Cultural Heritage Studies

The Master of Arts degree in Cultural Heritage Studies is the only graduate program of its kind in the state. The M.A. degree in Cultural Heritage Studies provides students with the theoretical background and practical skills necessary to enter a career in the emerging fields of cultural heritage practice, policy, and management. The program is interdisciplinary; in addition to core and elective courses in art history, students will take additional relevant classes in anthropology and public administration. The small size of the program affords graduate students the opportunity to work closely with individual faculty members in seminars and directed research projects.

Students in the M.A. in Cultural Heritage Studies program may select one of two study tracks: the Cultural Heritage track or the Cultural Heritage Administration track.

The Cultural Heritage track provides students with an in-depth understanding and analytical grasp of international cultural heritage, and cultural property protection and response, intersections of cultural heritage and aid; the geopolitics of heritage as diplomacy; the role of international structures on the conservation of world heritage, looting and willful destruction of historic sites and buildings, and a variety of related issues.

The Cultural Heritage Administration track provides students with an in-depth understanding and analytical grasp of public policy and advocacy, including aspects of museum studies relevant to the administration and management of not-for-profit museums, public arts policy, the management of public cultural activity, commercial and non-profit sides of the business of culture, including organizational structures and staff roles, the fundamentals and legal features of public administration and nonprofit management.

Program Details

The M.A. in Cultural Heritage Studies is a 30-hour degree. Students in both tracks enroll in 27 hours of course work, including the core course ARH 650 Issues in Global Cultural Heritage Preservation: Practice & Policy and 3 credit hours of a practicum or internship. Degree requirements include the completion of a final professional research project to ensure the student has achieved proficiency of the knowledge and skills expected of a professional in the discipline.

Graduates will obtain a broad foundation of knowledge applicable to careers and further study in historic preservation and museum studies; arts management and administration; cultural and public advocacy; art and cultural policy; law and transnational justice; international affairs, diplomacy, government, arts centers, government, museums, private arts agencies, arts councils, community arts programs, foreign service; peace and justice studies; art journalism; and other fields.

Admission Requirements

A minimum GPA of 3.0 (B) is required for acceptance into the program. The applicant should have completed 18 semester hours in related coursework such as art history, anthropology, history, political science, or museum studies, although this requirement may be waived depending on the applicant's background and preparation. Qualified applicants will be invited for a required personal interview, which may take place over Skype or similar. The committee will consider all applicant information to select students who will be offered program admission.

Plan of Study

  • Cultural Heritage Studies Track

Year One


  • ARH 650: Issues in Global Cultural Heritage
  • MPA 600: Administrative Ethics
  • Anthropology Elective


  • MPA 601: The Public Policymaking Proces
  • Anthropology Elective
  • Art History Elective

Year Two


  • MPA 602: Scope of Public Administration
  • Anthropology Elective
  • Art History, Anthropology, or Public Administration Elective


  • ARH 591: Capstone Practicum

Application Due Dates

Students may apply for admission for either the fall or spring semester.

  • Fall 2020 admission: applications due by August 1
  • Spring admission: applications due by December 1

For more information about the M.A. in Cultural Heritage Studies, please contact Cathleen Cummings, Associate Professor and Graduate Program Director.

M.A. in Cultural Heritage Studies with a Cultural Heritage Studies Track

Required Coursework
ARH 650Issues in Cultural Heritage Policy and Practice (Plan to take in the first semester in the program.)3
MPA 601The Public Policymaking Process (Plan to take in the first semester in the program.)3
MPA 600Administrative Ethics3
MPA 602Scope of Public Administration3
ARH 591Capstone Internship: Experience and Presentation (Plan to take in the second year of program)3
Anthropology Electives
Select three from:9
Peace through Global Governance
Religion, Reconciliation, & Forgiveness
Nationalism Ethnicity and Violence
Museum Studies
Technological Monitoring of Cultural Resources, Human Rights and Conflict
NAGPRA, Repatriation, and Indigenous Rights
Memory and Memorialization
The Law of Historical and Cultural Resources
Archaeological Laboratory Methods
Observing the Earth from Space
Real World Remote Sensing App
Art History Elective 13
Elective 23
Total Hours30

Select one Art History Elective from the following ARH 519, ARH 521, ARH 522 , ARH 524, ARH 530, ARH 531, ARH 535, ARH 540, ARH 541, ARH 550, ARH 560, ARH 564, ARH 567, ARH 568, ARH 570, ARH 573, ARH 574, ARH 572, ARH 575, ARH 577.   


Select one elective from the graduate Art History (ARH), graduate Anthropology (ANTH), or graduate Public Administration (MPA) courses. 

Cultural Heritage Studies with a Cultural Heritage Administration Track

Required Coursework
ARH 650Issues in Cultural Heritage Policy and Practice3
MPA 601The Public Policymaking Process3
MPA 602Scope of Public Administration3
MPA 604Human Resources Management3
ARH 591Capstone Internship: Experience and Presentation3
ANTH 667Museum Studies3
Public Administration Electives
Select two from the following: 6
Administrative Ethics
Marketing and Fundraising
Nonprofit Management
Strategic Planning
Data Management
Art History Electives 16
Total Hours30