What Degree Do You Need to Work in an Art Museum?

Art|Art Museum

Working in an art museum requires a diverse skill set and a passion for the arts. A variety of educational backgrounds are represented by museum professionals, but all have certain educational qualifications necessary for their roles. Depending on the type of job you are looking to obtain, a degree in either Art History or Museum Studies may be required.

Art History

Art History is the study of artwork and artifacts from different cultures and eras. Those who are interested in working at an art museum typically pursue a degree in Art History.

Art Historians learn about the materials, techniques, and subject matter used in artwork from different regions and time periods. This knowledge is essential for curators and other museum professionals who are responsible for researching and cataloging artwork for display at the museum. They must also be able to interpret artwork for visitors to enhance their understanding of the pieces.

Museum Studies

The purpose of Museum Studies is to provide an understanding of the ways museums function on both practical and theoretical levels. This field covers topics such as museology, conservation, collection management, exhibit design, fundraising, education programming, etc.

Those who earn a degree in Museum Studies will gain knowledge on how to run a successful museum operation and maintain its collections. They will also be well-versed on how to create engaging exhibits that attract visitors to the museum as well as how best to interact with them during their visit.


Overall, obtaining a degree in either Art History or Museum Studies is recommended if you want to work at an art museum. Art Historians learn about different artworks from various cultures while Museum Studies professionals gain knowledge on how best to manage a successful museum operation. Both degrees provide essential skills that are needed by those pursuing careers related to art museums.