Museum Studies Bachelor of Science Degree

In the museum studies degree, you’ll learn how collections are built, curated, and interpreted and you will apply methods of exhibition and interpretation used in museums, archives, galleries, libraries, and public spaces including national parks.


Overview

Museums, archives, libraries, and other cultural institutions seek emerging professionals who can help develop and implement strategies to digitize, exhibit, manage, curate, and interpret their artistic, cultural, historical, and scientific collections, and to make them available to the public in interactive and engaging ways. The museum studies degree provides a thorough grounding in the history, theory, and practice of institutional collecting, exhibition development and design, multi-platform technologies, collection management, fundraising, and grant writing. You’ll be prepared to help institutions share their collections, engage with their communities, and enhance, assess, and improve the visitor experience.

Museum studies is an interdisciplinary, technology-infused major that prepares you for careers in museums, archives, libraries, galleries, historical societies, and other cultural organizations. The museum studies degree at RIT includes a set of introductory core courses to familiarize you with the history, theory, and practice of institutional collecting. These courses are bolstered by classes in exhibition development, education and interpretation, and multi-platform interpretation and design. To broaden and deepen your knowledge, you will choose a professional track in libraries, archives, and museums or in public history. You also are required to complete one cooperative education or internship experience in a cultural institution or similar entity.

Professional Tracks

The museum studies degree offers two tracks: (1) museums, libraries, and archives and (2) public history. Both tracks provide you with the skills of critical reflection, sound argumentation, and presentation of information in a meaningful way to a public audience. They also include course work that meets the criteria established by professionals in the field and reflects current opinion about necessary skill sets, as held by the Museum Studies Network (MSN) of the American Alliance of Museums (AAM), International Council of Museums (ICOM), and the National Council on Public History (NCPH).

Career Opportunities

Upon graduation you will be prepared to work in institutions such as museums, historical sites, historical societies, libraries, archives, and corporations or other organizations with cultural repositories that develop and implement strategies to digitize, exhibit, manage, curate, and interpret their artistic, cultural, historical, and scientific collections, and to make them available to the public in interactive and engaging ways. You may also wish to further your education in graduate programs in museum studies, library and information studies, archival studies, informatics, or a number of disciplines including art history, history, business.

Advising

All museum studies students meet with the program director, who serves as their faculty advisor, each semester for program advising, preparation for internship experiences, and applications to graduate school and professional programs. In addition to meeting with the program director each semester, you are welcome to seek consultation from any faculty member in museum studies degree, all of whom hold the highest degrees in their field and have been published within their areas of expertise. In addition, you will meet with an academic advisor for general academic advising, including progress toward graduation. For more information, please refer to the college's academic advising page.

Accelerated Options

Museum studies students may participate in a number of accelerated programs to supplement their undergraduate studies, including: 

Accelerated 4+1 MBA

An accelerated 4+1 MBA option is available to students enrolled in any of RIT’s undergraduate programs. RIT’s Combined Accelerated Pathways can help you prepare for your future faster by enabling you to earn both a bachelor’s and an MBA in as little as five years of study.

Careers and Cooperative Education

Typical Job Titles

Assistant Curator Collections Associate
Document Processor Gallery Manager
Exhibit Project Manager Archivist

Salary and Career Information for Museum Studies BS

Cooperative Education

Cooperative education, or co-op for short, is full-time, paid work experience in your field of study. And it sets RIT graduates apart from their competitors. It’s exposure–early and often–to a variety of professional work environments, career paths, and industries. RIT co-op is designed for your success.

Students in the museum studies degree are required to complete one cooperative education or internship experience in a cultural institution. Cooperative education, or co-op for short, is full-time, paid work experience in your field of study. Co-ops are usually a summer or semester in duration. Internships may be full- or part-time and are often completed during the semester. They vary in duration depending on the organization. Both co-ops and internships may be completed locally, nationally, or internationally. 

