2022-2023 University Catalog 
    Jun 16, 2024  
2022-2023 University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Museum Studies Minor

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Minor Requirements

The minor program consists of 5 courses and a practicum (see below). All 5 courses may come from the core course list, or 4 from the core course list and 1 from the elective list. One of the core courses must be at the 300-level. The five courses must include selections from at least two of the core Museum Studies departments (Art & Art History, Sociology & Anthropology, and History). If a student majors in Art & Art History, Anthropology, or History and minors in Museum Studies, only one course may count toward their major and the Museum Studies minor. A student minoring in Museum Studies may petition the Advisory Board to have a course not included on the list below count toward the degree if the course addresses one or more of the themes noted above.


The Practicum in Museum Studies is an opportunity for students to gain hands-on experience in a non-profit museum, gallery, cultural center, or historical society. This may take the form of paid or volunteer work or an internship, and must be at least 140 hours in duration. It is expected that the practicum will deepen the student’s understanding of a substantive aspect or aspects of the institution’s operations through work in a department such as Curatorial, Development, Education, Collections Management, Communications, or Archives.

There are several ways students can fulfill the practicum requirement. They may apply to do an internship at the Picker Art Gallery or Longyear Museum of Anthropology during the academic year or over the summer. Students should be aware that these are competitive positions and that being a Museum Studies minor does not guarantee that they will be selected. They may also fulfill this requirement at any other suitable museum over the summer. This may include an individually-arranged internship at a museum in their hometown, or at a museum that runs a nationally-competitive internship program, such as the Frick Museum or the Whitney Musem of American Art. Students who wish to complete their practicum at any off-campus institution must discuss their plans with, and get approval from, the director of the Museum Studies Program in advance. They must also identify the museum supervisor who will write a brief report upon their completion of the practicum, describing the projects undertaken and verifying that the student worked 140 hours. This report must be sent to the director of the Museum Studies Program. Financial support for internships is available through Colgate’s Summer Funding, but students should be aware of the competitive nature of these grants and of their early deadlines (usually in late February; for more information and specific deadlines visit summer funding).

Another way to fulfill the practicum requirement is through Colgate University’s Upstate Institute. The Upstate Institute supports community-based research through the Summer Field School, and can help place students as full-time paid research Fellows with institutions in the region such as the Munson Williams Proctor Institute (an art museum in Utica), Everson Museum of Art, Oneida County Historical Society, Oneida Community Mansion House, Adirondack Museum, Iroquois Indian Museum, Fenimore Art Museum, the Shako:wi Cultural Center, the Corning Museum of Glass, and the National Abolition Hall of Fame in Peterboro. For more information about programs and opportunities, visit the Upstate Institute web page. 

Students should consult with their Museum Studies minor adviser about the various ways this requirement can be fulfilled, and about opportunities that best meet the individual needs and interests of the student.

Museum Studies Program

For more information about the department, including Faculty, transfer credit, awards, etc., please visit the Museum Studies  catalog page.

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