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Academic Programs

Leadership in Museum Education


  • Program Overview

    Attend courses and sites in New York City one weekend per month while applying what you learn in class directly to your work and institution.

    As a student in this program, you will meet one weekend per month, plus one week in early June, over two years. You will develop your capacity for leadership, organizational change, community engagement, diversity, inclusion and access.

    One year focuses on learning and learning environments, development, diversity, collaboration, interpretation and exhibition planning. The other year focuses on museum mission and strategy, organizational theory, communication, visitor research, marketing, development and finance.

    Ideal candidates are museum education professionals with five (minimum three) years experience who think reflectively and strategically about how museum education can advance organizational inclusion, engagement and community participation.

    This program culminates in a Master of Science in Education and requires 40 credits.

    Group shot of Leadership in Museum Education students

  • Admissions Requirements

    In addition to the main admissions criteria, there are additional requirements needed to apply for this program:

    • Applicants must already work in a cultural institution.
  • Coursework

    Course highlights include:

    • Unpacking learning theories, discussing development theories across the life span, observing children, families and adults in museum settings, and learning techniques for collaboration and interpretation.
    • Building understanding for how organizations work, how to work more effectively with others, construct your own leadership narrative and support others towards a shared vision.

    View the coursework for this program.

    Classroom shot of Leadership in Museum Education students

  • Supervised Fieldwork/Advisement

    Supervised fieldwork/advisement lies at the heart of a Bank Street education. Through sustained experiences in the field, supervision from core faculty, and close collaboration with peers, our graduate students develop the ability to connect theory to practice and to reflect deeply on their own growth as educators. In this program you will:

    • Receive coaching and advisement from an educational leader with extensive experience working in museums and cultural institutions (over the two years of the program)
    • Share work experiences with smaller conference groups
    • Host a visit by your adviser (each year) to your worksite to observe you at work and offer feedback
  • Career Opportunities

    Your degree will provide you with a range of career opportunities:

    • Advance from emerging professional/coordination/junior management level positions to positions with increased responsibility, scope, vision and collaborative abilities leading to change in museums and related organizations
    • Join a network of professionals spanning museums across the country and work closely with three cohorts passing through the program (including your own)

    Leadership in Museum Education students posing in front of a Clyfford Still artwork

  • Faculty

  • Guest Instructors

    • Marianna Adams, Audience Focus, Dallas
    • Melanie Adams, Minnesota Historical Society
    • Swarupa Anila, Detroit Institute of Arts
    • Leslie Bedford, author, The Art of Museum Exhibitions
    • Lucy Bernholz, Stanford University
    • Rika Burnham, Director of Education, Frick Collection
    • Ken Chabotar, Guilford College (r.)
    • Donna Walker Kuhne, author, Invitation to the Party
    • Kathy McLean, Independent Exhibitions, Berkeley
    • Laura Roberts, Consultant, Strategic Planning, Cambridge, MA
    • Gary Schneider, Director, Grounds for Sculpture
    • Deborah Schwartz, Brooklyn Historical Society
    • Lois Silverman, author, The Social Work of Museums
    • Shari Werb, Director Education, Smithsonian Natural History
    • Emily White, Bank Street College
    • and other guest speakers!
Having the opportunity once a month to come to New York City, immerse myself in learning, exploration, deep conversation and engagement with colleagues from other museums and leaders in the field, renewed my interest, helped me create a professional network, and inspired me to think bigger and more strategically about my own work.
Shari Rosenstein Werb, GSE ’00