Students enjoy the State Museum's carousel on a field trip to Albany

Students enjoy the State Museum's carousel on a field trip to Albany

history museum studies

Education students partner with organizations like Pathfinder Village to create programs

Education students partner with organizations like Pathfinder Village to create programs

The Cooperstown Graduate Program was the first program in the United States designed specifically to train professionals to work in history museums. Since its founding in 1964, the history museum studies track has emphasized civic engagement, applied learning, community service, and inclusive museum practice. CGP students conduct oral histories, facilitate community dialogues, create innovative digital history resources, develop interactive exhibitions, and implement diverse and inclusive public programs.

At CGP, students view museums as community institutions that exist to serve the needs of their constituents and stakeholders. Through project-based learning, students cultivate essential skills and accrue knowledge vital to the sustainable operation of community-centered, not-for-profit organizations. Our generalist curriculum includes courses, internships, and other field experiences in history, material culture, museum education, finance, cultural entrepreneurship, administration, development, and governance.

Group activities are always a fun part of Will Walker's Big Ideas class

Group activities are always a fun part of Will Walker's Big Ideas class

During their two years in Cooperstown, students cultivate essential leadership skills and, upon graduation, are well prepared to head sustainable and entrepreneurial institutions. CGP alumni head some of the leading history organizations in the United States, including Historic New England, the Ohio History Connection, the Connecticut Historical Society, and the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. Throughout CGP’s history, our students, faculty, staff, and alumni have developed close partnerships between CGP and the museum and non-profit field.

Currently, CGP maintains relationships with over fifty institutions including: the National Baseball Hall of Fame, International Coalition of Sites of Conscience, Glimmerglass Festival, Fenimore Art Museum, The Farmers’ Museum, Behold! New Lebanon, Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute, Hanford Mills Museum, and Dyckman Farmhouse Alliance. CGP alumni work to make museums catalysts for social change and community empowerment.

To see the History Museum Studies curriculum, click here.