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Courses

1. Courses in the Museum Studies Core (9 credit hours)
The Museum Studies Core ensures that all Museum Studies students gain a comprehensive understanding of the theories, history, techniques, and problems common to museums, historical agencies and related institutions. The Capstone course, taken in a student’s third semester of study, provides an avenue for students to conduct research or other creative activities that advance the discipline of museum studies.

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MUSE 801 The Nature of Museums (3 cr. – fall) This course provides an overview of the kinds of museums, their various missions, and their characteristics and potentials as research, education, and public service institutions responsible for collections of natural and cultural objects.
MUSE 802 The Culture of Museums (3 cr. – spring) This course highlights classic texts and current directions in museum studies.
MUSE 803 Seminar in Current Museum Topics (3 cr. – fall) This course involves an in-depth examination of specific topics currently of concern to museums and museum professionals. It serves as a capstone course in which each student develops and refines their research/final projects.

 

2. Courses focusing on Museum Professional Areas (9 credit hours)
Students will develop expertise in one of the principal specialties of museum work by completing at least 2 courses in that area, at least one of which must be a Museum Studies (MUSE) course. At KU the museum professional specialties are designated as: Leadership and Management, Interpretation, Collections, and Community Connections. For each specialty, courses incorporate training in best practices, policy development, legal and regulatory concerns, as well as future trends. NOTE: examples of courses in other departments are offered only to indicate the range and types of courses that could fulfill requirements; it is the responsibility of students, and their advisors, to insure that individual courses meet program requirements based on the general relevance of the course and assurance that the student’s work in the class will be applicable to museum studies by meeting with instructors and examining syllabi.

 

LEADERSHIP AND MANAGEMENT Courses cover areas such as administration, policy, fund raising, and legal issues related to the management of non-profit organizations.

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MUSE 701 Museum Management (3 cr.) Lecture, discussion, and laboratory exercises on the nature of museums as organizations; accounting, budget cycles, personnel management, and related topics will be presented using, as appropriate, case studies and a simulated museum organization model.

Examples of Courses in Other Departments and Programs:
BIOL 670 Natural History Museum Techniques
HA 710 Museum Techniques and Functions
LAW 867 Law and the Arts
MEMT 823 Introduction to Arts Administration
MGMT 701 Organizational Behavior
MGMT 715 Management of Organizations
PUAD 828 Nonprofit Management and Policy
PUAD 830 Administrative Ethics
PUAD 832 Organizational Theory
PUAD 842 Law and Public Management
PUAD 845 Public Management and Organizational Analysis
PUAD 854 Innovation and Organizational Change
PUAD 855 Financial Management for Public and Not-for-Profit Organizations  

 
INTERPRETATION Interpretation includes developing skills in exhibition design and installation, graphics, and marketing, public programs, as well as innovative approaches to new and emerging technologies.

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MUSE 703 Exhibition Planning and Design (3 cr.) Presentation of principles and practices of exhibit management, design, and production. Topics will include developing a master plan for museum exhibits; concept development, design, installation, and maintenance of exhibits; design theory; design process; label writing and editing; selection of materials; architectural requirements and building codes; cost estimating; publicity; security; and exhibit evaluation. Consideration will be given to exhibition problems in public and private museums in the areas of anthropology, art, history, natural history, and technology.
MUSE 705 Museum Public Education (3 cr.) Consideration of the goals of an institution’s public education services, developing programs, identifying potential audiences, developing audiences, and funding. Workshops and demonstrations are designed for students to gain practical experience working with various programs and developing model programs.

Examples of Courses in Other Departments and Programs:
ADS 710 Advanced Human Factors in Interaction Design
ADS 712 Design Strategies and Methods
ADS 770 Design Cognition
ADS 745 Branding and Design
BIOL 720 Scientific Illustration
JOUR 552 Print and Online Design
THR 550 Applied and Interactive Theatre
THR 618 Scenography
 
 

COLLECTIONS Courses provide opportunities to develop expertise in the practices and policies associated with the management and care of the range of materials in museum collections.

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MUSE 704 Principles and Practices of Museum Collection Management (3 cr.) Lecture, discussion, and laboratory exercises on the nature of museum collections, their associated data, and their use in exhibition, education, and scholarly research. Topics addressed include acquisition, accessioning, cataloging, collection storage, integrated pest management, data management, collection care, security, access, and collection planning for all types of museums.
MUSE 706 Conservation Principles and Practices (3 cr.) This course will acquaint the future museum professional with the conservation of all types of collections. Philosophical and ethical approaches will be discussed as well as changing practices regarding conservation techniques. Emphasis will be placed on detection and identification of deterioration in objects made of organic and inorganic materials, and how these problems can be remedied. Storage and care of objects will also be considered.
MUSE 707 Practical Archival Principles (3 cr.) Study of the principles and practices applicable to the preservation, care, and administration of archives and manuscripts. Practical experience will be an integral part of this course.
MUSE 710 Current Topics in Curation and Collections Management (2 cr.). Seminar course to provide students with a working knowledge of the primary issues and current trends in building, administration, and care of scientific collections. Topics include permits, collecting, accessioning, cataloging, preservation, preventive conservation, and access issues. The course format consists of readings, lectures, guest speakers, discussions, and visits to scientific collections on campus.

