Museum Science and Management Master’s Program

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Graduate School

The University of Tulsa

800 South Tucker Drive Lorton Hall
Room 201 Tulsa, OK 74104
918-631-2336
grad@utulsa.edu

The Museum Science and Management (MSM) master’s program at The University of Tulsa provides both interdisciplinary course work and hands-on experience. It is designed to prepare future museum professionals in the areas of administration, fiscal management, collections care, research and education.

Program overview and outcomes

Students gain experience using objects and collections in research, exhibition, publication and programming, as well as a background in museum administration, leadership and fundraising. Internship opportunities are available at regional and national cultural institutions that provide practical experience for students in their selected areas of specialization.

MSM faculty provide mentoring to ensure students gain a broad understanding of professional opportunities and responsibilities. Program graduates are ready to take up careers in museums, historical agencies, archives, national parks and related institutions.

Prospective students

TU’s MSM program is open to students who have earned an undergraduate degree in any academic discipline from an accredited university. Admission to a particular track within the MSM program, however, may be limited based on prior coursework and is decided by the MSM graduate committee.

Facilities

Gilcrease Museum is one of the country’s best facilities for the preservation and study of American art and history. It houses the world’s largest, most comprehensive collection of art and artifacts of the American West, including historical manuscripts, documents and maps, as well as an unparalleled collection of Native American art and artifacts.

TU’s Helmerich Center for American Research is home to the Gilcrease Library and Archive, a collection that includes an array of materials telling the story of America. The Helmerich Center is also home to a paper conservation lab and a digitization studio, while TU’s McFarlin Library curates complementary collections.

The Henry Zarrow Center for Art and Education, across from Guthrie Green in downtown Tulsa, provides exciting new gallery space for contemporary exhibits and a suite of art education classrooms.

Application requirements

Applicants must submit all required application materials prior to an admission decision and meet all general standards for graduate admission at The University of Tulsa. Required application materials and general standards for admission are available on the Graduate School website. Other requirements include:

  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution.
  • Results from the General Test of the Graduate Record Examination
  • A minimum TOEFL score of 90 on the Internet-based exam, 232 on the computer-based exam, or 575 on the paper exam for students whose native language is not English. Non-native speakers may submit a minimum score of 6.5 from the IELTS examination to substitute for the TOEFL score.
  • An undergraduate grade point average of at least 3.0. Students who do not satisfy this requirement but have at least a 3.0 GPA in their major field may be admitted on probation.
  • Letters of recommendation from at least three professors or former supervisors who are familiar with the applicant’s technical background, work performance and academic potential.
  • A Statement of Purpose that includes a description of the applicant’s background, rationale for the desired track, specific interests in museum science and management, and long-term professional objectives.
Faculty

Robert Pickering, Director of MuseumScience and Management,
Professor of Anthropology and Adjunct Curator of Anthropology of Gilcrease Museum
Ph.D. Northwestern University, Illinois
Phone: (918) 631-2387
E-mail: bob-pickering@utulsa.edu


Diana Folsom, Head of Collection Digitization of Gilcrease Museum
M.A. Hunter College, City University ofNew York
Phone: (918) 631-6419
E-mail: diana-folsom@utulsa.edu


Joanna Didik, Chief Conservator of Gilcrease Museum
M.A. Nicolaus Copernicus University, Poland
Phone: (918) 631-6405
E-mail: joanna-didik@utulsa.edu


Susan Buchanan, Chief Registrar of Gilcrease Museum
MA Museum Science Texas Tech University, Texas
Phone: (918) 596-2765
E-mail: susan-buchanan@utulsa.edu


Kerry Joels, Adjunct Professor
Ph.D., Oklahoma State University
Phone: (918) 743-2076
E-mail : kjoels@gmail.com


Robert Spoo, Chapman Distinguished Professor of Law and Associate Dean for Faculty Development at The University of Tulsa College of Law
J.D. Yale Law School, Connecticut and Ph.D. in English from Princeton University, New Jersey
Phone: (918) 631-2447
E-mail : robert-spoo@utulsa.edu


 

Program objectives

Students who successfully complete a master’s degree in Museum Science and Management will possess the following:

  1. Develop basic skills for cataloging museum and archival collections.
  2. Learn basic conservation principles needed by all museum professionals
  3. Ability to design the layout for an exhibition and to write descriptive labels.
  4. Grounding in applicable legal and ethical perspectives of museum work.
  5. Ability to work as part of a team.
  6. Understand how to use visitor survey data to evaluate exhibitions and programs.

Professional opportunities 

  • Museum administration
  • Fiscal management
  • Collections care and research
  • Museum education
Program of study

The Museum Science and Management Degree Program leads to a Master’s of Arts degree. Full-time students should be able to complete the degree program in two years, and part-time students should expect to complete the degree program in three to four years, depending on the number of credit hours in which the student enrolls each semester.

The degree program requires the completion of 33 credit hours, including classroom instruction coupled with actual work in a museum setting. The curriculum consists of:

  • A museum science and management core (12 credit hours)
  • A selection of courses either in one track or in a variety of tracks (12 credit hours)
  • A selection of electives (6 credit hours)
  • An internship or capstone project (3 credit hours)

Available tracks in the program are Anthropology, History, Native American and General.

The Museum Science and Management Master’s Degree Program provides both interdisciplinary coursework and hands-on experience designed to prepare future museum professionals in the areas of:

  • Museum administration,
  • Fiscal management,
  • Collections care and research, and
  • Museum education.

Students gain experience in using objects and collections in research, exhibition, publication and educational programming, as well as a background in museum administration, leadership and fundraising. Internships at regional or national cultural institutions provide practical experience for students in their selected area of specialization.

The staff of Gilcrease Museum and the faculty at TU collaborate to provide in-depth opportunities to specialize in the curation, care and exhibition of American art, archaeology, ethnology and archives. Museum Science and Management and Graduate School staff will also mentor students in topics and issues related to professionalism and career development, such as:

  • Helping students prepare resumes and cover letters;
  • Joining professional organizations;
  • Participating in appropriate regional or national meetings; and
  • Becoming conversant in important contemporary issues related to museum work.