Museum Science

Professor Gary Edson, Executive Director.

Horn Professors Baker and Chatterjee; Professors Johnson and Phelan; Adjunct Faculty: Campbell, Dean, Ladkin, and Monk.

The Museum Science area offers study in the following graduate degree program: Master of Arts in Museum Science. The program emphasizes thorough preparation in the broad spectrum of museum theory and practice. Graduates from the program have a comprehensive background in museum studies, preparing them as generalists. In addition, students may elect to become specialists in a number of subdisciplines including collection management and care; exhibitions and interpretation; museology; museum management; and curatorship in anthropology, art, ethnology, history, and the natural sciences.

Applicants will be considered for admission to the Museum Science program once the following materials are received: official transcripts of complete undergraduate class work; two letters of recommendation from persons knowledgeable with the student's professional abilities; GRE scores; a completed application form; and a career summary statement. Forms will be furnished on request. Prior to being considered for admission to the program, students must complete the appropriate application forms and satisfy the requirements of the University. Once that process is concluded, admission to the program is based on three primary measures as follows: (1) GRE--the three elements of GRE (Verbal, Qualitative, and Analytical) are totaled and considered as one part of the acceptance equation. (2) GPA--the student's GPA for the last 60 hours of undergraduate instruction. The GPA is multiplied by 300 to give an equal numerical value to the GRE (maximum value for this element is 1200). (3) Letters of reference--numerical values are assigned to seven factors included on the Student Evaluation Form. The scores from the two letters of reference are totaled and become the third part of the acceptance equation (maximum value for this element is 1400). The outcomes of the three elements are added and divided by 41 based on a numerical value of 100 as the preferred score. Applicants scoring 90 or above are automatically admitted to the Museum Science program. Students scoring 80 to 90 are considered marginal and must undergo review by the museum science faculty with careful consideration given to the applicant's career summary statement. Students scoring below 80 are unacceptable for admission to the program but may appeal the decision to the program director for further review or consideration of extenuating circumstances.

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 must develop competency in the core courses taught by selected members of the graduate faculty and the museum staff. (Competency is construed to mean an understanding of professional museum practices.)

A student majoring in the program must take at least 24 hours from the Museum Science core curriculum, a minimum of 15 hours of elective graduate-level courses, plus 6 hours of thesis or internship and special project. Required core courses for the program include MUSM 5102, 5321, 5326, 5327, 5330, 5331, 5332, and 5340. (Internships are normally executed at approved museums and facilities other than the Museum of Texas Tech University.) A total of 45 credit hours of graduate-level work is required for graduation. In addition, each student must pass a qualifying exam prior to taking and passing comprehensive written and oral exams. Additionally, thesis-option students must write and defend their thesis. The program is administered by the Executive Director of the Museum.

Following the first 9 credit hours of graduate study, each student's curriculum will be formalized through consultation with a graduate faculty advisory committee, consisting of at least three members, which reflects the student's area of emphasis. This degree plan will be approved by the program coordinator and the Executive Director of the Museum and will then be submitted to the Graduate School. When approved, it will serve 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 of which at least 9 must be from the core curriculum.

Courses marked with an asterisk are required.

Courses in Museum Science. (MUSM)

*5102. Museum Science Forum (1:1:0). A weekly meeting of museum science students for discussion, special lectures, and presentations on selected museum-related topics. Course required for three semesters of each museum science student's residency for a total of 3 credit hours.

*5321. Museology (3:3:0). Establishes a historical and theoretical framework for museum science, promotes a global perspective of museums, and acquaints students with the broad-based implications of museum work as a science.

5325. Museum Field Methods (3:1:6). Prerequisite: Consent of instructor. Problems of collecting museum artifacts, specimens, and samples in the field and methods of handling material before it reaches the museum. Sections will allow work in anthropology, history, paleontology, and vertebrate biology.

*5326. Museum Administration (3:3:0). Prerequisite: MUSM 5321 or consent of instructor. Instruction and investigation in aspects of museum management and administration including policies and procedures, personnel management, budget formulation, governance, and interaction with support organizations.

*5327. Museum Collection Management (3:2:3). Prerequisite: MUSM 5321 or consent of instructor. Defines the roles of museum collections and focuses on general museum concepts, procedures, and issues related to the management and care of collections. Instruction in art, humanities, and natural science collections.

5328. Museum Practicum (3:1:6). Prerequisite: Consent of instructor. Individual instruction course of supervised experiences involving hands-on activities in museum administration, collections, education, and exhibitions. Sections will allow work in all areas of the Museum of Texas Tech.

5329. Material Culture (3:3:0). Discussion of major trends in historical, psychological, philosophical, anthropological, and art historical literature in terms of their application to the interpretation of the past through its material culture.

*5330. Museum Law, Ethics, and Standards (3:3:0). Prerequisite: MUSM 5321 or consent of instructor. Addresses the ethical considerations and legal obligations of museum collections, administration, and operations. Attention given to international concerns as well as to state and national issues.

*5331. Museum Interpretation and Communication (3:2:3). Prerequisite: MUSM 5321 or consent of instructor. Investigates the theories and methods of museum exhibitions and interpretation. Includes planning, developing, and evaluating strategies of exhibitions, publications, and interpretive programs.

*5332. Museum Preventive Conservation (3:1:6). Prerequisite: MUSM 5321 and 5327, or consent of instructor. A course designed to give future museum workers an awareness of the need for specialized care of artifacts. Introduction of current methods and theories pertaining to museum collection care.

*5340. Museum Data Management (3:1:6). Prerequisite: MUSM 5321 and 5327 or consent of instructor. Introduction of traditional and electronic management of museum collection data emphasizing the philosophy of data preservation and retrieval.

6000. Master's Thesis (V1-6).

6001. Museum Internship (V1-6). Internship at an approved museum to include a special project approved by the student's advisory committee. Written documentation of project to provide practical information for the museum profession.

7000. Research (V1-12).

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LAST UPDATE: 11-22-99