gain experience in researching, compiling, interpreting and orally presenting technical, historical and aesthetic subject matter.

Art and Art History Seminar (required)
A seminar of choice taught by Art and Art History faculty. The course in Contemporary Thought and Theory is strongly recommended. This may be substituted for a similar level course in another department pending the program director’s approval.

Nonprofit Management and Leadership (elective)
This course surveys the role and importance of third-sector organizations in American society, unique problems of nonprofit administration and role of leadership in nonprofit organizations.

Resource Development: Fund Raising and Grantsmanship (elective)
This course surveys the administration and management of the fundraising process; principles, skills, methods and techniques. Administration and management of the grantsmanship process. .

Strategic Planning for Public and Nonprofit Organizations (elective)
This course emphasizes methods of strategic planning as tools to lead, strengthen, and develop public or nonprofit organizations.

Financial Oversight of Nonprofit Organizations (elective)
Introduces the non-financial information used to make decisions for nonprofit organizations. Students will learn how to use the principles of financial management to make operating and capital budgeting decisions and to analyze long-term financial options.

Communicating Leadership (elective)
Effective leadership today focuses less on control and more on the strategic use of communication to build relationships and guide behavior. This course examines the various ways leaders can communicate more effectively in contemporary organizations.

Organizational Communication (elective)
A study of communication theory and behavior within organizational settings: role of communication, communication climates, communication networks, leadership.

Regional Problems / Methods in Public Archeology (elective)
Archaeological practice as part of applied anthropology, in the public and private sector, from local o international, are explored in this graduate-level course.

Archives Management (elective)
Students will be given an introduction to the basic theories and methodologies relating to the management of archival records and manuscripts.

Classifications & Cataloging of Non-Book Materials (elective)
Principles and practices in cataloging and organizing non-book materials.

Marketing Management (elective)
Analysis of operational and strategic planning problems confronting marketing managers. Topics include buyer behavior, market segmentation, information systems, product selection and development, pricing, distribution, promotion and sales forces management.

Internship Application

• Students in the GCMS Program are eligible to begin the internship only after completing the required core courses.
• Completion of the six credit hour internship requires 180 hours overall (30 hours of work for each credit.) The work schedule should be arranged between the intern and the supervisor at the institution.
• To apply for an internship, students must discuss their interests with the program’s director in a personal interview. The purpose of the interview is to assist and facilitate placement in the appropriate institution based on the student’s interests and internship availability.
• At the completion of the internship, students must submit either a 10 page research paper, project, or thoughtful account of their experiences to the program director. This should be coordinated with the director before starting the internship.
• The Institute for Research in Art will coordinate the internship process with bay area institutions, such as: USF Graphicstudio; USF Contemporary Art Museum; USF Library; Tampa Museum of Art; Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg; Dali Museum; John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art; Gulf Coast Museum of Art; Tampa Bay Business Committee for the Arts; Florida Craftsmen Gallery ; The Tampa Bay History Center; Henry B. Plant Museum; and the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts.

USF Graduate Certificate in Museum Studies
Admission & Application Requirements

Applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited university. Please visit: to download an application. In addition to the application forms please submit:

• Official Transcripts from all previously attended colleges and universities
• A 250-word letter of interest stating the applicant’s objectives in pursuing the Graduate Certificate Program in Museum Studies
• A Current Resume
• Three Letters of Recommendation
• A personal interview

Submit completed application and all of the above materials to:

Office of Graduate Certificates
University of South Florida
4202 E. Fowler Ave., SVC 1072
Tampa, FL 33620-9951

Phone: (813) 974 – 2442
Fax: (813) 974 – 8031

NOTE: No action will be taken by the department on a certificate application until the applicant has contacted the department directly.

Standardized Test Requirements:
Standardized tests are not required for admission to this certificate program.

Registration Process:
First, consult with the certificate program advisor and obtain an electronic course permit if necessary. Then, go to:, the link to OASIS, USF’s on-line registration system. Follow the directions given online. 

Time Limit:
Courses must be completed within three years

Tuition & Fees:
Tuition and fees for this graduate certificate program parallel that of standard graduate-level courses. Please view the information sheet for this certificate at the Graduate Certificate web site for current information:

USF Museum Studies Program Contact:
Noel Smith
Director, Museum Studies Graduate Certificate
Curator of Education / Latin America & Caribbean Art
Institute for Research in Art
(813) 974-5866

Information on Undergraduate Internships can be found here.