The Master of Museum Studies (MMSt) is the only English-speaking master’s program of its kind in Canada. It is both academic and professional from the integration of museological theory with experience. Celebrating its 50th year, Museum Studies is focusing on risk-taking to inspire leadership and innovation in the profession and among students. You will contribute to communities by improving the relevance of cultural institutions, and encouraging social responsibility in a rapidly evolving world.
MMSt Program Director: Prof. Irina Mihalache
Museum professionals manage collections, create educational programs for the public, organize exhibitions, manage projects, run cultural institutions, and many other aspects of museum and heritage work. They uncover stories, bring them to life, and preserve for future generations. These professions are undergoing constant evolution driven by the changes of the modern digital information era.
- Gain comprehensive knowledge of the functions of museums in their broader social and cultural contexts.
- Be forward-focussed and understand where museums are headed in the future.
- Develop a strong theoretical background and professional understanding of museum origins, ideologies, changing philosophies and current practices.
- Learn methodologies for research
- Core courses examine museological scholarship and its practical application in different environments and facets, including: collections, curatorship, digital heritage, global cultures and museums, museum education and programming and museum management
- Develop practical skills and pursue special interests by participating in:
Students in the MMSt program can follow 1 of 2 pathways to completing their degree requirements:
- Exhibition pathway
- Thesis pathway
All MMSt students complete fifteen 0.5-credit courses (7.5 credits total), regardless of pathway chosen. Students are eligible to complete their pathways by incorporating courses from collaborative specializations, and/or include an internship experience. The program is designed to be a 2-year full-time program, but may take up to 3 years to complete (if needed). The program is only offered on a full-time basis.
The museum internship (MSL3000H, 0.5-credit) is a 12-week Summer internship opportunity in a recognized museum, gallery or related institution to link theory with practice. To be eligible for the museum internship, students are required to take INF3900H in their Year 1 Fall term. Please note that due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Summer 2020, slight changes have been made to the internship opportunities and offering.
Collaborative specializations are offered to students enrolled in the MMSt program. Note: Students must apply and be admitted to both the MMSt program and the Collaborative Specialization of interest.
|Exhibition pathway||Thesis pathway|
Student Learning Outcomes
Graduates of the program will have awareness and applied understanding of:
- the history of museums, and the centrality of representation within their social and political roles in societies;
- various professional responsibilities within cultural institutions and agencies and the interrelationship of these responsibilities;
- ethical issues facing cultural institutions, agencies, and professionals;
- museological best practices;
- legal frameworks and ethical debates surrounding the acquisition and care of natural and cultural heritage.
Graduates of the program will be able to:
- innovate in the face of new challenges;
- advocate for the importance of cultural institutions in society
- communicate effectively by integrating content, form and media to achieve desired goals;
- use appropriate methods to assess on-going project development and to evaluate achievements and effects of museum activities;
- organize processes involving people, financial and physical resources in order to actualize programmes, projects, buildings and revitalization plans;
- work in and manage groups and interpersonal relations.
Careers in Museum studies
Sample careers include: Audience Research + Visitor Studies Specialist, Collections Manager, Community Engagement Lead, Cultural Policy Director, Curator, Development Officer, Digitization Coordinator, Education + Public Engagement Officer, Gallery Administrator, Interpretative Planner, Market + Communications Officer, Membership Services Coordinator, Online Exhibit Designer, Project Manager, Special Events Assistant, Strategic Initiatives + Develop Coordinator, Digital Conversion Specialist, etc.
The University of Toronto iSchool has dedicated Career Services available including networking events, guest speakers, resume and interview preparation, job site (job listings) and more.
Engage widely in various professional circles and broaden your horizons beyond disciplinary boundaries. Our students, alumni and faculty are members of many professional associations. Our strong ties, built over many years, with these institutions keep us all abreast of the latest trends in the industries. Throughout the year, you may find representatives and members of these associations taking active roles in assisting our students by providing relevant industry insights and networking opportunities. These include:
- AAM – American Alliance of Museums
- CAHP – Canadian Association of Heritage Professionals
- CAPC – Canadian Association of Professional Conservators
- CCI – Canadian Conservation Institute
- CMA – Canadian Museum Association
- ICOM – International Council of Museums
- OAAG – Ontario Association of Art Galleries
- OMA – Ontario Museum Association