Museums, Always Educational, Now Confer Degrees

  • 2015-11-03
  • The New York Times

You don’t typically expect to go to a museum and come out with a degree in higher education.

But the American Museum of Natural History now offers a master of arts in teaching and a Ph.D. in comparative biology.

“Many of the most important issues of the day have science as a foundation,” said Ellen V. Futter, the museum’s president. “There’s a real need for a public understanding of these issues and, as a result, a stronger need for more scientists.”

The programs are part of a larger transformation in the role of museums around the country; education is not just about field trips anymore.

The Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago has a teacher development program. The Wildlife Conservation Society — the umbrella group of institutions that includes the Bronx Zoo and the New York Aquarium — offers a master of arts in teaching in the biological sciences and a master of arts in biology.