WhitmanWayfinderArtsAndCommunicationMuseums today are dynamic sites for informal learning, scholarship, preservation of cultural objects, civic engagement, and pedagogical experimentation. Working in museums requires curating, maintaining and repairing collections, as well as managing how the public accesses them. Visual assignments using both tangible and digital objects to communicate ideas and narratives occur in courses across the curriculum at Whitman.

Following an internship with the Galicia Jewish Museum in Kazimierz, Poland, Sage Malecki '18 said: 

"Having this internship and this opportunity to be abroad for the whole summer has allowed me to grow in so many ways by pushing me to my limits so far from home and allowing me to try new things."

There are many clubs on campus that will allow you to explore your interests, stretch your skills and make an impact in an area about which you're passionate. Contact the ASWC Club Director at aswc_clubdir@whitman.edu to learn more about current clubs or start your own.

blue moon
blue moon is a student-staffed annual art and literary magazine funded by ASWC that features outstanding art, prose, poetry, and digital media from the Whitman community.

Buildings and Grounds Governing Board
Two students sit on the Buildings and Grounds Governing Board to provide perspective on significant, long-term initiatives concerning structures, renovation, and upkeep. These students represent their peers in meetings with the Whitman College Board of Trustees.

Classics Club
This club caters to classics enthusiasts who enjoy studying and celebrating the history and culture of Ancient Greece and Rome.

Fine Arts House (FAH)
Affiliated with the art department, the FAH houses up to eight students and one resident assistant who plan and run programming that emphasizes studio art, theatre, and music.

quarterlife
quarterlife is a student-run literary magazine funded by ASWC. Four times a year the staff solicits submissions based on a theme and then compiles and prints the issue.

Sheehan Gallery
Located on the first floor of Olin, the Sheehan Gallery features two outside and two student exhibits each year. Students can submit pieces to the Winter Art Salon and often work in the gallery.

Stevens Gallery
Curated by students, the Stevens Gallery in Reid Campus Center provides a public art installation space open to any member of the Whitman community.

Community involvement helps students understand a broad range of issues and is becoming increasingly important in the eyes of many employers. For more ways to connect with local organizations, contact the Student Engagement Center in Reid Campus Center.

Downtown Walla Walla Foundation
This organization aims to help preserve the culture, history, and commerce of downtown Walla Walla. Volunteers are able to help on various historical tasks throughout the year, as well as help with general tasks like website management, newsletter articles, and poster distribution.

Fort Walla Walla Museum
Fort Walla Walla Museum aims to maintain Walla Walla's regional heritage. Volunteers can expect to give guided tours, help with gardening, and gain great knowledge about various exhibits and collections.

Kirkman House Museum
Kirkman Museum aims to enrich the cultural heritage of Walla Walla by preserving the Kirkman Family home, sharing its history, and educating our community and visitors about domestic life in Victorian-era Walla Walla. Volunteers can expect to lead tours, help with garden upkeep, aid in communications and social media, and provide other forms of assistance.

stART
Students partner with CAMPFIRE USA to teach art, music, and theater lessons at local elementary schools.

Walla Walla 2020: Architecture and Neighborhoods
This organization works with government agencies, private entities, and the public to promote sustainability (ecological, equitable, and economical) in the community. One of Walla Walla 2020's areas of focus is developing a community with a strong center that respects its heritage by rehabilitating and renovating downtown.

Whitman Mission Historic Site
Volunteers can expect to do resource inventory and monitoring, stream restoration, guide tours, design graphics documents, transcribe historical documents, and demonstrate historical or scientific activities.

Fellowships and grants afford many students the opportunity to continue their learning beyond graduation in high-impact programs. For more information, please contact the Office of Fellowships and Grants in Reid Campus Center.American Scandinavian Foundation
The American-Scandinavian Foundation offers a yearlong Fellowship for up to $23,000 and one-to-three months grants for up to $5,000 to individuals that seek to pursue research or study in any field in one or more Scandinavian countries. The amount awarded to each scholar varies each year due to the amount of funds that are available. The priority for Fellowships is given to graduate-level candidates to support a dissertation-related study of research.

Beinecke Scholarship Program
The Beinecke Scholarship Program honors juniors that plan to enter master's or doctoral program focusing on the arts, humanities, or social sciences. It strives to encourage motivated students to pursue a selection of a graduate course of study by awarding them $34,000 to supplement support from the graduate school. Schools that participate in the Beinecke Scholarship Program are allowed to make one nomination per year and applicants must have a documented history of need-based financial aid while they were in undergraduate school.

Critical Language Scholarship (U.S. Dept. of State)
The Critical Language Scholarship institutes provide a fully funded, group-based, intensive language instruction and structured cultural enrichment experience for seven to ten weeks for U.S. citizen undergraduate, master's and Ph.D. students. This program is part of a U.S. government interagency effort to dramatically expand the number of Americans studying and mastering critical need foreign languages. Students of diverse disciplines and majors are encouraged to apply. Participants are expected to continue their language study beyond the scholarship period, and later apply their critical language skills in their future professional careers.  The levels that are available for each language include: Arabic, Persian (advanced beginning intermediate or advanced level); Azerbaijani, Bangla/Bengali, Hindi, Indonesian, Korean, Punjabi, Turkish, Urdu, Swahili (Beginning, intermediate or advanced level); Chinese, Japanese, Russian (Intermediate or advanced level). The countries that are available to study in include: Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, China, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Japan, Jordan, Morocco, Oman, Russia, South Korea, Tajikistan, Tunisia, Turkey, or others where the target languages are spoken.