Featured Profiles

Curriculum for Museum Studies BS

Museum Studies (Museums, Libraries and Archives track), BS degree, typical course sequence

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
ARTH-135
General Education – Elective: History of Western Art: Ancient to Medieval
In this course students will examine the forms, styles, functions, and meanings of important objects and monuments dating from prehistory through the Middle Ages, and consider these works of art in their social, historical and cultural contexts. The primary goals of this course are to learn how to look, how to describe and analyze what we see, and how to use these skills to understand and explain how art visually expresses meaning. At the end of the term, students will have gained a foundational knowledge of the object, scope and methods of the discipline of art history. The knowledge obtained in this introductory course will also guide students in their own creative endeavors. Lecture 3 (Fall).
3
ARTH-136
General Education – Elective: History of Western Art: Renaissance to Modern
In this course students will examine the forms, styles, functions, and meanings of important objects and monuments dating from the European Renaissance through the beginning of the twentieth century, and consider these works of art in their social, historical and cultural contexts. The primary goals of this course are to learn how to look and how to describe and analyze what we see, and to use these skills to understand and explain how art visually expresses meaning. At the end of the term, students will have gained a foundational knowledge of the object, scope and methods of the discipline of art history. The knowledge obtained in this introductory course will also guide students in their own creative endeavors. Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
3
MUSE-220
General Education – Elective: Introduction to Museums & Collecting
This course examines the history, theory, ideology, and practice of collecting within the institutional context of the museum. It considers the formation of the modern museum, and focusing on the American context, investigates the function and varieties of museums, ranging from natural history, anthropology, science and technology, history, and art. The course explores the history of the museum and its evolution institutionally, ideologically, and experientially. The course also considers the operations of museums from accessioning through deaccessioning, examining museum management, collections management and collections care. The course also explores museum governance and the professional ethics and legal constraints that affect museum professionals. The course examines how a museum carries out its mission of public education through its collections and exhibitions, as well as through its educational programs and community outreach and visitor studies. Current issues in the museum world are also considered, including: the museum's educational function versus its entertainment function; the problems of staying solvent in an era of diminishing governmental and corporate subsidies; deaccessioning collections to support the museum operations; issues of art theft and repatriation (ranging from colonial era and Nazi era plunder, the disposition of human remains and sacred objects, and illicit trafficking); the evolving responsibilities of the museum to its public and the cultural heritage; and the rise of the virtual museum. Throughout the semester, the course examines museums and their practices through the perspectives of colonialism, nationalism, class, race, age, gender, and ethnicity. The course includes field trips to local museums and collections throughout the semester. Lecture 3 (Fall).
3
MUSE-221
Introduction to Public History
Public history is using the research-based methods and techniques of historians to conduct historical work in the public sphere. If you've gone to a museum, conducted an oral history, researched your old house, or learned from an interpreter at a park or historic site, you've seen public history in action. This course will introduce students to the wide variety of careers in public history, and will examine the challenges and opportunities that come with doing history in, with, and for the public. Lecture 3 (Spring).
3
YOPS-10
RIT 365: RIT Connections
RIT 365 students participate in experiential learning opportunities designed to launch them into their career at RIT, support them in making multiple and varied connections across the university, and immerse them in processes of competency development. Students will plan for and reflect on their first-year experiences, receive feedback, and develop a personal plan for future action in order to develop foundational self-awareness and recognize broad-based professional competencies. Lecture 1 (Fall, Spring).
0
 
