John F. Kennedy University

Museum Studies

The Museum Studies program at JFK University is one of the nation’s most recognized museum studies programs and is committed to preparing museum professionals to meet the demands of an increasingly complex profession. Today’s museum professionals must have the knowledge and skills to serve diverse audiences, create collaborative partnerships with communities, design innovative exhibitions and programs, and develop a sustainable financial base of support.

The curriculum covers a wide range of issues and provides fundamental skills while challenging students to critically analyze and creatively reform museums for a diverse society. The training is applicable to all types of museums, historical sites, natural parks, and cultural and discovery centers.

All Museum Studies students are required to complete one or more internships to put their classroom knowledge to practice. Recent internship sites include the Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco, California Academy of Sciences, the Auckland War Memorial Museum in New Zealand, the Smithsonian Institution's Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage,  the Walt Disney Family Museum, among others.  A list of recent student internships and alumni positions is included under "Related Downloads" on the right.

All Museum Studies faculty members are practicing professionals. Their ranks include conservators, registrars/collections managers, educators, exhibit designers, and museum administrators. Students have close contact with other experts in the field through museum visits, guest speakers, and internships. During the academic year professionals from many of the more than 250 Bay Area museums work with JFK University students.

JFK University offers three distinguished Museum Studies programs:

  • The Master of Arts is the preferred credential and recommended for students who intend to pursue a full-time career in the museum field.
  • The MA and MBA dual degree is recommended for students interested in deepening their knowledge and skills in museum leadership and management.
  • The program’s certificate option is designed for professionals who have extensive experience in the field and do not require a master’s degree.

The Program Comparison chart under "Related Downloads" on the right side illustrates the curriculum differences.


In addition, per U.S. Department of Education requirements, JFK University provides the following information regarding the Museum Studies Certificate to assist students in making their educational decision.

Graduate Certificate in Museum Studies
Classification of Instructional Program (CIP) code: 30.1401
Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) code: 25-4013.00
Program tuition & fees: $24,708
Median loan debt: Information Not Available
On-time completion*: 50%

*On-time completion is defined the normal completion which for many JFK University students is on a part-time basis.