Heritage and Museum Practice Graduate Credit Certificate Program

Person-in-ChargeJeffrey P. Beck
Program CodeCLHMP

This 15-credit graduate certificate program offered at Penn State Harrisburg provides students with knowledge of practices in the heritage and museum sector, which includes historical and heritage societies, public folk arts and folklife centers and programs, art galleries, archives and record management programs, educational institutions, cultural and governmental agencies, preservation and cultural resource management groups, and media production companies. A goal of the program is to enable students to conceptualize, deliver, and manage effective heritage and museum projects.

Effective Semester:  Fall 2022
Expiration Semester: Spring 2027

Admission Requirements

Applicants apply for admission to the program via the Graduate School application for admission. Requirements listed here are in addition to Graduate Council policies listed under GCAC-300 Admissions Policies. International applicants may be required to satisfy an English proficiency requirement; see GCAC-305 Admission Requirements for International Students for more information.

Applicants are expected to have 2.75 GPA or above in the last two years of undergraduate work in American Studies, history, art, architecture, anthropology, folklore, management, communications, or fields related to museum and heritage practice.

A student in the certificate program may also become a student in the Master of Arts in American Studies, Master of Arts in Humanities, or Master of Arts in Public Administration degree programs if the student is admitted to one of these graduate degree programs; however, successful completion of the certificate program neither implies nor guarantees admission to any graduate degree program at Penn State. Certificate program students who wish to have the certificate courses applied to a degree program must formally apply and be admitted to that degree program. Students enrolled in any of these degree programs may apply credits earned toward the certificate as elective credits with program approval, subject to restrictions outlined in GCAC-309 Transfer Credit.

Certificate Requirements

Requirements listed here are in addition to requirements listed in Graduate Council policy GCAC-212 Postbaccalaureate Credit Certificate Programs.

The Heritage and Museum Practice certificate is awarded for successful completion of 9 credits of prescribed courses plus 6 credits of electives from an approved list of courses. Students must earn a grade of B or above in each course that counts toward the certificate program.

Required Courses
AMST 480Museum Studies3
AMST 481Historic Preservation3
or AMST 482 Public Heritage Practices
AMST 550Seminar in Public Heritage3
Students must select 6 credits from the following list of 500-level elective courses:6
Topics in Popular Culture
Topics in American Folklore
Material Culture and Folklife
Ethnography and Society
Seminar in Local and Regional Studies
Topics in American Art
Museum Internship
Human Resources in the Public and Nonprofit Sectors
Strategic Planning
Nonprofit Organizations: History and Evolution
Nonprofit Organizations: Management and Leadership
Nonprofit Organizations: Resource Development and Management
Foundations of Public Administration
Total Credits15


Graduate courses carry numbers from 500 to 699 and 800 to 899. Advanced undergraduate courses numbered between 400 and 499 may be used to meet some graduate degree requirements when taken by graduate students. Courses below the 400 level may not. A graduate student may register for or audit these courses in order to make up deficiencies or to fill in gaps in previous education but not to meet requirements for an advanced degree.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Gain knowledge of heritage and museum studies field as it has developed in the United States.
  2. Provide skills applicable to the heritage and museum studies work, such as exhibition installation, conservation techniques, oral presentation, writing, and media design.
  3. Provide opportunities for hands-on experience in heritage and museum practices such as museum exhibition, administration, and education; festival and public programming; visitor services and cultural tourism management.


Campus Harrisburg
Graduate Program Head Jeffrey P Beck
Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) or Professor-in-Charge (PIC) Mariah Kupfner
Program Contact

Amber Reichwein
School of Humanities
777 West Harrisburg Pike, 356W Olmsted Bldg.
Middletown PA 17057
(717) 948-6201

Program Website View