What Degree Do You Have to Get to Be a Science Museum Curator?


A science museum curator wears many hats. He must be proficient in his knowledge of science-related fields, a skilled administrator, an educator and have a talent for marketing. Science museum curators oversee collections such as chunks of asteroid samples and interactive exhibits that explore the body's systems. They conduct public service activities for institutions and oversee the restoration of objects. After completing high school there are a number of degrees in museum studies that will help you on your way to becoming a science museum curator.

High School Diploma

  • Although a high school diploma is not a "degree" it is mandatory to have before a college will grant you one. If you are in high school, you can take classes that will make you an efficient science museum curator. Take as many AP science classes as possible. Having advanced science knowledge prior to college will help in your future employment. If your high school has an astronomy club it would be advantageous to join. California's Temecula Valley High School's astronomy club, The First Light Astronomy Club, not only provides students with a deeper knowledge of our solar system, but it allows students to network with attending community members. Astronomy clubs usually draw people with knowledge who can further teach students and befriend them as mentors.

B.A. Museum Studies

  • Earning a B.A. in museum studies is often a prerequisite for graduate work in the field. The Bachelor's of Art in museum studies teaches the history of various types of museums and their philosophies. It educates students with skills for museum education, museum administration, collections care, management and care, exhibit design and archival management. Schools like Baylor University teach these skills in their B.A. program and include courses in decorative arts, material culture, historic preservation and museum ethics. A science museum curator not only needs a B.A. to advance into graduate work, but the skills taught in the undergraduate program will help make her more efficient.

M.A. Museum and Gallery Studies

  • Almost all museum curator positions have educational requirements of at least a master's degree. Degrees in museum studies are more popular in the UK and it might be beneficial to pursue a master's in England before enrolling into a doctorate program. Earning an M.A. in England will expose you to museums at the international level. Kingston University London's M.A. in museum and gallery studies is, according to its website, ideal for "pursuing imaginative, interdisciplinary, international museum study." As an aspiring science museum curator you could utilize the interdisciplinary feature of the degree and implement science into the curriculum. This course includes the teaching of contemporary issues and practices that focuses on exhibition, space, audiences and communities, institutional purpose and sustainable future.

Doctorate in Museum Studies

  • "The Princeton Review" advises students who hope to become museum curators or directors, "the more education, the better." Once you are at the doctorate level you can customize your Ph.D. program to fit your future employment goal of curating a science museum. For example, any focus on paintings or sculptures that are common to art museums has little significance to science museums. Instead you could concentrate on interactive teaching devices that science museums often have or focus on space exploration and biology. Make sure a program can accommodate doctoral training specific to science museum purposes and studies.


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