General Education – Artistic Perspective
3
 
General Education – Ethical Perspective
3
 
General Education – First-Year Writing (WI)
3
 
General Education – Global Perspective
3
 
General Education – Mathematical Perspective A
3
 
General Education – Social Perspective
3
Second Year
MUSE-224
History & Theory of Exhibitions
Art exhibitions are organized around a curatorial premise, a statement that articulates an idea allowing for the selection of work included in an exhibition. This course begins with an overview of exhibition history, starting with the transformation of the Louvre into the first public art museum following the French Revolution, where art history, a discipline developed in the 19th century, was enlisted to organize exhibition. The course then examines the proliferation of types of exhibitions that accompanies modernism, up to the present, paying close attention to the curatorial premise animating the exhibitions. Lecture 3 (Spring).
3
MUSE-225
Museums & the Digital Age
The digital revolution has profoundly influenced how we think about the world around us. Information once available only to experts is now accessible digitally to a much broader audience. Museums, archives, and libraries have adapted to this democratization of knowledge and decentralization of access in myriad ways. As visitors to museums—whether online or onsite—each of us is part of the creation, consumption, and reception of digital information. What does this mean for museums and for us as audiences and consumers of such information? How has the combination of digital technology and social media increased visitors’ abilities for interaction with cultural institutions, their collections, and other visitors? This course will examine the history and evolution of museum practices as they adapt to new technologies and rethink traditional museum practices. The course has no pre-requisite and is open to students of all majors. Lecture 3 (Fall).
3
MUSE-341
Museum Education & Interpretation
This course introduces students to the educational mission of the museum and to the museum’s role in educating citizens for participation in a democratic, pluralistic society. As sites of informal learning, museums have an educational impact on our lives beyond our formal schooling. The course focuses on a wide range of educational activities within museums that address visitors of all ages as individuals and as members of a democratic society, and helps to foster in them a sense of community, civic responsibility, tolerance for multiple viewpoints, and lifelong love of learning. The course examines the institutional shift from a fixed, scholarly approach to exhibiting collections to one that embraces the concept of interpretation, where visitors are encouraged to engage in a variety of experiences, make their own connections with objects and other visitors, and ultimately construct their own meanings. Lecture 3 (Fall).
3
MUSE-358
General Education – Elective: Legal and Ethical Issues for Collecting Institutions
This course presents an overview of the legal and ethical issues that govern the institutions and personnel involved in collecting cultural resources. Collecting institutions are governed by national, state, and local laws that define how facilities and collections are used and this course will consider them, as well as the larger social and historical context out of which they developed. The course will consider the evolution of the museum as a public institution and how the legal system increasingly defined minimum standards for maintaining collections, the facilities in which they are housed, and guaranteeing public access; in addition legal standards for the collection will be studied, including definitions of ownership, what this means in terms of intellectual property rights, copyright, reproduction (traditional and electronic), and deaccessioning/disposal. These will be studied within the context of the society within which the institution functions. The course will also study the development of national and international ethical standards and will examine the codes of behavior that govern the personal and professional conduct of museum professionals and the practices that comprise conflicts of interest. Ethical standards for collecting institutions will also be considered, particularly those that address the responsibilities to a collection, the ethics of acquisition, the question of illicit or stolen material, the issues of human remains and objects of sacred significance, and repatriation. Attention will be paid to the changes in society that made these issues critical for collecting institutions. Lecture 3 (Spring).
3
 
