msueum studies san diego mesa college
Art Department

Art/Fine Art
Museum Studies

Museum Studies

Museum Studies Program:

This program provides theory,instruction and practical experience in all aspects of design and installation of art exhibitions

This Program is also designed to give an overview of the history, functions and operations of art galleries and Museums.

San Diego Mesa College offers three courses in Museum Studies:
Art 161A, Museum Studies/Gallery Exhibition Skills I
3 units Art 161B, Museum Studies/Gallery Exhibition Skills II
3 units Art 163, Art Museum/Gallery Internship 4 units

Program Emphasis:

  • Principles of curating and designing exhibitions.
  • Installation of art exhibits.
  • Design of exhibition graphics and publications.
  • Types of exhibits, audiences and social contexts.
  • Education components of museum and gallery programs.
  • Career opportunities available in museums and other arts organizations.
  • Public art and museums without walls.


Alessandra Moctezuma,Gallery Director,Museum Studies
Phone: 619-388-2829
7250 Mesa College Drive -D104 San Diego, CA 92111-4998

Museum Studies Courses:

Theoretical information from lectures will be complemented by hands on experience assisting in all aspects of exhibitions at the Mesa College Art Gallery.

Students will participate in the daily management of the Mesa College Gallery: supervising the space and providing information to visitors, assisting in the installation and de-installation of exhibitions, helping develop printed materials, and providing support during receptions and events.

Time requirement for these courses is 3 hours class time/week plus 3 hours/week assisting with the gallery.

Art 161B will continue to cover these topics in more depth.

Students in the class are given more responsibilities in tasks related to the gallery.

As a course project students actually organize an exhibition at a venue either at Mesa College or a community or arts organization in the San Diego area.

Past exhibits have included collaborations with "Voz Alta" art and performance space, and the ICE Gallery in North Park.

Students also assist curate special displays for campus events such as Women's History Month, Day of the Dead, and others.

Art 163 After students have completed a year of Museum Studies courses (161A and B) they are offered the opportunity to pursue an unpaid internship at a local art gallery or museums.

Students can then get further familiarized with the everyday experience of working in an arts institution.

Requirement is 16 hours per week for the duration of the semester.

In recent years, students have been interns at the following organizations: San Diego Museum of Art; Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego; Museum of the Living Artist; Oceanside Museum of Art; David Zapf Gallery; Voz Alta; Museum of Man.

Internships opportunities vary each semester, but students have been placed in different museum departments such as Education, Collections Management, Exhibit Installation.

After completion of these three courses (10 units), a student may earn a Certificate of Completion: Museum Studies.

This is a department award in recognition of information on the transcript and does not imply that a graduation requirement has been met.

An Associate in Arts Degree: Art Fine Art, Museum Studies Emphasis is offered through the Art Department.

Completion of 31 units in Art History, Museum Studies/Gallery Exhibition Skills, Art Museum/Gallery Internship and selected Fine Art classes are required for the Associate Degree. Please go to the San Diego Mesa College Catalog for further information.