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Museum Science

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Chairperson: Dr. Eileen Johnson, Professor of Museum Science; Executive Director, Museum of Texas Tech University

The Master of Arts in Museum Science offers a specialization in either museum science or heritage management. The specialization in museum science emphasizes thorough preparation in the broad spectrum of museum theory and practice. Graduates from the museum science specialization of the program have a comprehensive background in museum studies and are prepared as generalists in a number of subdisciplines, including collections management and care; exhibitions and interpretation; museology; museum management; and curatorship in anthropology, art, ethnology, history, paleontology, or the natural sciences.

The heritage management specialization emphasizes extensive investigation in the field of heritage management. Graduates from the heritage management specialization of the program are prepared to enhance local, regional, and national sociological and scientific values; encourage preservation and stewardship of cultural and natural heritage; advocate public service; and direct educational programing designed to derive maximum advantage from innovative technology without the loss of cultural identity and biodiversity. The heritage management specialization is configured to allow students to emphasize areas of special interest such as heritage administration, conservation, interpretation, heritage education, and use (heritage tourism and ecotourism). The specialization offers both theoretical and practical coursework designed to prepare graduates to be leaders in the heritage management field.

The chairperson of the program administers the museum science program. Interested persons should contact the Museum of Texas Tech University for a comprehensive packet of information about the program. Applicants will be considered for admission to the museum science program after the following materials are received: (1) two letters of reference from persons knowledgeable of the student's academic and professional abilities and (2) a completed career summary statement. Forms are included in the information packet. Prior to admission consideration, students must complete the online application through the Graduate School and satisfy the requirements of the university, including an official transcript of complete undergraduate coursework and GRE scores. Once that process is concluded, program admission and competitive scholarship awards are based on three general categories of criteria:

A student majoring in the program and in the museum science specialization must take at least 27 hours from the museum science core curriculum, a minimum of 12 hours of elective graduate-level courses, and 6 hours of thesis or internship. Required core courses for the program are MUSM 5321, 5326, 5327, 5330, 5331, 5332, 5333, 5334, and 5340.

A student majoring in the heritage management specialization must take at least 27 hours from the heritage management core curriculum, a minimum of 12 hours of graduate-level elective courses, and 6 hours of thesis or internship. Required core courses for the heritage management specialization are MUSM 5327, 5330, and HMGT 5323, 5327. Course numbers for the additional five required core courses are pending.

For electives, the museum science program uses a variety of existing courses offered by various departments within the university to address individual educational and career goals. All students in both specializations must develop competency in the core courses taught by members of the museum graduate faculty and staff. Competency is construed to mean an understanding of professional museum and heritage practices.

A total of 45 credit hours of graduate-level work is required for graduation. In addition, students must pass a faculty panel exam prior to beginning either the internship or thesis and must pass comprehensive written and oral exams at the conclusion of their studies. Students pursuing the thesis option must write and defend the thesis. Internships are to be at a location approved by the student's advisory committee.

Following the first 9 credit hours of graduate study, each student's curriculum is formalized through consultation with a graduate faculty advisory committee that reflects the student's area of emphasis and consists of at least three members. This degree plan is approved by the faculty advisor and the chairperson and sent to the Graduate School. When approved, it serves as a tool for advising and review to assure completion of degree requirements.

A minor at the master's level in museum science consists of 9 approved credit hours in the core curriculum; a minor at the doctoral level consists of 15 hours of museum science courses, at least 9 of which must be from the core curriculum. A minor at the master's level in the heritage management specialization consists of 9 approved credit hours in the core curriculum; a minor at the doctoral level consists of 15 hours of heritage management courses, at least 9 of which must be from the core curriculum. For more infromation see www.depts.ttu.edu/museumttu/cfas.html.