Exhibition and Visitor Experience Course Requirements

Museum Studies MA Course Requirements: Exhibitions & Visitor Experience

Museum Studies Program Summary


The GW Museum Studies program is a 36-credit degree. Upon entering the program, every student will select a Museum Studies concentration in one of four areas of concentration:

●  Museum Management

●  Collections Management

●  Exhibitions and Visitor Experience

●  Public Engagement

All students will complete one core course entitled Museum Ethics & Values, one internship, five (5) courses as required in the selected concentration, and five (5) electives. Electives may be drawn from within Museum Studies (including a second internship) or up to four (4) courses from outside the program.

Throughout your program, you should work with your advisor to ensure that you will meet program requirements and your own career and educational goals.

Exhibitions & Visitor Experience Concentration

Students learn strategies, skills, and approaches to content development related to exhibitions and programming in physical spaces, print, and digitally. Classes cover curatorial practice, script development, and evaluation, and teach students how to evaluate visitor experience and develop audience-centered content. Prepares students for work as exhibit developers, curatorial assistants (or curators at smaller institutions), social media managers, visitor experience and museum evaluators.

Required courses

CMST 6107 Museum Ethics and Values (during your first year) (Fall, Spring)
CMST 6301 Museum Exhibition: Curatorial Research and Planning (Fall)
CMST 6304 Exhibition Development and Scriptwriting (Spring) (CMST 6301 required)
CMST 6305 Visitor Perspectives: Museum Evaluation (Fall)
CMST 6501 Internship (available after your first semester) (Fall, Spring, Summer)


Select two (2) courses from the below

CMST 6104 Managing People and Projects (Spring)
CMST 6306 Race, Gender, Sexuality & the Museum (Spring, alternating years)
CMST 6307 Interpreting Historic Sites and House Museums (Fall)
CMST 6308 Critical Visitor Experience (Fall, alternating years)
CMST 6403 Museums and Technology (Fall)
CMST 6601 Museums and Social Justice (Spring)
CMST 6601 Museum Programming (Spring)
CMST 6601 Community Practicum (selected Summer semesters)
CMST 6701 Museum History and Theory (Fall, alternating years)


Select five (5) elective courses drawn from the following Museum Studies courses (including a second internship) and up to four (4) classes from outside Museum Studies in a content area.

Museum Studies Electives

CMST 6101 Museum Management - (Fall)
CMST 6102 Museum Financial Management - (Spring, alternating years)
CMST 6105 Museum Fundraising (Fall, alternating years)
CMST 6106 Museum Marketing (Spring, alternating years)
CMST 6109 Museum Governance (Fall, alternating years)
CMST 6201 Introduction to Collections Management (Fall)
CMST 6202 Collections Management: Practical Applications (Spring) (CMST 6201 required)
CMST 6203 Preventive Conservation Concepts (Fall)
CMST 6204 Preventive Conservation Techniques (Spring) (CMST 6203 required)
CMST 6205 Archival Practice (Fall)
CMST 6206 Digitization & Digital Asset Management (Spring)
CMST 6302 Museum Exhibition Design (Summer)
CMST 6306 Race, Gender, Sexuality & the Museum (Spring, alternating years)
CMST 6307 Interpreting Historic Sites and House Museums (Fall)
CMST 6404 Museums and Social Media (Spring)
CMST 6501 Internship #2 (available after your first semester) (Fall, Spring, Summer)
CMST 6601 Community Practicum (selected Summer semesters)
CMST 6601 Issues Related to Collections Policy (selected Summer semesters)
CMST 6704 Museums and Cultural Property (Spring)

External Electives

Students may select a content area related to their interests and/or previous academic experience for up to four (4) of their classes. While you may select a particular department (history, anthropology), the content area specialty is not necessarily defined by a discipline. You can create your own "interdisciplinary" area and pick courses throughout GW and its consortium schools that support that subject. Some examples include American Studies, African American and diasporic studies, material culture, and nonprofit management.