Program Courses

To earn the Museum Studies Certificate, students must complete the three core courses. "The Exhibit" course is optional and intended for professionals at smaller institutions who need specific exhibit design know-how.

PDP courses are offered online, remotely, and on-campus. Please refer to the Schedule Notes for course delivery information.

IMPORTANT: The registration process for all professional development courses requires you to (A) register for your course, (B) complete an acknowledgment of Northwestern University's Student Expectations and COVID-19 Code of Conduct in CAESAR, AND (C) update your emergency contact information . Current students with an active NetID must complete their student acknowledgment in CAESAR before registering for courses. New students must complete their student acknowledgment in CAESAR within 48 hours of enrollment before official registration can be finalized.
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MUSEUM 371-DL : Successful Museum Management


This interactive course explores the organization, governance, and management of museums, with a focus on real-world problem solving. We consider the role of the board, the museum president, staff, and volunteers. Topics include team building, strategic planning, governance, organizational structure, fundraising and membership, marketing and public relations, collections management, exhibit development and design, evaluation, budgeting and finance, risk assessment, government affairs, and museum relevance. Students, instructor, and museum guest lecturers together critically examine current issues in the museum world, such as technological impacts, funding strategies, relevance to new audiences, virtual museums, and economic impacts. With guidance from museum professionals, students take on real projects at real museums. Past projects have ranged from marketing plans to volunteer recruitment strategies to exhibit development to retail planning.

Students have the option to participate in a live weekly synchronous session with the instructor and fellow students, as well as one or two guest museum experts. This session will be as announced. Those whose schedules don’t allow them to participate live can access the session recording. The instructor is available via phone, email or online office hours to help students keep up with the brisk pace of this course and its practical applications. Get ready to have fun, network with museum professionals, and either advance your museum career or explore whether a museum career is right for you.


Course Materials:

Course materials are included in the cost of tuition and will be provided via the online course site.


Registered students can access their online course site here. An activated NetID and password is required for login. *Please note: It may take up to 24-hours for registered students to be added to the online course platform.

Additional Information:

This course is offered during the Fall, Winter, and Spring quarters.

Tuition : $1299

Spring 2024
Start/End DatesDay(s)TimeBuildingSection
04/01/24 - 06/09/24Asynch
Asynch 50
InstructorCourse LocationStatusCAESAR Course ID
Kerr, Debra
Ludden, Jack
Schedule Notes :

This course is conducted primarily asynchronously with optional synchronous elements.

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