Museums shape and at times challenge how we see objects and ourselves in relation to community, culture, and the world. They preserve, display, and interpret an astonishing array of materials of educational value. Museums come in many forms, and are cross-disciplinary. They involve different ways of knowing and doing. The Museum Studies minor enables students to investigate that vibrant world and its various professional paths. Minors and other students will understand how museums developed historically and what thinking informs current exhibition practices. Minors will also gain first-hand experience in one or more areas of museum work, such as curating, education, registration, collections management, conservation, or technology. Optional discipline-specific tracks allow minors and all students to bring what they learn about museums into alignment with their primary academic interest.
Requirements for Minors
A minor concentration in Museum Studies consists of five courses (combining for a total of 16 credits), one applied learning experience in a museum (three or four credits), plus an oral presentation, for a total of 19 or 20 credits. All students must take MS-100 Museum Studies (four credits), MS-200A (two credits) and B Curatorial Practice (two credits), and MS-350 Oral Presentation (zero credits). The applied learning experience (MS-381 or 382) must be an off-campus internship or curatorial experience and should focus on collections, conservation, education, interpretation, and/or research. The experience must be approved by the Museum Studies Coordinating Group. The remaining credits (elective) must come from two of the following: ACCT-140, ANTH-100, ANTH-205, any 100- or 200-level Art History course, ART-371, ART-372, EDUC-100, EDUC-265, EDUC-350W, any 300-level History course, MCS-201, MCS-220, MCS-254, MCS-330, MCS-331, or MCS-363, or another course approved by the Museum Studies Coordinating Group. In the spring semester of their senior year, Museum Studies minors must also give an oral presentation at a Museum Studies session at the Celebration of Student Achievement, thus fulfilling MS-350.
As an option, students may choose to pursue a discipline-specific track in the Museum Studies minor. Each track consists of two courses from a list of relevant courses. Students who choose not to do a track can take elective credits in two separate track areas.
Elective course options for each track are:
- Anthropology: ANTH-100, 205
- Art History: ART-100, 150, 160, 230, 290, 371, 372
- Business and Economics: ACCT-140, MGT-200, MKT-250
- Education: EDUC-100, 265, 350W
- Environmental Studies: ENV-242 or 272; ENV-332, 338, 340, 360, or 366
- History: Any two History courses in the same area of concentration (U.S. and American, European and Mediterranean, non-Western, or world and comparative), one of which must be at the 300- or 400-level.
- History track for non-History majors: HIST-200W and one, 300-level History course
- Media and Communications Studies: MCS-201, 220, 254, 330, 331, 363
MS-100. Museum Studies
An introduction to the social and political history of museums, as well as the structure, function and practices of museums in America and Europe. The Berman Museum will be our laboratory, and independent projects will focus on objects from the Museum’s collections. Outside scholars and specialists will offer in-depth examination of selected topics. Visits are made to regional museums. The course will run Spring semester every two years, beginning Spring 2016. Three hours per week. Four semester hours. (A.)
Note: MS-100 may count as an elective for the Art and Art History major or minor.
MS-200A. Curatorial Practice
This course introduces students to activities, processes, challenges, skills, and thinking that initiate and develop the display and interpretation of objects in museums. Students will collaboratively create an exhibition to open in The Berman Art Museum the January following the fall semester course. Visits to area museums. Students must take MS-200A and B to receive credit for one required course in the Museum Studies minor. MS200A will run Fall semester every two years, beginning Fall 2016. Prerequisite: MS-100 or permission of instructor. Two hours per week. Two semester hours.
MS-200B. Curatorial Practice
A continuation of MS-200A. This course involves the final preparations for the exhibition, its promotion, and its documentation. MS-200B will run Winter break every two years, beginning December 2016. Prerequisite: MS-200A or permission of instructor. Students must take MS-200A and B to receive credit for one required course in the Museum Studies minor. Two hours per week. Two semester hours.
MS-350. Oral Presentation
A museum studies oral presentation. This course will satisfy the Museum Studies minor requirement for an oral presentation. Prerequisite: written consent of a member of the Museum Studies Coordinating Group. Graded S/U.Zero semester hours.
Note: This course is usually taken in spring semester of the student’s senior year, and the oral presentation usually takes place at the Celebration of Student Achievement, held in April of that semester.
MS-381. Museum Studies Internship
An academic/work experience at a museum under the supervision of an internship adviser on the Museum Studies Coordinating Group and an on-site supervisor. The Berman Museum of Art is not a possible site for MS-381. The intern must complete a minimum of 120 hours of work. Open to rising juniors and seniors. The term during which the internship work is performed will be noted by one of the following letters, to be added immediately after the internship course number: A (fall), B (winter), C (spring), or D (summer). Internships undertaken abroad will be so indicated by the letter I. Prerequisites: MS-100 and approval of the Museum Studies Coordinating Group. 120 hours. Graded S/U.Three semester hours.
MS-382. Museum Studies Internship
An academic/work experience at a museum under the supervision of an internship adviser on the Museum Studies Coordinating Group and an on-site supervisor. The Berman Museum of Art is not a possible site for MS-382. The intern must complete a minimum of 160 hours of work. Open to rising juniors and seniors. The term during which the internship work is performed will be noted by one of the following letters, to be added immediately after the internship course number: A (fall), B (winter), C (spring), or D (summer). Internships undertaken abroad will be so indicated by the letter I. Prerequisites: MS-100 and approval of the Museum Studies Coordinating Group. 160 hours. Graded S/U.Four semester hours.