BES: Park and Museum Program

Innovative education... Engaged educators

Museums, science centers, zoos and aquariums, parks, field stations and public gardens are a few examples of institutions that have informal education at the heart of their operations. UMSL’s BES program with an emphasis in Informal Science and Cultural Education prepares students to help these and similar institutions in fulfilling their educational missions.

In UMSL’s BES program, students gain skill and insights that can be applied as innovative educators, program managers, activity directors and as curriculum developers in these informal learning settings. BES students in the Informal Science and Cultural Education emphasis will be prepared for employment opportunities in organizations such as museums, science centers, children’s museums, national parks, and a variety of cultural institutions. Through the BES program, students have the opportunity to earn specific credentials, as needed, and to pursue academic minors related to their individual career goals. Traditional state teacher certification is not required for this emphasis area.

Through our strong internship offerings, UMSL BES students have opportunities to apply their knowledge and skills in a variety of field and community based experiences which are included as part of their professional course work. These internship experiences take place in a variety of settings in the St. Louis region. Currently, the BES program offers internship experiences at recognized St. Louis institutions such as the St. Louis Science Center, Challenger Learning Center, Contemporary Art Museum and the Saint Louis Zoo. These and other sites provide opportunities to work with both suburban and urban populations of all ages and for students to participate in a variety of work roles and experiences.

Bachelor of Educational Studies (BES)

Contact Advisors:

Kimberly Prather & Daniel Tebeau

116 South Campus Classroom Building (SCCB)
p: (314) 516-5937


Slide 1 UMSL BES program weaves student’s passion with opportunity
Barbara O’Dell brings a wealth of positive memories from her own childhood experiences to her internship interactions with children at the Saint Louis Science Center. (Photo courtesy of Sara Rambo)
Slide 2 BES Graduate Finds Her Way Through The Program
Initially hoping for getting an internship at the History Museum while she was still in the program, but what happened was even better: They called her right when she was about to graduate and offered a job at one of their new galleries.
Slide 3 Educational Studies student shows off her dream internship at the St. Louis Zoo
Erica credits her internship as a valuable way for her to learn about the field, make connections with others, all while obtaining hands-on experience.

Students in UMSL’s BES program with the Informal Science and Cultural Education emphasis have some of their courses in common with other BES students, and some of their course specific to the informal science and cultural education emphasis. For a list of these courses, see the emphasis area for Informal Science and Cultural Education in the requirements below.