Graduate Certificate in Heritage and Museum Practice

This 15-credit graduate certificate program provides students with knowledge of practices in the heritage and museum sector, which includes historical and heritage societies, art galleries, archives and record management programs, educational institutions, cultural and governmental agencies, preservation and cultural resource management groups, and media production companies. A goal of the program is to enable students to conceptualize, deliver, and manage effective heritage and museum projects. The Heritage and Museum Practice certificate is awarded for successful completion of 9 credits of prescribed courses plus 6 credits of electives from an approved list of courses. Students must earn a grade of B or above in each course that counts toward the certificate program.

Admission Requirements

An applicant must hold either a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or a tertiary (postsecondary) degree that is deemed comparable to a four-year bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution. This degree must be from an officially recognized degree-granting institution in the country in which it operates.

A candidate in the certificate program may also become a candidate in the Master of Arts in American Studies, Master of Arts in Humanities, or Master of Arts in Public Administration degree programs if the candidate is admitted to one of these graduate degree programs; however, successful completion of the certificate program neither implies nor guarantees admission to any graduate degree program at Penn State. Students enrolled in any of these degree programs may apply credits earned toward the certificate as elective credits with program approval. Up to 15 credits of coursework taken in nondegree status can count towards a graduate degree.

GPA Requirements

Applicants are expected to have 2.75 GPA or above in the last two years of undergraduate work in American Studies, history, art, architecture, anthropology, folklore, management, communications, or fields related to museum and heritage practice.

Application Process

  1. Complete the Graduate School online application, choosing "Certificate Admission" for the application type. Next, select "Harrisburg" as the Campus, "Heritage and Museum Practice" as the Certificate, and the semester you choose to begin.
  2. Submit copies of your undergraduate transcripts and cover letter describing goals and background in heritage and museum practice to:
    Program Coordinator, Graduate Certificate in Heritage and Museum Practice
    American Studies Program
    777 West Harrisburg Pike
    Middletown, PA 17057 - 4898
  3. International applicants have additional requirements.

After Completing Your Application

  1. After all your materials are submitted, your application will be reviewed by the admissions committee.
  2. After you complete your online graduate application, you will receive a letter from Penn State University indicating whether or not you have been accepted to begin study in a graduate certificate program.
  3. You can meet or correspond with the Program Coordinator to advise you on your program of study.

List of Courses Included in the Certificate

Prescribed Courses (AM ST)

  • AM ST 480 MUSEUM STUDIES (3)
  • AM ST 481 HISTORIC PRESERVATION (3) or AM ST 482 PUBLIC HERITAGE (3)
  • AM ST 550 SEMINAR IN PUBLIC HERITAGE (3)

Elective Courses

In addition to the 9 credits of prescribed coursework, students must select 6 credits from the following list of 500-level elective courses.

  • AM ST 530 TOPICS IN FOLKLORE (3)
  • AM ST 531 MATERIAL CULTURE AND FOLKLIFE (3)
  • AM ST 575  MUSEUM INTERNSHIP ( 3)
  • AM ST 592 FIELD EXPERIENCE IN AMERICAN STUDIES (3)
  • AM ST 551 SEMINAR IN LOCAL AND REGIONAL STUDIES (3)
  • AM ST 570 TOPICS IN AMERICAN ART (1 - 6 per semester)
  • P ADM 500 PUBLIC ORGANIZATION AND MANAGEMENT (3)
  • P ADM 505 HUMAN RESOURCES IN THE PUBLIC AND NONPROFIT SECTORS (3)
  • P ADM 516 STRATEGIC PLANNING (3)
  • P ADM 517 NONPROFIT ORGANIZATIONS: HISTORY AND EVOLUTION (3)
  • P ADM 518 NONPROFIT ORGANIZATIONS: MANAGEMENT AND LEADERSHIP (3)
  • P ADM 519 NONPROFIT ORGANIZATIONS: RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT AND MANAGEMENT (3)