Museum Studies

At the School of Human Evolution and Social Change, where our approach to anthropology encompasses the sciences, social sciences and humanities, we have developed a unique museum studies program that examines how museums produce and reflect culture and the role museums play worldwide.

  • Our museum studies students – installing the "Choosing a Future with Water: Lessons from the Hohokam" exhibit – made the cover of the third edition of Museum Basics by Timothy Ambrose + Crispin Paine.

    Our students develop theoretical questions and applied skills that engage the functions, practices and critical analyses of museums. All of our graduates gain practical experience while being encouraged to challenge preconceived notions about museums and the way they affect and are affected by societies and cultures.

  • Top-quality faculty from our School of Human Evolution and Social Change; the Public History Program of the School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies; the School of Art in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts; the School of Community Resources and Development; and community professionals teach our courses, which address topics across the interdisciplinary boundaries of museum studies, including anthropology; art history, theory, and criticism; and public history.
  • Designed to be use-inspired, socially embedded and trans-cultural, the program ensures that our graduates understand the meaning and significance of museums in contemporary society and prepare them for diverse museum careers.
  • You will have many resources available to you, including our Center for Archaeology and Society's Innovation Gallery and Deer Valley Petroglyph Preserve, as well as the extensive archaeological and ethnographic collections of its Repository. A close-knit community of museums across Arizona State University and the region provide integral networks of resources and relationships that bolster our program and opportunities for students and graduates.

If your questions are not addressed by these Frequently Asked Questions, please contact the program director, Richard Toon.

For questions about the application process or applying, see these Frequently Asked Questions or contact graduate student services specialist Monica Salazar.

Core faculty:

Richard Toon (Research Professor and Museum Studies Program Director; Co-Director, Center for Archaeology and Society) | Arleyn Simon (Curator of Collections, Center for Archaeology and Society)

Museum Studies FAQ  
Sample Museum Studies M.A. Program of Study (to come)
Sample Museum Studies Certificate Program of Study (to come)
Graduate Studies in the School of Human Evolution and Social Change