Certificate in Museum Studies FAQ

What is happening with the Certificate in Museum Studies (CMS) Program?

The AMA is currently reviewing the CMS Program to update courses to include online learning opportunities and ensure the curriculum aligns with current standards and issues in the museum sector. The AMA began offering the CMS program as series of online pilot courses in Fall 2021. In-person offerings of courses will resume in the 2022 - 2023 fiscal year. Please check the "Latest News" page for updates regarding online and in-person course dates.

What format are the CMS courses offered in?

In-person courses are delivered throughout the province in a two-day format, hosted by museums and other heritage organizations. They typically run from 9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. each day for a total of 15 hours of training.

Online courses are self-paced, module-based, combined asynchronous and synchronous courses that run on the AMA's virtual learning platform over a duration of four weeks. Participants are expected to spend approximately 5 hours per week on course content, including live, virtual meetings.

When do the courses take place?

Courses are offered throughout the year, based on internal capacity and instructor availability. We attempt to offer each course every two years. Visit our Upcoming Learning Opportunities page to see our course offerings.  

Where do I register for an upcoming CMS course?

Registration information for open CMS courses is available on our events page.

Where can I find course descriptions?

For more details on the CMS Program, including course descriptions, please download the CMS Program Information PDF. 

How long does it take to complete the Program?

Participants have up to eight years to complete the Program; however, many participants are able to complete the Program in 2-3 years.

How can I stay informed about upcoming CMS courses?

The AMA announces our CMS courses through our e-Bulletin, on Main-L, and by direct email to our list of current CMS applicants. A list of upcoming learning opportunities can be found on the Upcoming Learning Opportunities page.

Do I need to be an AMA member?

The Program is open to any individual; AMA membership is not required.

Many CMS Participants choose to invest in an Individual or Student / Volunteer membership to gain access to discounts on the CMS Program Application, CMS course registrations and other professional development and learning opportunities, and access to the AMA's Professional Development Grants.

Are there any pre-requisites for the Program?

There are no pre-requisites for the Program.

What is the difference between taking a course for-credit or not-for-credit?

To obtain a Certificate in Museum Studies, participants must apply to the CMS Program to gain credit in CMS courses towards the Certificate. For-credit participants must successfully complete assignments for all eight courses

Participants can attend courses without obtaining credit. In this case, assignments are not required.


What does it cost to apply to the CMS Program?

Application Fee 





Apply to the CMS Program


What does CMS Program application fee include?

The CMS Program application fee includes access to the Introductory Webinar, a copy of the Standard Practices Handbook, 3rd Edition, which is the required textbook for the Program, and administrative costs.

Does my application to the CMS Program automatically register me in upcoming courses?

No, participants must register in each course as it becomes available and pay the appropriate course registration fee. 

How much does each course cost?

CMS Course Prices

Free           Indigenous AMA Members **
$100          Students
$200          Individual or Institutional Members
                   ($175 per person for more than one participant from the same institution)
$275          Non-Members

**Online course offerings only. Please see Online Registration for Indigenous Members under "What supports are available to help with the cost of the Program?", for more information.


What supports are available to help with the cost of the Program?

Professional Development Grant

The AMA offers a Professional Development Grant, which provides funding to eligible Individual and Institutional Members as they undertake professional development opportunities. For more information about the Professional Development Grant, please contact the Grants Program Lead at grants@museums.ab.ca.


Online Registration for Indigenous Members

The AMA is pleased to announce a new addition to our CMS Program registration policy. 

To support greater Indigenous representation among museum professionals, the AMA is waiving the registration fee for online CMS courses for self-identified First Nations, Métis, and Inuit members of the AMA. This is part of the AMA's work to integrate reconciliation into all the Association's programs and services, and to encourage greater engagement with and representation of Indigenous individuals and perspectives in the Alberta museum community. 

Indigenous participants must have an active membership with the AMA prior to registering for the online CMS course. To obtain credit for the Certificate in Museum Studies, participants will need to register in the Program and pay all applicable fees associated with the Program application and textbook costs. 

Participants are registered on a first-come, first-served basis when course registration opens. To register at no-cost in an open CMS course, Indigenous participants must email the CMS Program Lead at learning@museums.ab.ca to secure their spot.


My question isn't here. Where can I find more information?

For more information about the Certificate in Museum Studies Program, please contact the Program Lead at learning@museums.ab.ca.



 We acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Museum Assistance Program (MAP) of the Department of Canadian Heritage towards the digitization of the Certificate in Museum Studies Program.

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