General Education – Immersion
3
 
General Education – Natural Science Inquiry Perspective ‡
4
 
General Education – Scientific Principles Perspective
3
 
General Education – Mathematical Perspective B
3
 
Open Electives
6
Third Year
MUSE-340
Introduction to Archival Studies
This course introduces students to the role of archives in the construction of a society’s cultural heritage and historical identity. Archives are repositories of a culture’s original documents, both paper and electronic, and they function as a site for the construction, preservation, and dissemination of historical memory, as a source for social responsibility, and as a tool for the understanding of the cultural, social, and political forces that influence events. The course will examine the history of archives, the theory and practice that guide the work of archivists, and examine the basic components of an archival program: including acquisition and appraisal, arrangement and description, preservation and legal and ethical issues related to access to archival records. The class will also cover the transformation of the profession in the digital age, including digital preservation, the work of archival appraisal and collection building in an age of digital proliferation, and archival collection management systems. Lecture 3 (Fall).
3
MUSE-354
Exhibition Design
This course examines the history and practice of exhibition design. It reviews the history of exhibitions within the development of museum-like institutions. In this course the following aspects of exhibition design are considered: curatorial premise or theme, exhibition development timeline, exhibition site, contracts and contractual obligations, budgets and fundraising, publicity material, didactic material, and exhibition design. The course includes field trips to local institutions and collections throughout the term. Lecture 3 (Fall).
3
MUSE-355
Fundraising, Grant Writing, & Marketing for Nonprofit Institutions
This course examines the growing autonomy of collecting institutions as they are cut off from various forms of governmental sponsorship and public subsidy and their subsequent needs for raising money from outside, non-traditional sources. The course looks at issues of needs assessment, budgeting, and strategic planning. It focuses on the design and implementation of effective fundraising campaigns, as well as on the organization and writing of successful grant proposals. It also considers the importance of marketing to overall institutional success. Lecture 3 (Fall).
3
MUSE-357
Collections Management & Museum Administration
This course presents an overview of the administration and management of museums and their collections. The course examines the governance structure of museums, focusing on personnel responsible for their administration, curation and education, and operations, as well as on the mission statement and policies they determine. The course also details the management of collections, including the development of a collections policy, management of that policy, documentation and record keeping, acquisitions, and the creation/management of exhibitions. Finally, the course considers collections care or preventive conservation, looking at both the facility and collections. Throughout the term, legal and ethical issues pertaining to museums and their collections will be emphasized. (Prerequisites: MUSE-220 or 0533-421 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
3
MUSE-359
Cultural Informatics
This course introduces students to Cultural Informatics, the interdisciplinary field that examines the intersections of information technologies, information science, and cultural information centered in museums, libraries, and archives. Among the topics to be examined are: how information technologies are used in museums, libraries, and archives; how modern information systems have shaped the museum environment; the nature of convergence; the development of digital collections, digital curation, and online exhibitions; and the role and status of the information professional in the museum and cultural organizations. The course is designed around projects, case studies, and readings so that students gain hands-on experience working with information. The course has no prerequisite and is open to students of all majors. Lecture 3 (Fall).
3
MUSE360
Visitor Engagement & Museum Technologies
All of us, as museum visitors, have the capacity to engage with collections and to create meanings as a result of such interaction. This course considers the history and theory of visitor engagement at museums, galleries, and sites of cultural heritage tourism; examines the import of technology into this history; and articulates the role of visitors as participants who curate their own experiences. Two key questions will be addressed in this course: 1) How does technology provide a platform for contribution, collaboration, co-creation, and co-opting of experiences among all visitors? and 2) Can technology mediate the best possible experience for visitors? The course has no prerequisite and is open to students of all majors. Lecture 3 (Spring).
3
 
General Education – Immersion 2, 3
6
 
General Education – Elective
3
 
Open Elective
3
Choose one of the following:
0
   MUSE-497
   Museum Studies Internship (summer)
Internship in a field related to Museum Studies (at least 50 hours). Students will apply the accumulated knowledge, theory, and methods of the discipline to problem solving outside of the classroom. (MUSEUM-BS) Internship (Fall, Spring, Summer).
 
   MUSE-498
   Museum Studies Co-Op Part Time (summer)
Co-op in a field related to museum studies (at least 80 hours). Students will apply the accumulated knowledge, theory, and methods of the discipline to problem solving outside of the classroom. (MUSEUM-BS) CO OP (Fa/sp/su).
 
   MUSE-499
   Museum Studies Co-op (summer)
Co-op in a field related to museum studies (at least 200 hours). Students will apply the accumulated knowledge, theory, and methods of the discipline to problem solving outside of the classroom. CO OP (Fall, Spring, Summer).
 
