Master of Museum Studies (MMSt) degree

Information on this page:

About the Master of Museum Studies program

The Master of Museum Studies (MMSt) program is both an academic and a professional program.

It aims to provide students with:

  • Comprehensive knowledge of the functions of museums in their broader social and cultural contexts
  • A strong theoretical background and professional understanding of museum origins, ideologies, changing philosophies, and current practices
  • Methodologies for research

Core courses examine museological scholarship, and its practical application in different environments. Individual projects and internships offer opportunities for students to develop practical skills and pursue special interests, in preparation for careers as museum professionals.

Students may participate in collaborative programs with other University departments as part of their MMSt degree.

A thesis option is also available.

The MMSt program is offered on a full-time basis only.

Concurrent Registration Option:  MI & MMSt

Students accepted into both participating programs may register concurrently in both the Master of Museum Studies (MMSt) and Master of Information (MI) programs. Permission of each graduate coordinator is required.

The minimum period of registration required to complete both degrees in the Concurrent Registration Option is three years.

More information about the Concurrent Registration Option is available.


Degree requirements - Effective September, 2012

MMSt students must complete a minimum of 7.5 full-course equivalents (FCE).

This includes four required half courses (2.0 FCE):

Plus either:

  • MSL2350H Museum Planning and Management: Projects, Fundraising and Human Resources


Plus either:

  • MSL4000Y Exhibition Project plus 8 electives (4.0 FCE) of which at least 4 electives (2.0 FCE) must be an MMSt elective course.


  • RST9999Y Thesis (2.0 FCE)
    • INF1240H Research Methods (or another graduate level research methods course in a relevant discipline) plus 5 electives (2.5 FCE) of which at least 1 elective (0.5 FCE) must be an MMSt elective course.

Degree requirements prior to September 2012

The following requirements were in effect prior to September 2012:

Minimum degree requirements: 7.0 full-course equivalents (FCE).

This includes four required half courses (2.0 FCE):

The rest of the program of study is made up of ten additional courses (5.0 FCE). Of these ten courses, six (3.0 FCE) must be Museum Studies elective courses. The thesis option, prior to September 2012, counted as 1.5 FCE.

Students who entered the program prior to September 1, 2012, have the option to graduate under either:

1. Degree requirements in effect when they entered the program. No action needed.


2. Degree requirements that came into effect on September 1, 2012, i.e., the requirements as described on this page. If you select this option you must:    

  • ensure that you can complete all requirements, and
  • inform the Student Services Office in writing, that you intend to graduate under the new MMSt degree requirements.


Collaborative programs

MMSt students may pursue specialized subject interests by taking courses in more than one faculty or department at the University. The iSchool participates in two collaborative programs on campus for the MMSt degree.

Thesis option    

Students gain experience in developing and executing a research project from beginning to end. This option is designed for students who have a clearly defined topic, can find a supervisor, and can meet tight deadlines. The thesis option counts as 2.0 FCE.

Language Requirement

Students whose primary language is English will be required to demonstrate reading knowledge of a second language, preferably French, before the end of their program. A minimum grade of 70% must be achieved on a written exam. Please note: this requirement has been waived until further notice.


Elective courses

Course codes:

Courses designated with ‘H’: one semester in length; worth 0.5 FCE
Courses designated with ‘Y’: two semesters in length; worth 1.0 FCE

Museum Studies elective courses

Courses of interest from the Master of Information program

Consult the full Course Calendar to learn about other iSchool courses.

External elective Courses

Students are encouraged to seek external graduate-level elective courses, related to their academic and museological interests. External courses are defined as courses offered at the University of Toronto, but are outside the iSchool.

Cognate departments at U of T offer a wide range of courses. Consult the websites of other University of Toronto graduate units, then contact each department of interest to find out whether:

  • Acceptance into the desired department is required in order to take its courses.
  • The course is being offered in the upcoming academic year.
  • A pre-requisite course is needed
  • Pre-registration is required in order to take the course.

To register in an external course:
Fill out a Course Add/Drop form, available from the iSchool Student Services Office. Students must  obtain appropriate signatures from the respective professor, department chair, or graduate coordinator.  To avoid frustration, plan ahead by picking alternatives in case of course unavailability.