Select Page

Museum Studies (Certificate)

Museum Studies classes are held in our state-of-the-art Conservation Lab, Exhibition Preparation Classroom, lecture halls and distance learning classrooms on the IAIA college campus. Institutional internship and apprenticeship opportunities are available in our Museum of Contemporary Native Art (MoCNA) collections, the IAIA Archives, and the Balzer Contemporary Edge Gallery, located on the IAIA college campus. Institutional internship and apprenticeship opportunities are also available at our MoCNA exhibition complex located in downtown Santa Fe and at local, regional, and national museums; cultural centers; and cultural organizations.

Guiding Statement

The Museum Studies Program is dedicated to providing a well-rounded education in the field of museology. As part of a proud and storied Indigenous institution, Museum Studies Department courses focus on best practices of Indigenous cultural object care and Indigenous cultural presentation. Students learn the techniques, methods, practices, and the critical thinking necessary to assist Indigenous communities in maintaining their cultures and heritages through museums and cultural centers.


We believe museums and cultural centers can serve as focal points in providing educational contexts for the appreciation of Indigenous arts and cultures. These spaces can provide unique opportunities for the recognition and acknowledgment of the many contributions–past, present, and potential–of Native Americans and other Indigenous peoples.

Although our program is focused on Native American and Alaskan Native culture, the program includes consideration of other Indigenous cultures throughout the world. We encourage the enrollment of non-Native Americans and applicants from other nations.


The goals of the Museum Studies Department are:

  • To teach students essential knowledge and skills with respect to conventional museum and gallery methods and trends
  • To develop students’ critical analyses of western and Indigenous models of cultural stewardship
  • To inspire students’ creativity toward the exploration of uncharted and expressive directions in the field of museology
  • To provide a strong learning experience that will support students in becoming sensitive and capable leaders in their respective communities and chosen career fields

Learning Outcomes

Students in the Museum Studies program will be able to:

  • Demonstrate skills and techniques of museum exhibit design and installation
  • Contextualize components of museum collections as they pertain to cultural meaning
  • Apply Indigenous protocols, customs, and sensitivities with regard to museological applications
  • Analyze and critique the roles and responsibilities of the various museum professions
  • Apply new and applicable technologies to culturally-based museum exhibitions and collections
  • Construct new models of museum representation and interpretation