Fourth Year
MUSE-489
Research Methods (WI-PR)
This class introduces students to the methods of research appropriate for scholarship in the field of Museum Studies. Students will learn how to locate, analyze, assess, critique and conduct research in the field. They will choose the topic of their senior thesis project, develop a clear statement of how that topic will be explored, and construct an annotated bibliography relevant to that topic. This course leads to the development of a proposal for a senior thesis project that is suitable for full implementation in Senior Thesis for museum studies. (This class is restricted to students with at least 3rd year standing in MUSEUM-BS.) Research 3 (Fall, Spring).
3
MUSE-490
Senior Thesis in Museum Studies (WI-PR)
The Senior Thesis in Museum Studies is the final requirement in the degree program. Students will conduct the appropriate research to address the topic they had proposed in Research Methods. They will present their results as a formal written thesis and in an appropriate public forum. The course provides students the opportunity to develop their research and practical skills and to share the results with the department and the college. (Prerequisites: MUSE-489 or equivalent course.) Research 3 (Fall, Spring).
3
 
General Education – Electives
12
 
MUSE Electives
6
 
Open Electives
6
Total Semester Credit Hours
121

Please see General Education Curriculum (GE) for more information.

(WI-PR) Refers to a writing intensive course within the major.

* Please see Wellness Education Requirement for more information. Students completing bachelor's degrees are required to complete two different Wellness courses.

‡ Students will satisfy this requirement by taking either a 3- or 4-credit hour lab science course. If a science course consists of separate lecture and laboratory sections, the student must take both the lecture and lab portions to satisfy the requirement.

Museum Studies (Public History track), BS degree, typical course sequence

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
HIST-101
Making History
How do historians understand and interpret the past? What tools do historians use to uncover the past? What does it mean to think historically? History is both an art and a science, and in this course, we will learn the methods, practices, and tools used to create historical knowledge. You will learn how to read texts with an eye toward their argument, how to ask historical questions, how to conduct historical research, and how to write a historical narrative. At the discretion of the instructor, the class may use examples from a particular historical era to ground course concepts in a specific historical tradition. Lecture 3 (Fall).
3
MUSE-220
General Education – Elective: Introduction to Museums & Collecting
This course examines the history, theory, ideology, and practice of collecting within the institutional context of the museum. It considers the formation of the modern museum, and focusing on the American context, investigates the function and varieties of museums, ranging from natural history, anthropology, science and technology, history, and art. The course explores the history of the museum and its evolution institutionally, ideologically, and experientially. The course also considers the operations of museums from accessioning through deaccessioning, examining museum management, collections management and collections care. The course also explores museum governance and the professional ethics and legal constraints that affect museum professionals. The course examines how a museum carries out its mission of public education through its collections and exhibitions, as well as through its educational programs and community outreach and visitor studies. Current issues in the museum world are also considered, including: the museum's educational function versus its entertainment function; the problems of staying solvent in an era of diminishing governmental and corporate subsidies; deaccessioning collections to support the museum operations; issues of art theft and repatriation (ranging from colonial era and Nazi era plunder, the disposition of human remains and sacred objects, and illicit trafficking); the evolving responsibilities of the museum to its public and the cultural heritage; and the rise of the virtual museum. Throughout the semester, the course examines museums and their practices through the perspectives of colonialism, nationalism, class, race, age, gender, and ethnicity. The course includes field trips to local museums and collections throughout the semester. Lecture 3 (Fall).
3
MUSE-221
General Education – Elective: Introduction to Public History
Public history is using the research-based methods and techniques of historians to conduct historical work in the public sphere. If you've gone to a museum, conducted an oral history, researched your old house, or learned from an interpreter at a park or historic site, you've seen public history in action. This course will introduce students to the wide variety of careers in public history, and will examine the challenges and opportunities that come with doing history in, with, and for the public. Lecture 3 (Spring).
3
YOPS-10
RIT 365: RIT Connections
RIT 365 students participate in experiential learning opportunities designed to launch them into their career at RIT, support them in making multiple and varied connections across the university, and immerse them in processes of competency development. Students will plan for and reflect on their first-year experiences, receive feedback, and develop a personal plan for future action in order to develop foundational self-awareness and recognize broad-based professional competencies. Lecture 1 (Fall, Spring).
0
 
