Course requirements for the minor in museums and society are designed to introduce students to a broad set of historical, theoretical, and practical museum issues and to give them the opportunity to explore museums first-hand. Prospective minors should consult with the director for guidance in designing a program of study.

Requirements for the Minor

  • A minimum of six different courses (amounting to at least 18 credits) selected from those approved by the program.
  • Required courses: 389.201 (offered every Fall) and an introductory course focused on either issues/concepts or practice [POS-Tag PMUS-INTRO]
  • Four additional courses in the program: Of these courses, at least three must be 300-level or higher and at least two different primary departments/disciplines must be represented; these four courses must also include a minimum of 3 credits of “practicum” [POS-Tag PMUS-PRAC] work.

Additional Information

Introduction to the Museum Sequence

Ideally, students should take at least one introductory course before enrolling in more focused courses, but this is not required.

Practicum Credits

These can be earned only through courses designated as “practicum” in the course description [POS-Tag PMUS-PRAC] because of their dependence on work with collections, communities, and/or within a museum (typically 300-level). Independent work cannot be applied to this requirement.

Departmental Distribution

In keeping with the interdisciplinary nature of the program, students are encouraged to explore various fields and must complete courses in at least two different primary departments/disciplines.  Primary departments are defined either as the home department for the course (identified by the course’s three-digit prefix), as the main cross-listing beyond museums and society, or as the home discipline of the instructor. Students should seek guidance from the director or assistant director to ensure they are fulfilling this requirement, and should note that Independent Study and Capstone credits cannot be applied to it.

Independent Study and Capstones

Students have two options for pursuing independent work for credit in museums and society. The Independent Study typically takes a more traditional academic approach to research and presentation; the Capstone encourages research that is engaged with collections and results in an alternative, often public project. Students interested in these options should consult the university’s independent work policy and follow the guidelines for museums and society outlined under Independent Research. Approval for credit will not be given until a project has been officially approved by an appropriate mentor, in full and frequent consultation with the Program in Museums and Society. No more than 3 credits of independent work can be applied to the minor.

Additional Course Offerings

On occasion, a student may want to enroll in a course not offered through Museums and Society. These can include courses in the Baltimore Collegetown Student Exchange Program (such as through MICA’s Curatorial Studies concentration) and, in certain circumstances, online courses through the graduate level Museum Studies program in JHU’s Advanced Academic Programs (AAP). Only one such course can be applied to the minor, and must have advanced approval from the M&S director as well as appropriate approval from the partner institution or program. Courses with a scheduled cognate offering in M&S must be taken through M&S, and all outside courses must be taken for a grade. This opportunity is restricted to juniors and seniors with considerable background in the field. For guidance on applying Study Abroad courses to the minor, students should consult with their advisor in M&S.


Internships are valuable opportunities to expand horizons, learn in the field, and investigate real-world applications of academic work. The Program in Museums and Society highly encourages students to explore internship options and works with the Career Center to do so. However, while the program sponsors interns for academic credit when needed by the host institution, such credit cannot be used to satisfy minor requirements. Students interested in receiving program credit for independent work should consider the Independent Study and Capstone options instead.

Other Information

No course other than the Independent Study or Capstone may be counted toward the minor more than once (up to a maximum of 3 credits).