Most museums require curators to have a master’s degree in an appropriate discipline of the museum’s specialty—art, history, or archaeology—or in museum studies.
Some employers prefer that curators have a doctoral degree, particularly for positions in natural history or science museums. Earning two graduate degrees—in museum studies (museology) and a specialized subject—may give candidates an advantage in a competitive job market.
In small museums, curator positions may be available to people with a bachelor’s degree. Because curators, particularly those in small museums, may have administrative and managerial responsibilities, courses in business administration, public relations, marketing, and fundraising are recommended. For some positions, applicants need to have completed an internship of full-time museum work, as well as courses in museum practices.
Students interested in further study might get a master’s degree in museum studies. However, many employers feel that, although a degree in museum studies is helpful, a thorough knowledge of the museum’s specialty and museum work experience are more important.