General Education – Artistic Perspective
3
 
General Education – Ethical Perspective
3
 
General Education – First-Year Writing (WI)
3
 
General Education – Global Perspective
3
 
General Education – Mathematical Perspective A
3
 
General Education – Natural Science Inquiry Perspective ‡
4
 
General Education – Social Perspective
3
Second Year
HIST-125
Public History and Public Debate
In late 1994, the B-29 Superfortress Enola Gay, the airplane that dropped the first atomic bomb detonated in combat on Hiroshima, Japan, arrived at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC. The museum’s staff faced important questions: Would they celebrate the Enola Gay as the weapon that ended the Pacific War? Would they exhibit it as a technological artifact that marked the dawn of nuclear warfare? Would they remind museum visitors that its potent cargo ended the lives of tens of thousands of people? These were difficult professional questions for public historians; they were deeply ethical questions too. Much of the past that public historians interpret is the source of great debate in the present. Since the way history is remembered shapes public policy, community identity, and collective understanding, the ethical stakes for public history are high. This course will examine notable controversies in American public history and develop students’ critical perspectives on them. Students will generate answers to the questions: What are the ethics of doing public history? What happens when public historians remember, but the community wants to forget? When stakeholders (e.g., historic site, community, historians, sponsors) collide, whose stories and whose interests prevail? Who decides? How are those decisions made? Who is allowed to tell history? To whom or to what are public historians responsible? Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
3
HIST-324
Oral History
Oral history collects memories and personal commentaries of historical significance through recorded interviews. There are few opportunities for historical research that are more satisfying or more challenging than oral history. In this class, we will learn about oral history methods, techniques, and ethics. We will read, listen to, and watch some of the finest examples of the genre. Then we will go out and add to the world's understanding of its past by conducting oral histories of our own. For their final project in this course, students will work in teams to produce a podcast based on their own interview(s). Lecture 3 (Fall).
3
MUSE-224
History & Theory of Exhibitions
Art exhibitions are organized around a curatorial premise, a statement that articulates an idea allowing for the selection of work included in an exhibition. This course begins with an overview of exhibition history, starting with the transformation of the Louvre into the first public art museum following the French Revolution, where art history, a discipline developed in the 19th century, was enlisted to organize exhibition. The course then examines the proliferation of types of exhibitions that accompanies modernism, up to the present, paying close attention to the curatorial premise animating the exhibitions. Lecture 3 (Spring).
3
MUSE-225
Museums & the Digital Age
The digital revolution has profoundly influenced how we think about the world around us. Information once available only to experts is now accessible digitally to a much broader audience. Museums, archives, and libraries have adapted to this democratization of knowledge and decentralization of access in myriad ways. As visitors to museums—whether online or onsite—each of us is part of the creation, consumption, and reception of digital information. What does this mean for museums and for us as audiences and consumers of such information? How has the combination of digital technology and social media increased visitors’ abilities for interaction with cultural institutions, their collections, and other visitors? This course will examine the history and evolution of museum practices as they adapt to new technologies and rethink traditional museum practices. The course has no pre-requisite and is open to students of all majors. Lecture 3 (Fall).
3
MUSE-341
General Education – Elective: Museum Education & Interpretation
This course introduces students to the educational mission of the museum and to the museum’s role in educating citizens for participation in a democratic, pluralistic society. As sites of informal learning, museums have an educational impact on our lives beyond our formal schooling. The course focuses on a wide range of educational activities within museums that address visitors of all ages as individuals and as members of a democratic society, and helps to foster in them a sense of community, civic responsibility, tolerance for multiple viewpoints, and lifelong love of learning. The course examines the institutional shift from a fixed, scholarly approach to exhibiting collections to one that embraces the concept of interpretation, where visitors are encouraged to engage in a variety of experiences, make their own connections with objects and other visitors, and ultimately construct their own meanings. Lecture 3 (Fall).
3
MUSE-358
Legal and Ethical Issues for Collecting Institutions
This course presents an overview of the legal and ethical issues that govern the institutions and personnel involved in collecting cultural resources. Collecting institutions are governed by national, state, and local laws that define how facilities and collections are used and this course will consider them, as well as the larger social and historical context out of which they developed. The course will consider the evolution of the museum as a public institution and how the legal system increasingly defined minimum standards for maintaining collections, the facilities in which they are housed, and guaranteeing public access; in addition legal standards for the collection will be studied, including definitions of ownership, what this means in terms of intellectual property rights, copyright, reproduction (traditional and electronic), and deaccessioning/disposal. These will be studied within the context of the society within which the institution functions. The course will also study the development of national and international ethical standards and will examine the codes of behavior that govern the personal and professional conduct of museum professionals and the practices that comprise conflicts of interest. Ethical standards for collecting institutions will also be considered, particularly those that address the responsibilities to a collection, the ethics of acquisition, the question of illicit or stolen material, the issues of human remains and objects of sacred significance, and repatriation. Attention will be paid to the changes in society that made these issues critical for collecting institutions. Lecture 3 (Spring).
3
 
