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University of Kansas to Start Joint Masters to Diversify Museum Workforce

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The University of Kansas will offer a new joint degree in order to address the lack of diversity in the museum workforce and enhance opportunities for graduate students.

The joint master’s degree in African & African-American studies and museum studies will train and prepare students for a career in the cultural heritage field as specialists.

Starting in the fall of 2019, the joint degree will train students in recognizing how social hierarchies and power differentials can affect their work. It will be housed in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences.

“This joint program will foster critical knowledge of and facilitate creative approaches to museums’ institutional histories and future directions,” Jessica Gerschultz, director of graduate studies for African & African-American Studies, said.

“It will assist students in understanding and addressing how race, gender, class, and nationality are entwined with museums as social institutions.”

The new joint degree program will only require students to complete 54 credit hours, as opposed to the 67 credit hours that would be required to complete each program separately. Interested students have to apply for both the museum studies and African & African-American studies Master of Arts programs to reap the benefit of the joint degree.

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