Explore a career in Museum Studies, Curatorial and Collections Management.

The museum studies field, including curatorial and collections management, focuses on the acquisition, display, preventive conservation, accessibility, and management of artistic, historical, and scientific items. Museums and galleries are common settings, but can also include auction houses, libraries and archives, private collector brokerage, public art nonprofit organizations, and individual collection management for organizations like hospitals, corporations, or government facilities. Zoos, aquariums, arboretums, and botanic gardens also fall under the broad museum category.

Employment Opportunities

The career search includes gaining experience via internships, as well as possible graduate studies. Curatorial studies and collections management tend to require advanced degrees in studies specific to arts, cultural, or nonprofit administration and legal and ethical issues affecting collections. Well-known auction houses often run their own graduate programs, blending the collections management field with business degrees. Students can get started by joining groups that set up and manage art spaces, gaining knowledge through coursework, and interning for museums, galleries, and cultural organizations. 

  • Successful candidates have:
    • Broad knowledge of art, with specific depth in particular mediums or historical periods
    • Experience working with artists on installations and translating a vision to a final product
    • Strong organizational, project management, research, and creative skills
    • Strong networking skills and ability to develop interpersonal relationships 
  • Hiring cycle:
    • Internship Cycle – Summer Internship Programs open in January / February
    • Job Cycle – Fellowships open in December / January, smaller organizations list in March and April

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Resources and Tools

In an article in The Chronicle of Higher Education (“No More Plan B,”‘ October 9, 2011), Anthony Grafton advised faculty who were charged …

Career Service Hours

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Tuesday 9am – 4:30pm
Wednesday 9am – 4:30pm
Thursday 9am – 4:30pm
Friday 9am – 4:30pm

Learn more about 1:1 advising appointments here.

Contact & Location

(585) 275-2366

4-200 Dewey Hall
500 Wilson Blvd
Rochester, NY 14627

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