Toggle Menu

Certificate – Museum Studies  

The Montana Museum of Art and Culture and School of Visual and Media Arts at the University of Montana invite you to apply for their new:


Announcing the Only Advanced Certificate in Museum Studies in Montana and the Inland Northwest

Meet your faculty:

Dr. Betsy Bach is UM Professor Emerita in Communication. For over thirty years, Dr. Bach has taught, published, and lectured extensively on non-profit communication, reaching the highest echelons of leadership in the profession. All the while, she has served on many museum boards and stewarded numerous capital campaigns and philanthropic efforts.

Dr. Rafael Chacón has been the Director of the Montana Museum of Art and Culture since 2019 and has deep experience curating and teaching in the museum context since he was a college intern in New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. He brings 25 years of teaching, publishing and lecturing in art history to his museum studies courses.

Kay Grissom is Curator of Education at the Missoula Art Museum. A graduate of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Kay has vast experience as a museum both in Chicago and in Montana. She focuses her course on museum education as a central part of museum administration.

Dr. Angela Hornsby has been Curator of UM’s Philip Wright Zoological Museum, a world-famous collection of biological specimens, since 2019. She is also professor of Ecology and Evolution in the Division of Biological Sciences at the University of Montana. She is a specialist on small mammal biogeography and evolution. Her course in the certificate focuses on natural history and scientific collections.

Cathryn Mallory is a visual artist and the Director of the Gallery of Visual Arts and Professor of Art in UM’s School of Media and Visual Arts. With almost 30 years of experience as a museum curator, educator, and gallery director, she is a noted specialist in the state and region. Her course this year is on exhibition curation and design.

Donna McCrea is Chief Archivist at the Archives and Special Collections at the University of Montana’s Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library. Her course focuses and archives and paper collections

Looking for an accessible, low-residency, intensive experience in the world of museums and galleries? Are you curious about how museums and non-profits in the art world operate? Do you need to polish your skills as a museum professional? UM’s Museum Studies Certificate is for you. Museums, galleries, and archives are dynamic places to work and study and this new certificate emphasizes hands-on learning with a variety of experts who possess great depth of experience in the field. The certificate offers graduate-level knowledge, specialized skills, and practical training in the burgeoning field of museums and galleries.

Relevant for:

Individuals entering the museum and gallery professions

Individuals seeking to deepen their skills in all aspects of museum work

Students wishing to complement their major areas of study with practical experience in the field

Course of Study

The certificate is a 12-credit course of study with a field project conducted during the course of 3 semesters. Students take five 2-credit seminars a-la-carte for 10 credits and one 2-credit Field Project Seminar to complete the certificate. Each seminar includes courses focused on lectures, presentations, discussions, group assignments, and hands-on learning in a museum and gallery setting. This is a low-residential, hybrid certificate with coursework delivered in-person and synchronously online and the Field Project Seminar held on campus or remotely during the summer from a recognized museum or gallery.

First year offerings will include these exciting courses:

Fall 2023

First year offerings will include exciting courses taught by experienced specialists in the field:

  1. Introduction to Archives Theory and Practice, Donna McCrea (Head of Archives and Special Collections / Professor, UM Mansfield Library)
  2. Exhibition Design, Cathryn Mallory (Director, UM Gallery of Visual Arts)
  3. Museum Education & Administration, Kay Grissom (Curator of Education, Missoula Arts Museum)
  4. Museum History & Theory, Dr. Rafael Chacón (Director, Montana Museum of Art and Culture)
  5. Leading and Communicating in Nonprofit Organizations, Dr. Betsy Bach (UM Emerita Professor in Communication)
  6. Field Project, Dr. Rafael Chacón (Director, Montana Museum of Art and Culture)

New course topics will be added in 2024 in areas as diverse as: collections management (policies, practices, and procedures), museum administration (ethical, legal, financial, leadership, audience- and donor-building), and specialized museums (military history, historical, natural history museums, etc.).

*as defined in Board of Regents Policy 301.1.

For information about enrolling, contact: Rafael Chacón at or call 406-241-2252

Find us on Instagram @UMT_SVMA