The Heritage and Museum Sciences program is one of the longest established and best recognized Masters programs of its kind in the United States. Graduates from the program are employed in museums and heritage institutions of all types and sizes across the US and around the world. They serve as leaders in the field at local, state, regional, national, and international levesl, and provide an established network of alumni with which graduates of the program can connect.
The Master of Arts in Heritage and Museum Sciences offers a concentration in either Museum Science or Heritage Management. The concentration in Museum Science emphasizes thorough preparation in the broad spectrum of museum theory and practice. Graduates from the Museum Science concentration of the program have a comprehensive background in museum studies and are prepared as generalists or emphasize areas of special interest such as:
- collections management and care
- exhibitions and interpretation
- museum education
- museum management
- discipline-based curatorships
The Heritage Management concentration emphasizes extensive investigation in the field of heritage management. Graduates from the Heritage Management concentration 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 concentration is configured to allow students to emphasize areas of special interest such as:
- heritage administration
- heritage education
- heritage tourism and ecotourism
The concentration offers both theoretical and practical coursework designed to prepare graduates to be leaders in the heritage management field.
All students majoring in the program regardless of concentration take the following 4 required courses:
- MUSM 5327 - Museum Collections Management (3 Semester Credit Hours)
- MUSM 5330 – Museum Laws, Ethics, and Standards (3 Semester Credit Hours)
- MUSM 5334 – Curatorial Methodology (3 Semester Credit Hours)
- HMGT 5323 – Principles of Heritage Management (3 Semester Credit Hours)
Students beginning their course of study in a fall semester will take three of the required courses offered in the fall: Collections Management, Curatorial Methodology, and Principles of Heritage Management. The Museum Laws, Ethics, and Standards course is taken in the third semester.
Students beginning their course of study in a spring semester will take track and/or free elective courses.
Concentration Areas: Track and Free Elective Courses
Considerable flexibility is provided in course selection within concentration areas so that the educational and professional development goals of each student can be met.
Museum Science Concentration
In addition to the 4 required courses, a student in the Museum Science concentration
takes at least 15 hours (5 courses) from the Museum Science core curriculum (track
elective courses), 12 hours (4 courses) of elective graduate-level courses (free elective
courses), and 6 hours of thesis or internship.
Museum Science core curriculum:
- MUSM 5321 – Museology (3 Semester Credit Hours)
- MUSM 5326 – Museum Administration (3 Semester Credit Hours)
- MUSM 5328 – Practicum (3 Semester Credit Hours)
- MUSM 5331 – Interpretation and Communication (3 Semester Credit Hours)
- MUSM 5332 - Preventive Conservation (3 Semester Credit Hours)
- MUSM 5333 – Museum Education (3 Semester Credit Hours)
- MUSM 5340 – Collections Documentation (3 Semester Credit Hours)
- MUSM 7000 – Research (Variable Hours)
Heritage Management Concentration
In addition to the 4 required courses, a student majoring in the Heritage Management concentration takes at least 15 hours (5 courses) from the Heritage Management core curriculum (track elective courses), 12 hours (4 courses) of graduate-level elective courses (free elective courses), and 6 hours of thesis or internship.
Heritage Management core curriculum:
- HMGT 5327 - Heritage Planning (3 Semester Credit Hours)
- MUSM 5328 – Practicum (3 Semester Credit Hours)
- HMGT 7000 - Heritage Education (3 Semester Credit Hours)
- HMGT 7000 - World Heritage Sites (3 Semester Credit Hours)
- HMGT 7000 - Heritage Tourism (3 Semester Credit Hours)
- HMGT 7000 - Theory and Practice of Provenance Research (3 Semester Credit Hours)
- HMGT 7000 - Perspectives on Intangible Heritage (3 Semester Credit Hours)
- HMGT 7000 - Archival Administration, Preservation, and Management (3 Semester Credit Hours)
- HMGT 7000 - Heritage Resource Administration and Marketing (3 Semester Credit Hours
- HMGT 7000 - Heritage Resource Management (3 Semester Credit Hours)
- HMGT 7000 - Heritage Information Management (3 Semester Credit Hours)
- HMGT 7000 - Public Heritage Communication (3 Semester Credit Hours)
- HMGT 7000 - Digital Heritage (3 Semester Credit Hours)
- HMGT 7000 – Research (Variable Hours)
For elective courses, the Heritage and Museum Sciences 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 concentrations must develop and demonstrate an understanding of professional museum and heritage practices in the core courses.
A total of 45 credit hours of graduate-level work is required for graduation. Of these 45, six credit hours must be taken in either thesis or internship, depending on the choice of the student. In addition, students must pass an exam after completing coursework and 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 a thesis. Internships (full-time, paid) are to be at a location approved by the student's advisory committee and by the Program Chair. Students pursuing the internship program make a presentation on their internship experience.
Following the first 9 credit hours of graduate study, each student's curriculum is formalized as a degree plan 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 by the Program Chair and submitted 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 the Museum Science concentration 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 concentration 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. Masters and doctoral students from outside the program also may select from the required courses.
Coursework for the program takes a minimum of 3 regular semesters to complete as well as enrollment in a summer semester between the first and second year of enrollment. Students may choose not to enroll in a summer semester and distribute coursework over additional semesters.
The table below lists the 4 required courses for the Museum Science and Heritage Management concentrations. It also lists Museum Science and Heritage Management courses that can be taken as track elective courses for the Museum Science and Heritage Management concentrations respectively.
Sequence of Course Offerings & Required Courses for Museum Science and Heritage Management Tracks
MUSM (unless stated)
HMGT (unless stated)
5327 Collections Management*
HMGT 5323 Principles of Heritage Management*
5334 Curatorial Methodology
MUSM 5327 Collections Managment +
5323 Principles of Heritage Managment +
MUSM 5334 Curatorial Methodology+
5332 Prevention Conservation
5333 Museum Education
5340 Collecitons Documentaiton
5327 Heritage Planning
7000 Heritage Resource Administation and Marketing
HMGT 7000 Public Heritage Communications
7000 World Heritage Sites
7000 Heritage Education
|Intersession||7000 Theory and Practice of Provenance Research|
5325 Museum Field Methods
7000 Archival Administration, Preservation and Management
7000 Heritage Tourism
|5325 Museum Field Methods||Summer II||7000 Perspectives on Intangible Heritage|
5331 Interpretation and Communication
MUSM 5330 Museum Laws, Ethics, and Standards*
5326 Museum Administration
5329 Material Culture
5324 Heritage Resource Management
7000 Heritage Information Management
MUSM 5330 Museum Laws, Ethics, and Standards+
7000 Public Heritage Communication
7000 Digital Heritage
+ Denotes a required course for Heritage Management track
Courses without a notation are elective courses for Museum Science and Heritage Management