Program Highlight

Collecting Samples

Curator-in-Residence George Ciscle focuses on community arts…

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SMP Spotlight

Students on SMP Presentation Day

Exploring the nation's archaeological collections policies...

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Welcome


The Museum Studies Program at St. Mary’s College is designed to introduce students to the pleasures, problems, and challenges of American museum practice in the 21st century. Museums are important on multiple levels: they preserve cultural and natural heritage, they educate their audiences about this heritage, and they contribute to the economy. The American Association of Museums estimates that there are more than 17,000 museums in the United States recording a total of 2.3 million visits a day. At one time described as simple ‘cabinets of curiosities’ (or, in the case of the Smithsonian, as ‘the nation’s attic’), museums today are dynamic professional organizations reaching large and diverse audiences. The museum world is richly varied: in addition to the familiar museum categories of art, history, natural history, technology, and science museums, there are many similar institutions including national and state parks, zoos, botanical gardens, aquariums, and children’s museums.

At St. Mary’s, students can earn a minor in museum studies as they explore the theory and practice of museums in the contemporary world with emphasis on the stewardship of collections and the creation of exhibits, interpretive programs, and educational outreach services. The program prepares students for their future understanding of and contribution to the realm of museums. In addition to course work, students have the opportunity to gain experience at the College’s Dwight Frederic Boyden Gallery of Art, Historic St. Mary’s City, or any number of other museums in the southern Maryland region. Students are also encouraged to go beyond the region and even beyond national borders to learn more about museum practice in today’s global world.