Master of Museum Studies
University of Toronto Faculty of Information
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Earliest start date
* early deadline: January 31 - online application & supporting documents. Regular deadline: March 31 - online application; April 15 - supporting documents
The Master of Museum Studies (MMSt) is the only English-speaking master’s program of its kind in Canada. It is both academic and professional from the integration of museological theory with experience.
Museum professionals manage collections, create educational programs for the public, organize exhibitions, manage projects, run cultural institutions, and many other aspects of museum and heritage work. They uncover stories, bring them to life, and preserve them for future generations. These professions are undergoing constant evolution driven by the changes in the modern digital information era.
- Gain a comprehensive knowledge of the functions of museums in their broader social and cultural contexts.
- Be forward-focused and understand where museums are headed in the future.
- Develop a strong theoretical background and professional understanding of museum origins, ideologies, changing philosophies, and current practices.
- Learn methodologies for research.
- Core courses examine the museological scholarship and its practical application in different environments and facets, including:
- digital heritage
- global cultures and museums
- museum education and programming
- museum management
- Develop practical skills and pursue special interests by participating in:
- an optional 12-week summer internship
- a graduating exhibition project option (if not taking the Thesis option)
The MMSt is offered on a full-time basis (2 years). There is no part-time enrolment option.
MMSt students must complete 15 half-courses (7.5 FCE).
Students may choose to complete an Exhibition Project or a Thesis.
Additional options include:
- Complete a 12 week Summer Internship in a recognized museum, gallery or related institution to link theory with practice.
- Include elective courses that satisfy one Collaborative Specialization. Four collaborative specializations are offered to students enrolled in the MMSt program. Note: Students must apply and be admitted to both the MMSt program and the Collaborative Specialization of interest.
- Students interested in the cross-section of information and museum studies may wish to apply for the Combined Degree Program (CDP) to explore areas such as museum informatics, digital cultural heritage, cultural information policy, the intersection of cultural memory institutions (libraries, archives and museums), digital curation, and the use of social networking technology in museums, among other interests. The CDP allows students to complete both MI + MMSt in three years.
MMSt Thesis Option
The thesis option allows students to gain experience in developing and executing a research project from beginning to end. This option is designed for students who have a clearly defined topic, can find a supervisor, and can meet tight deadlines in order to complete all program requirements within the normal time limit. The thesis option is typically carried out in the 2nd year of the two-year program. Faculty approval is required.
- Are available to students who are enrolled in a graduate degree program.
- Emerge from cooperation between two or more graduate units, e.g., faculties, departments, centers, or institutes.
- Provide students with a broad base from which to explore interdisciplinary areas.
- Allow students to pursue specialized subject interests or special developments within particular disciplines.
- Are designed to allow a focus on the area of specialty.
- Be admitted to, and enrolled in, one of the collaborating graduate units;
- Fulfill all the degree program requirements in the home unit;
- Fulfill any additional requirements of the specific collaborative specialization.
Upon completion of the collaborative specialization, students’ transcripts will denote a specialization in the particular program area.
Collaborative specializations available to MMSt students
The iSchool participates in several collaborative specializations for MMSt students.
Book History & Print Culture
Knowledge Media Design
Sexual Diversity Studies
NEW! Food Studies
Student Learning Outcomes
Graduates of the program will have awareness and applied an understanding of:
- The history of museums, and the centrality of representation within their social and political roles in societies;
- Various professional responsibilities within cultural institutions and agencies and the interrelationship of these responsibilities;
- Ethical issues facing cultural institutions, agencies, and professionals;
- Museological best practices;
- Legal frameworks and ethical debates surrounding the acquisition and care of natural and cultural heritage.
Graduates of the program will be able to:
- Innovate in the face of new challenges;
- Advocate for the importance of cultural institutions in society;
- Communicate effectively by integrating content, form, and media to achieve desired goals;
- Use appropriate methods to assess on-going project development and to evaluate the achievements and effects of museum activities;
- Organize processes involving people, financial and physical resources in order to actualize programs, projects, buildings, and revitalization plans;
- Work in and manage groups and interpersonal relations.
Careers in Museum Studies
The University of Toronto iSchool has dedicated Career Services available to our Master’s students, including networking events, guest speakers, resume and interview preparation, job site (job listings) and more. Learn more about the career possibilities with a graduate degree in Museum Studies.