General Education – Immersion 1, 2
6
 
General Education – Mathematical Perspective B
3
 
General Education – Scientific Principles Perspective
3
Third Year
HIST-325
Museums and History
Many more people learn history from museums than from textbooks. What is it that is so special about encountering the real thing in a museum? Why are Dorothy's Ruby Slippers the most visited artifact in the National Museum of American History? Do history museums themselves have an important history? Join us as we investigate the connections between our history, our museums, and the material artifacts that tell historical stories. Lecture 3 (Spring).
3
MUSE-354
Exhibition Design
This course examines the history and practice of exhibition design. It reviews the history of exhibitions within the development of museum-like institutions. In this course the following aspects of exhibition design are considered: curatorial premise or theme, exhibition development timeline, exhibition site, contracts and contractual obligations, budgets and fundraising, publicity material, didactic material, and exhibition design. The course includes field trips to local institutions and collections throughout the term. Lecture 3 (Fall).
3
MUSE-355
Fundraising, Grant Writing, & Marketing for Nonprofit Institutions
This course examines the growing autonomy of collecting institutions as they are cut off from various forms of governmental sponsorship and public subsidy and their subsequent needs for raising money from outside, non-traditional sources. The course looks at issues of needs assessment, budgeting, and strategic planning. It focuses on the design and implementation of effective fundraising campaigns, as well as on the organization and writing of successful grant proposals. It also considers the importance of marketing to overall institutional success. Lecture 3 (Fall).
3
MUSE-357
Collections Management & Museum Administration
This course presents an overview of the administration and management of museums and their collections. The course examines the governance structure of museums, focusing on personnel responsible for their administration, curation and education, and operations, as well as on the mission statement and policies they determine. The course also details the management of collections, including the development of a collections policy, management of that policy, documentation and record keeping, acquisitions, and the creation/management of exhibitions. Finally, the course considers collections care or preventive conservation, looking at both the facility and collections. Throughout the term, legal and ethical issues pertaining to museums and their collections will be emphasized. (Prerequisites: MUSE-220 or 0533-421 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
3
MUSE-359
Cultural Informatics
This course introduces students to Cultural Informatics, the interdisciplinary field that examines the intersections of information technologies, information science, and cultural information centered in museums, libraries, and archives. Among the topics to be examined are: how information technologies are used in museums, libraries, and archives; how modern information systems have shaped the museum environment; the nature of convergence; the development of digital collections, digital curation, and online exhibitions; and the role and status of the information professional in the museum and cultural organizations. The course is designed around projects, case studies, and readings so that students gain hands-on experience working with information. The course has no prerequisite and is open to students of all majors. Lecture 3 (Fall).
3
MUSE-360
Visitor Engagement & Museum Technologies
All of us, as museum visitors, have the capacity to engage with collections and to create meanings as a result of such interaction. This course considers the history and theory of visitor engagement at museums, galleries, and sites of cultural heritage tourism; examines the import of technology into this history; and articulates the role of visitors as participants who curate their own experiences. Two key questions will be addressed in this course: 1) How does technology provide a platform for contribution, collaboration, co-creation, and co-opting of experiences among all visitors? and 2) Can technology mediate the best possible experience for visitors? The course has no prerequisite and is open to students of all majors. Lecture 3 (Spring).
3
 
