Graduate Certificate in Museum and Gallery Management

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University of Houston

The Graduate Certificate in Museum and Gallery Management Program, offered through the M.A. in Arts Leadership Program, is an exclusive 12-credit, non-degree synchronous online program at the University of Houston. The program can be completed in one to three years and provides a concentrated study in the business and administrative aspects of museum and gallery spaces.

During this synchronous online program, students will have the opportunity to meet with their instructors and peers in each of their classes for a one-week in-person portion of the course. Students will have the option to engage in field trips and visit with working professionals in the field in the city of Houston.

Undertaking this Graduate Certificate in Museum and Gallery Management is:

– an opportunity for specialization in the professional field of museum and gallery management

– an opportunity for advanced training in a specialized topic area that may not be covered in detail in any of our existing degree programs at UH

– an opportunity for continuing professional education

– a distinction on your graduate degree transcript

It is open to both current and prospective University of Houston graduate students. A background in fine art is not required to enroll in the certificate program as the process of museum management is transferable across various types of museums, including children’s museums, history museums, natural science museums, etc.

The classes are all offered in a synchronous online learning platform that offers busy working professionals distance education that combines real-time engagement with on-demand access.


In order to receive the Graduate Certificate in Museum and Gallery Management, certificate courses cannot double count between the certificate and any other graduate program on or off the UH campus. Individual courses can, however, be taken as elective courses in any UH graduate degree program. Students have up to three years to complete the certificate.

Four (4) courses (12 credit hours) from the following must be completed within three years to successfully complete the graduate certificate:

Required Courses
All students must take the ARLD 6370 – Introduction to Museum and Gallery Management.

It is highly recommended that students take ARLD 6310 – Fundraising for the Arts and ARLD 6320 – Financial Management for the Arts if they have not already taken them in a previous degree or certificate track.

ARLD 6370 – Introduction to Museum and Gallery Management (3 credit hours) - required for all students
This course provides an overview of key aspects for managing nonprofit museums and commercial galleries and introduces students to the practical skills required in these fields, including: exhibition planning, promotion, and publicity; development of educational materials and programs; exhibition design and installation; and the proper handling and treatment of art objects. Students will be exposed to professionals currently working in the field though guest lectures and site visits.

ARLD 6310 – Fundraising for the Arts (3 credit hours) - required for students who have not completed previous coursework in fundraising
The course serves as an introduction to fundraising strategies for leaders of the arts and provides a comprehensive overview of the fundraising process for non-profit organizations. Students are introduced to basic terminology and concepts in the field; relationship building, the solicitation process, the grants process, major gifts process, the annual campaign, corporate giving and the role of planned giving within an organization’s overall fundraising efforts.

ARLD 6320 – Financial Management for the Arts (3 credit hours) - required for students who have not completed previous coursework in financial management
Course investigates fundamental concepts of financial theory and applies to the management of Arts Organizations; concepts include financial statement analysis, profit planning, sources and forms of financing, budgeting and business valuation.

Additional Courses
Students may choose from the list of courses below to fulfill the remaining hours of coursework needed for the Museum and Gallery Management Certificate Program. Students may also contact the Program Director to propose additional courses from the Art History, Arts, and/or Arts Education departments that could count towards the certificate.

ARLD 6371 – Museum Programming (3 credit hours)
This course will serve as an overview to the current trajectory of curation, the history of galleries and museums, methodologies, politics of display, and the art market, allowing students to explore the history, theory and practice of museums as well as the current and emerging trends in the field. Though guest lectures and site visits, students will also have the opportunity to meet with Houston area museum professionals to learn the process of museum programming including curatorial work, registration, education and public programming, marketing, public relations and collection management.

ARLD 6372 – Museum Education and Community Engagement (3 credit hours)
Students address the issues regarding the development and implementation of museum education and community engagement in current museum practices through readings, discussions, and multiple visits to local institutions.

ARLD 6395 – Selected Topics in Arts Leadership - Leadership in Public Art (3 credit hours)
The course will serve as an overview to the administration, management and leadership of Public Art as a professional field for leaders in arts organizations and for individual artists. Through site visits and guest lectures from leaders in the sector, the course will encourage students to determine the importance of planning and decision making and will deepen understanding of policies and political realities that affect the creation and implementation of art in public spaces including artist selection processes, contracts, development of projects, working with stakeholders as well as public and educational programming.

ARLD 6315 – Public Relations and Marketing in the Arts (3 credit hours)
Introduction to public relations and marketing for leaders of arts organizations, this introductory course surveys a variety of techniques, from audience research and campaign development to advertising and branding, and emerging online tools. Basic strategies of public relations will be explored along with methods for making the most of social media platforms to develop and deepen customer relationships. The course will cover marketing principles as they relate to building, maintaining and developing audiences for performing and visual arts organizations

ARTH 6301 – Critical Theory (3 credit hours)
Survey of the major concepts and methods employed in the analysis of art practice. Instructor approval required.

ARTH 6303 – After Theory (3 credit hours)
Exploration of discourses that can inform contemporary artistic practice from political critique to literature, music, and film. Instructor approval required.

ARTH 6380 – Museums and the Problems of Display (3 credit hours)
Development of the culture if display and the impact of art institutions, curators and exhibitions on our understanding of artworks and their history. Instructor approval required.

ARLD 6391 – Internship Placement
A 150-hour professional placement in a Houston area museum or gallery setting.

University of Houston

Email: [email protected]
Phone: 713-743-4817

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