Madison Graduate Fellowship
The James Madison Fellowship Foundation was established by Congress in 1986 to improve teaching the United States Constitution in secondary schools while also honoring Madison's legacy and principles that focus on the Constitution, its history, and contemporary relevance to the practices and policies of democratic government. This Fellowship also comes with a Professional Teaching Obligation: After earning a master's degree, each James Madison Fellow must teach American history, American government, or social studies in grades 7-12 for no less than one year for each full academic year of study under the Fellowship. The financial aspects of the award include a maximum amount of $24,000, prorated over the individual period of study. Fellowship payments cover the actual costs of tuition, required fees, books, and room and board; however, they cannot exceed $12,000 per academic year. Fellows receive less than these maximum amounts.

General
To learn more about working on campus, visit the Student Employment page. We have general job search resources here. For employers committed to diversity and opportunities for minorities, visit workplacediversity.com, nemnet.com, and blackcollegian.com.

Industry Resources

Internships and on-campus employment are excellent for accumulating work experience, developing your narrative, and broadening your network. Note that the list below is not comprehensive. Check sites such as vault.com and internships.com for more opportunities.

To see what Museum-based internships Whitman students have held in the past, check out the Whitman Internship Database and search "Museum" or "Arts & Communication".

Studying away from campus is a fantastic way to learn more about the world, as well as an excellent experience upon which you'll draw throughout your academic and professional career. For more information, contact Off-Campus Studies in Memorial.

IFSA Butler: Glasgow School of Art
Through the Institute for Study Abroad at Butler University, Whitman students may enroll in the Glasgow School of Art in Glasgow, Scotland. Glasgow is a vibrant city with a population of 650,000. It is home to the national Scottish companies of ballet, opera, orchestra and chorus. It offers two repertory theaters, the Glasgow Film Theater, galleries, and museums. Serious studio art students who attend the Glasgow School of Art can expect to spend 30-35 hours a week in the studio working on independent projects under faculty supervision.

University of East Anglia (UEA)
Whitman students may enroll directly at the University of East Anglia (UEA) in Norwich, England as visiting students. It is located a few miles outside the small, picturesque city of Norwich and less than 2 hours by train to London. UEA possesses interdisciplinary schools, rather than traditional academic departments, with courses in fields such as English literature, creative writing, film studies, theater, music, museum studies, development studies, linguistics, psychosocial studies, biology, chemistry, math, art history, American studies, and environmental sciences. In addition to enrolling in classes alongside local students, students attending the University of East Anglia may join the many clubs offered at the university.

Syracuse Florence
Through Whitman College's affiliation with Syracuse University Florence, qualified students may study at the Syracuse Center in Florence, Italy, a well-established program that was founded over 40 years ago. This program hosts approximately 400 US students each semester and offers courses in everything from art history to Italian politics. Florence is a particularly well-suited destination for art history students because the city's world-class art and architecture. Moreover, the Syracuse program incorporates field trips into many of the art history courses enabling students to study from the actual art and architecture itself.

IES: Paris French Studies
The IES French Studies Program in Paris, France provides students with an opportunity to live in the rich cultural capital and study exclusively in French with French professors either at the IES Paris Center or at one of several local universities, such as the Sorbonne-Paris IV or Institut Catholique. A special feature of this program is the opportunity to learn about France through an internship in the workplace. In addition to their regular courses, students may enroll in an internship-based course in education,a non-governmental organization, business, or the arts.

IES: Vienna, European Society, & Culture
Through the Institute for the International Education of Students (IES), Whitman students may enroll at the IES Center in Vienna. The IES Vienna program offers courses in art history, politics, music, history, literature, economics, and psychology taught by Austrian faculty in English and German specifically for US study abroad students. A special feature of the program is the opportunity to enroll in courses that focus on Central and Eastern Europe. As a cultural center, Vienna offers a wide range of arts including opera, concerts theater, world-famous museums, and historic architecture. In addition, the program offers optional field trips each semester to locations such as Berlin, Dresden, Budapest, Krakow, Prague, and the Austrian Alps.

IES: Study London
Through the Institute for the International Education of Students (IES), Whitman students may enroll at the IES London Center to study with British Faculty on the Study London program. The IES Center in London offers courses in art history, politics, history, literature and drama, economics, philosophy, sociology, and film studies and strives to use the city of London as "the classroom." The program also offers a wide range of internships in theater, museums, government (including Parliament), think tanks, social organizations, and education that may be taken for credit.

The Philadelphia Center
Qualified Whitman students interested in a professional development experience in the historic city of Philadelphia may elect to participate in THe Philadelphia Center program. Participants on this program will intern on a field of their choice for 32 hours a week. The Philadelphia Center offers more than 800 internship options to choose from with organizations such as the Environmental Protection Association, Philadelphia Zoo, arden Theater Company, and the District Attorney's office. In addition to the internship, students will enroll in a weekly City Seminar and one elective course.

Here are some possible post-graduate degrees pursued by people in museums. Contact Gayle Townsend at townsegv@whitman.edu for additional information.

  • Master of Arts in Museum Studies
  • Master of Science in Museum and Digital Culture
  • Ph.D. in Art History
  • Graduate Certificate in Museum Studies
  • Museum Education Studies Doctoral Graduate programs

Other Resources

American Historical Association - Resources for graduate study in history and early career professionals.

Alumni in the Field

Log in to LinkedIn or Whitman Connect to learn about Whitman alumni with museum jobs.

Potential Job Titles

Anthropologist
Archaeologist
Antiques Expert
Conservator
Curator
Designer
Director
Educator
Exhibit Developer
Historian
Interpreter
Registrar