Examples of Courses in Other Departments and Programs:
ANTH 519 Lithic Technology
ANTH 520 Archaeological Ceramics
ANTH 521 Zooarchaeology
ANTH 522 Paleoethnobotany
ANTH 582 Ethnobotany
ANTH 648 Human Osteology
ANTH 740 Linguistic Data Processing
BIOL 540 General Invertebrate Zoology
BIOL 603 Systematic Botany
BIOL 711 Insect Systematics
BIOL 746 Principles of Systematics
BIOL 783 Herpetology
BIOL 792 Ichthyology
BIOL 793 Ornithology
BIOL 794 Mammalogy
GEOL 521 Paleontology
GEOL 725 Paleontology of Lower Vertebrates
GEOL 726 Paleontology of Higher Vertebrates
GEOL 528 Bio. and Evolution of Fossil Plants
TD 504 History of Textiles, Lecture
UBPL 760 Historic Preservation Planning

 

COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS Courses enable students to develop skills in public programming, curriculum planning, visitor studies, audience development, and volunteer management.

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MUSE 705 Museum Public Education (3 cr.) Consideration of the goals of an institution’s public education services, developing programs, identifying potential audiences, developing audiences, and funding. Workshops and demonstrations are designed for students to gain practical experience working with various programs and developing model programs.

Examples of Courses in Other Departments and Programs:
ABSC 719 Experimental Field Work in Community Settings
C&T 808 Qualitative Research Curriculum Inquiry
C&T 809 Creative Thinking and Learning
COMS 850 Introduction to Research Methods
COMS 855 Qualitative Research Methods in Communication Studies
HIST 601 Oral History
SPED 719 Learning and Technology
VAE 750 Introduction to Art Museum Education
 
 

3. Courses focusing on Museum Conceptual Domains (6 credit hours)
The conceptual domains of museum work, Materiality, Engagement, and Representation, address in depth the conceptual and theoretical foundations of museums. Courses that emphasize conceptual domains will place museological subjects in broader historical and intellectual frameworks. Students may take courses focused on 1 or more of these areas, and which may be offered in 1 or several disciplines. Courses will be selected with the approval of the student’s committee chair, as well as the course instructor. Approval will be based on the general relevance of the course, and assurance that the student’s work in the class will be applicable to museum studies.

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4. Electives and Other Museum Studies Courses (9 credit hours)
Students are expected to deepen their knowledge of the field by taking courses in a subject area pertinent to their area of specialization. Courses will be selected with the approval of the student’s committee chair, as well as the course instructor. Students may also enroll in the courses below as they develop or complete their final project.
MUSE 780 Special Topics (1-3 cr.) Advanced courses on special topics in museum studies, given as need arises. Lectures, discussions of readings, and guest speakers.
MUSE 790 Advanced Study (1-3 cr.) Individual research in a specialized topic not ordinarily treated in a Museum Studies core course for which there is a member of the graduate faculty competent and willing to direct a research project.
MUSE 792 Directed Readings (1-3 cr.) Directed reading in an area of museum studies in which there is no particular course in the Museum Studies program but in which there is a member of the graduate faculty competent and willing to direct a program of study.


Read the latest MUSE News!

Find out what KU's Museum Studies Program and our alumni are up to:

September 2017 Newsletter
January 2017 Newsletter
 

 

Museum Events

Day After Thanksgiving Program: Magic Marbles
Friday, November 24 | 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
The National Museum of Toys/Miniatures, 5235 Oak St. Kansas City, MO
It’s a day of marble magic with fun for the entire family. Explore the museum’s special exhibit Playing for Keeps: The VFW Marble Tournaments, 1947-1962, and try your hand at “knuckling down” during a marble lesson. Then, pick out your own marble and turn it into a piece of wearable art to take home with you. Included with museum admission.

 

Global Film Festival
Thursday, November 30 | 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m.
Spencer Museum of Art, Rm. 309, 1301 Mississippi St.
Curated by first-year students, the Global Film Festival features four films exploring ideas in Spencer Museum exhibitions. This film is presented in conjunction with the exhibition Power Clashing: Clothing, Collage, and Contemporary Identities. The film will be announced on the Museum’s website.

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