Public History Elective
3
 
General Education – Immersion 3
3
 
General Education – Electives
6
Choose one of the following:
0
   MUSE-497
   Museum Studies Internship (summer)
Internship in a field related to Museum Studies (at least 50 hours). Students will apply the accumulated knowledge, theory, and methods of the discipline to problem solving outside of the classroom. (MUSEUM-BS) Internship (Fall, Spring, Summer).
 
   MUSE-498
   Museum Studies Co-Op Part Time (summer)
Co-op in a field related to museum studies (at least 80 hours). Students will apply the accumulated knowledge, theory, and methods of the discipline to problem solving outside of the classroom. (MUSEUM-BS) CO OP (Fa/sp/su).
 
   MUSE-499
   Museum Studies Co-op (summer)
Co-op in a field related to museum studies (at least 200 hours). Students will apply the accumulated knowledge, theory, and methods of the discipline to problem solving outside of the classroom. CO OP (Fall, Spring, Summer).
 
Fourth Year
MUSE-489
Research Methods (WI-PR)
This class introduces students to the methods of research appropriate for scholarship in the field of Museum Studies. Students will learn how to locate, analyze, assess, critique and conduct research in the field. They will choose the topic of their senior thesis project, develop a clear statement of how that topic will be explored, and construct an annotated bibliography relevant to that topic. This course leads to the development of a proposal for a senior thesis project that is suitable for full implementation in Senior Thesis for museum studies. (This class is restricted to students with at least 3rd year standing in MUSEUM-BS.) Research 3 (Fall, Spring).
3
MUSE-490
Senior Thesis in Museum Studies (WI-PR)
The Senior Thesis in Museum Studies is the final requirement in the degree program. Students will conduct the appropriate research to address the topic they had proposed in Research Methods. They will present their results as a formal written thesis and in an appropriate public forum. The course provides students the opportunity to develop their research and practical skills and to share the results with the department and the college. (Prerequisites: MUSE-489 or equivalent course.) Research 3 (Fall, Spring).
3
 
General Education – Electives
9
 
Open Electives
15
Total Semester Credit Hours
121

Please see General Education Curriculum (GE) for more information.

(WI-PR) Refers to a writing intensive course within the major.

* Please see Wellness Education Requirement for more information. Students completing bachelor's degrees are required to complete two different Wellness courses.

‡ Students will satisfy this requirement by taking either a 3- or 4-credit hour lab science course. If a science course consists of separate lecture and laboratory sections, the student must take both the lecture and lab portions to satisfy the requirement.

Admission Requirements

Freshman Admission

For all bachelor’s degree programs, a strong performance in a college preparatory program is expected. Generally, this includes 4 years of English, 3-4 years of mathematics, 2-3 years of science, and 3 years of social studies and/or history.

Specific math and science requirements and other recommendations

  • Strong performance in English and social studies is expected

Transfer Admission

Transfer course recommendations without associate degree
Courses in liberal arts, art history, studio arts, photography, business, and chemistry

Appropriate associate degree programs for transfer
Fine arts, Liberal arts, or business/marketing

Learn about admissions, cost, and financial aid 

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