Museum Studies | University Museum | SIU

Southern Illinois University



College of Liberal Arts

Museum Studies

Exhibit iconsThe Museum Studies Program at SIU Carbondale provides an undergraduate interdisciplinary minor. A special graduate program is available for students with interest in museum administration, leading to a Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree offered by the Department of Political Science.

All Museum Studies courses emphasize hands-on experiences in real museum work based on the professional activities of the University Museum, which holds some 70,000 objects in the public trust, and presenting in-house and outside exhibitions in some 10,000 square feet of display space.

Most of the Museum Studies coursework takes place at the 400 level, which is to say at the junior, senior, and graduate levels.

The Museum Studies program is a part of the University Museum, a department in the College of Liberal Arts.  The University Museum, one of the oldest continuing museums in the state of Illinois, opened in 1874. The Museum staff has offered an academic minor in Museum Studies since the 1970s.  The Museum staff teaches the Museum Studies minor classes and offers real, hands-on experience in the running of the University Museum. 

As with most minors, one will need to take 18 hours of classes.  From this list of Core Courses provided below, one needs to take at least 12 hours plus an additional six hours in courses approved by the museum director. You do not need to declare a minor in Museum Studies to enroll in these courses.

AD 447 (3 credit hours) Introduction to Museology

HIST 497 (3) Historical Museums, Sites, Restoration, Archives

POLS 446 (3) Museum Administration

ANTH 450 A (3) Museum Studies-Learning in Museums

ANTH 450 B (3) Museum Studies-Methodology & Display

The Masters of Public Administration degree with a Museum Emphasis is administered by the Department of Political Science. For additional information on the graduate degree, please contact the Director of the public administration program, (618) 453-5695 or

The Museum Student Group (MSG) is an active Registered Student Organization (RSO) and provides a number of activities. 

For additional information, please contact - Martha Taricone, Chief Academic Advisor, College of Liberal Arts, or 618-453-2466.