The Museum & Cultural Heritage Studies (MCHS) MA is designed for both those who wish to study museum practice and cultural heritage as an academic subject and those who seek careers in museums or other cultural heritage agencies. For incoming graduate students with a BA in Art History or a related field, this 2-year program offers two tracks: Students interested in cultural heritage careers may work closely with Florida Department of State officials here in the capital city, and those wishing to pursue a museum career may choose The Ringling Track, spending their entire second year of study in Sarasota at The John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art, one of the largest and most prestigious university museums in the country. MCHS at FSU is part of the Southern Regional Education Board Academic Common Market. Students from any of the 16 SREB states may pursue a degree in the program at in-state tuition rates.
Prospective students should have a Bachelor of Arts with a concentration in Art History or a related field, such as archaeology, history or classics and reading knowledge of one foreign language. Admissions are based on scholastic record, letters of recommendation, foreign language proficiency, and GRE scores.
The program consists of 9 hours of core courses (Museum Basics, Cultural Heritage: Theory and Method and The Museum Object), 15 hours of Art History, 6 hours in Museum and Cultural Heritage electives (outside the Department of Art History) and 12 hours of internship including a capstone project, for a total of 42 credit hours. Three of the five Art History courses are to be taken in a single field of study so as to create a major area of expertise.
A reading knowledge of at least one foreign language relevant to the student’s area of study is required for completion of the master’s program. The student has the option of passing an exam in reading knowledge by the end of the first academic year or successfully completing an intermediate-level course.
The faculty reviews and evaluates each student’s progress at the end of the first academic year. Two weeks prior to the evaluation, the student submits two copies of a paper written in a graduate course in Art History at FSU as an example of research and writing skill. Students will maintain a grade of B or better in all coursework and a 3.0 average. A grade of B- in a course will not count toward fulfilling degree requirements.
The MCHS steering committee supervises the students’ course of study and progress through the major and monitors work and experience gained through the 12 hours of internship. Members of this committee work with the student to develop their capstone project usually in consultation with the needs of the host institution of the internship. In the fourth semester of coursework students present their capstone project to the committee, consisting of a portfolio of material including a journal of their internship experience and an 8000-word paper or proposal.
After completing eight museum and art history courses in Tallahassee during the first year of study, students in the MA Program in Museum and Cultural Heritage Studies may choose to participate in The Ringling Track, spending their second full year of study at The John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art. For additional information please contact Dr. Kristen Dowell.