Certificate in Museum Studies

  • Group people standing on the steps of a brick building
    Participants at the Education Programs CMS course
  • Exhibit Planning and Design
    Label-making in the Exhibit Planning & Design CMS course
  • Two participants at the Artifacts course examine and condition report a small object
    Condition reporting in the Artifacts CMS course

Program Update Notice

The OMA strives to ensure that the professional development provided to OMA members through the Certificate in Museum Studies (CMS) program is current, inclusive, comprehensive, and accessible. The museum sector and the online tools available for learning have changed since our last curriculum review, as have the needs of the Ontario museum sector. As a result, we have been undertaking an extensive review of our CMS curriculum.

Based on broad-based research and consultation with OMA members and stakeholders, the OMA is in the process of updating the courses and program accordingly. In order to ensure a smooth transition for all participants and fewer mid-year schedule changes, the Certificate in Museum Studies calendar for the 2022-2023 fiscal year will be released in stages. Be sure to periodically check this page for updates and the latest news.

Questions about the Certificate in Museum Studies Program? Email pd@museumsontario.ca

About the Certificate in Museum Studies (CMS) Program

The Ontario Museum Association Certificate in Museum Studies (CMS) is the only museum studies training program in Ontario offered on a part-time basis for museum workers, both paid and volunteer. Courses are taught by practitioners in the field whose theoretical knowledge and practical experience helps participants to learn best practice and meet the Standards for Community Museums in Ontario.

In order to be as accessible as possible to OMA members from all parts of Ontario, and to expose participants to real-world scenarios, courses are offered either as on-site workshops at museums across the province (face-to-face), or over several weeks online. Read the course descriptions of the nine required courses.

Log into the learning management system


Why enrol in the CMS program?

1. The CMS program is longstanding and well-regarded in the Ontario museum community. Over 400 museum professionals have graduated since the program was established in 1982.

2. The CMS program is the only museum studies program in Ontario offered part-time. Take the courses when convenient – you have five years to complete the certificate!

3. You will visit museums across Ontario! – Face-to-face courses take place on-site at museums all over the province and feature guest speakers and behind-the-scenes tours that give you an insider’s look at how museums of all sizes operate.

4. Many courses are also available online. Learn with your colleagues from across the province from the comfort of home!

5. Courses are taught by experienced practitioners in the field – Course Directors possess robust academic backgrounds and extensive experience working in museums in Ontario, sharing how best practices are implemented in the real world.

6. The curriculum is linked to the Standards for Community Museums in Ontario – what you learn in this program is specific to the Ontario context and directly applicable to your museum.

7. Meeting and sharing experiences with other professionals in the field is a highlight of the experience! This program brings together museum workers from across the province and fosters collegial relationships and professional networks that endure beyond well beyond graduation.




Each course is delivered by a highly qualified Course Director who brings solid theoretical knowledge and extensive practical experience in the museum community. Read the Course Director bios.


Online registration is now available.

  1. Go to https://members.museumsontario.ca/
  2. Log in as an individual member
  3. Click on the green My Courses button
  4. Under Upcoming Courses click on the course you want to register for
  5. On the Course Information page click on Register

If the course is full and the registration button does not appear, call the OMA to add your name to the waiting list.

Registration for Certificate in Museum Studies courses is open to OMA Individual Members and Commercial Consultant Members.

Not a member? Join today! Click here to find out more about the benefits of membership in the OMA.

Key things to remember about registration:

  • You must be an Individual Member of the OMA to register.
  • Registration for each course opens approximately 10 weeks before the course begins.
  • Registration opens at 12am on the registration opening date.
  • Registration is accepted online beginning on the registration opening date and continuing until the course is full.
  • CMS participants with four or fewer courses left to complete the program will receive priority registration in CMS courses.
  • Refunds for cancellation (minus 25% administration fee) are available up to 10 business days before the first day of the course. After this date, no refunds will be issued.
  • Registration fees are not transferable to other courses or individuals.


2022-2023 Course Fees are $395.50 ($350.00 + $45.50 HST) per course

  • Registration fees may be subject to change as a result of funding and budget reviews and the changing economy.


Payment can be made by VISA, MasterCard, cheque or money order, and must accompany all registrations. 

Regardless of payment method, all registration details must be received by the OMA once registration opens for the course.

  • Credit card payments will be processed immediately.
  • Cheques must be received at the OMA office no more than 30 days following the date of registration.
  • Payments received by mail before the registration opening date will not hold a spot in the course.

Withdrawal from a Course

Registrants may cancel up to ten business days in advance of a course and receive a refund minus 25 per cent. After this date, no refunds will be issued. Fees are not transferable to other courses or individuals.

Financial Assistance

Financial support is available for program participants. Apply to the Canadian Museums Association Bursary program to assist with the cost of travel, accommodation, per diem and registration fees. Visit the CMA website to find out more: http://museums.ca/site/bursaries

For those participants working towards completion of their certificates, apply to the OMA Certificate in Museum Studies Bursary program to support your learning! This bursary covers the registration fee for one course for one individual each year. Those participants who have passed at least five courses by the beginning of the fiscal year are eligible to apply. Find out more at the Bursary webpage.

Course Cancellation

The OMA reserves the right to cancel any course at any time for any reason. The Association cannot guarantee continuation of any program should funding cease. The availability, date and location of the course offerings are subject to change at any time. Contact the OMA Secretariat for the most current information.

Question about the CMS Progam?

Check out the Frequently Asked Questions page.

You can also call or email the Professional Development Program Manager at 416-348-8672, toll-free in Canada at 1-866-662-8672, or at pd@museumsontario.ca.

Program Funding

We acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Department of Canadian Heritage Museums Assistance Program.


Government of Canada Wordmark