University of Calgary

Museum and Heritage Studies

Memory institutions are an important part of civilization. They bring prestige, as well as cultural, economic and social benefits to our cities and our nation. By recording our past and examining our present and future, they add to knowledge and to quality of life. They are important players in the not-for-profit sector and have also become a cornerstone of the tourist industry. The Museum and Heritage Studies (MHST) minor program is for students interested in collecting, preserving and exhibiting institutions, such as zoos, historic sites, parks and museums. It is an interdisciplinary program taught through the Faculty of Arts and is complementary to many majors in the Faculties of Arts, Science and the Haskayne School of Business.

The curriculum balances theory and practice and encompasses the history of collecting institutions, current theories, critical contemporary issues and hands-on work. Topics covered include

  • management
  • marketing
  • conservation
  • collections management
  • exhibitions
  • publications
  • and interpretation

 A practicum, in which the student completes a project in a local museum, art gallery or heritage facility, is a required course.

What can you do with a minor in MHST?

In combination with an appropriate major, a student with a minor in MHST can find entry-level work in historic sites, parks, museums or other heritage institutions.

Potential jobs include positions in communications and as curators, public programmers and administrators.
A number of graduates from this program have gone on to graduate work in this field in Canada and Europe

What does the MHST minor add to your credentials?

The minor adds to your credentials by demonstrating to prospective employers that you have a broad familiarity with the museum and heritage field, as well as with the current issues that dominate the field.

The MHST minor places considerable stress on finding a balance between theory and practice. Thus, graduates of the minor can point to having already accomplished some practical projects that are grounded in both theory and the constraints of actual practice. This is further confirmed by the MHST minor requirement that students complete a practicum in a museum, art gallery or heritage facility.


“This minor helped me obtain my first full time museum job as a Manager of Collections which eventually led to my advancement as Curator.”

“The Museum and Heritage Studies minor has made all the difference to my Fine Arts degree.”

“The contacts I made within the program (both students and professors) have become an important resource in my daily museum work. This program provided me with a solid foundation for entry into the museum world...”

“Professors with working knowledge of museums and heritage institutions give a good balance of theory and practice, and the practicum is a rewarding way to gain valuable experience.”

If you have any questions, not answered by this page or the University Calendar, direct your inquiries to the Student Success Centre or:

Michele Hardy

Program Coordinator