The primary focus of the certificate in material culture studies is to teach different methods and approaches for studying objects as evidence. Those in the program seek to understand how historical, cultural, behavioral, and social meanings can be revealed and studied through objects as well as how material things in turn shape human experience. Students learn ideas, methods, skills and practices that prepare them for careers in higher education, museums, historical societies, architecture and design, product design, advertising, historic preservation, and journalism. Another goal is to introduce a variety of professional career paths for those interested in the relationship between objects, history, and culture. Internships at local museums, historical societies, and other organizations as well as class field trips and activities allow students to bridge the academic and professional worlds.

Materials Studies Culture Core Faculty: Professors Martin (Art History), Schroeder (Anthropology; Associate Professors Allen (Scandinavian Studies), Andrzejewski (Art History), Aylward (Classics), Gilmore (Landscape Architecture/Folklore Studies), Nelson (Design Studies); Assistant Professors Li (Art History), Penick (Design Studies), Pruitt (Art History).

Materials Studies Culture Affiliate Faculty: Professors Bernstein (English), Buenger (Art History), Cahill (Art History), Cook (Music), Dale (Art History), Drewal (Art History), Enstad (History), Geiger (Art History), Kenoyer (Anthropology), Leary (Folklore Studies), Loeser (Art), Nyhart (History of Science), Phillips (Art History), Vaughn (Journalism and Mass Communication); Associate Professors Chopra (Art History), Dennis (Landscape Architecture), Sacaridiz (Art), Schatzberg (History of Science); Assistant Professor Shin (Design Studies)