Museum Studies

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Mission

The mission of the Museum Studies program is to provide an introduction to the various aspects and a fundamental understanding of the museum profession. Through the study of museums, their practices, history, and philosophies, students are provided with a strong foundation for beginning their museum career exploration.

This course of study is designed to give the student a broad overview of the various aspects and issues that one may face in the workplace. Through classroom study, practical application, and individualized attention, the Museum Studies program is designed to allow students to personalize their course of study to their career outcomes.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of a minor in Museum Studies, students will be able to:

  • Articulate principles for collections management and care.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the historical and philosophical context for the museum in modern America.
  • Demonstrate a fundamental knowledge of museum administration, education, and exhibit design principles.

MS 160 SPECIAL TOPICS IN MUSEUMS1-3 Credits

Special topics of current interest are considered in depth. Topics may include caring for photographs, textiles, and historic costumes. May be repeated with a different topic. There are usually no prerequisites for these courses. Multiple sections of this course cannot be substituted for another course in the Museum Studies Program.

MS 235 INTRODUCTION TO ARCHIVAL COLLECTIONS3 Credits

This course will introduce students to the history and social value of records and archives, the theory of archival practice, and to the applications of archival theory in the digital world.

MS 319 HISTORY AND THEORY OF MUSEUMS3 Credits

This course is an introduction to and survey of the history and philosophy of the development of the museum in America and Western Europe. In addition, students will learn about the different types of museums and influential people who helped in the development of the modern museum profession.

MS 330 MANAGEMENT AND CARE OF COLLECTIONS3 Credits

This course will introduce students to the professional principles and practices in the care and management of collections housed in museums and research facilities. Topics covered will include museum registration methods, cataloging, collection care, agents of deterioration, and application of the rules of properly handling, storing and caring for museum collections.

Prerequisites: Sophomore or above status

MS 331 EXHIBIT DESIGN3 Credits

This course provides a theoretical and practical approach to the development, planning, design, and installation of museum exhibitions. Students will develop an understanding of approaches to presenting museum exhibits as well as learn basic principles of exhibit design, fabrication, and preparation techniques. Students are also introduced to exhibition-related conservation issues and assessment of visitor needs.

Essential Studies Outcome: ES5

Prerequisites: Sophomore or above status

MS 333 MUSEUM ADMINISTRATION3 Credits

This course is an introduction to the legal and operational structure of museums, personnel issues, and financial management aspects of museum administration. Topics covered in course will also include ethical and legal issues in museums, professional standards, and challenges of museum administration.

Prerequisites: Sophomore or above status

MS 340 MUSEUM EDUCATION3 Credits

This course introduces students to the educational role of museums and informal learning centers. A variety of methods including hands-on activities, self-teaching materials, technology, outreach, tours are explored through exercises and projects. Issues covered include current trends, learning theories and styles, learning from objects, diverse audiences, museum/school partnerships and the role of education in exhibit development.

Essential Studies Outcome: ES7

Prerequisites: Sophomore or above status

MS 390 INTERNSHIP IN MUSEUM STUDIES1-12 Credits

Students will gain practical experience while working with a museum or collection. Open to upper division students. Interested students should contact the Internship and Career Services Office to secure application materials. Application should be made prior to the semester the internship will be started. The amount of credit will be based on the availability of a suitable work position, the qualification of the applicant and the number of hours the student can work.

Prerequisites: Sophomore or above status

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