Museum Studies at New College

This interdisciplinary secondary field (minor) offers a theoretical and practical foundation for engaging critically and creatively with museums.

Museum Studies is an interdisciplinary secondary field (minor) that offers a theoretical and practical foundation for engaging critically and creatively with museums, institutions—whether art museums, natural history museums, heritage (archaeological and historic) sites, botanical gardens, science centers, aquariums, or zoos—that collect, preserve, research, interpret, and exhibit tangible and intangible evidence of the human and natural world, with the goal of promoting deeper knowledge, understanding, and inquiry. Students at New College will benefit from the wide variety of museological institutions in the surrounding area, including, but not limited to: the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art; the Sarasota Art Museum of Ringling College of Art and Design; the Bishop Museum of Science and Nature; Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium; the Family Heritage House Museum at State College of Florida; the Gallery at State College of Florida; Sarasota County Historical Resources/History Center; Marie Selby Botanical Gardens; De Soto National Memorial (National Park Service); Reflections of Manatee; Florida Maritime Museum (Manatee County); Art Center Sarasota; Architecture Sarasota.

This secondary field is designed to complement areas of concentration in a wide variety of disciplines, though it is particularly suited to anthropology and art history. It consists of 1) a set of courses that introduce students to the fields of museum and heritage studies, as well as to the history of collecting and museums; and 2) elective coursework and internships (selected in consultation with faculty in Museum Studies, and approved by the Director of Museum Studies) that will enable students to gain focused experience in a core facet of museum practice, whether collections or communication. This combined exposure to broader theoretical frameworks and targeted practical experience prepares students for a variety of fields and employment, but is especially suited to students contemplating further study and a career in Museum Studies and related fields like Library and Information Science.


Uzi Baram, Anthropology

Katherine Brion, Art History

Magdalena Carrasco, Art History


Required Courses and Portfolio

The Museum Studies secondary field requires the following coursework and a portfolio:

    • Three foundational courses:
      • “Museum Studies in Theory and Practice,” or another approved introduction to museum studies.
      • “Worlds of Wonder,” or another approved course on the history of collecting and museums.
      • “Heritage: History and the Past Today,” or another approved introduction to heritage studies that addresses the role of museums.
    • One approved non-internship elective course, tutorial, or ISP (taken for full semester credit) in which the student applies knowledge and skills relevant to museum studies to a museum and/or heritage-related topic.
    • Two internships (each taken for full semester credit):
      • An exploratory internship that exposes the student to a broad range of museum and/or heritage functions and career paths
      • An additional internship with a “Collections” or “Communication” focus, as described in the General Catalog.
    • The Museum Studies secondary field also requires the submission of a satisfactory portfolio that consists of: 1) a curated selection of relevant work completed in the context of the student’s elective courses; and 2) an accompanying, synthetic reflection that articulates how the portfolio materials connect to the selected elective tracks of Collections or Communications (see the full curriculum for further details), as well as to the student’s overall museum studies coursework, the broader field of museum studies, and their future career plans.

View Museum Studies Curriculum