May 30, 2024  
2016-2017 Graduate Bulletin 
2016-2017 Graduate Bulletin [ARCHIVED BULLETIN]

Museum Science and Management, M.A.

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: All Programs

Return to Graduate Interdisciplinary Programs 

The Graduate School, in collaboration with the Gilcrease Museum and various academic departments on The University of Tulsa campus, offers an interdisciplinary program leading to a Master of Arts degree in Museum Science and Management (MSM). The program provides both interdisciplinary course work and “hands-on” experience designed to prepare future museum professionals in the areas of administration, fiscal management, collections care and research, and education. Students gain experience in using objects and collections in research, exhibition, publication, and 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 the Gilcrease Museum and the faculty at TU collaborates to provide in-depth opportunities to specialize in the curation, care, and exhibition of American art, archaeology, ethnology, and archives. MSM 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.

Mission Statement

The Museum Science and Management program will help prepare the next generation of museum professionals through classroom preparation, a commitment to hands-on projects, and meaningful internships for all MSM students. Secondarily, the MSM program strives to serve the regional and national museum communities, to train new professionals, and to provide enhancement of skills for those who have existing positions.

Learning Objectives

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


Applicants must satisfy the general admission requirements of the Graduate School, be approved by the Graduate School and the Director of Museum Science and Management, and must satisfy the following requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution.
  • Results from the General Test of the Graduate Record Examination.
  • A writing sample that demonstrates the students, research and/or critical thinking skills.
  • A minimum TOEFL score of 90 on the internet-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. Exceptional students with scores below these levels may be admitted conditionally and required to take CDSP 2013 or enroll in the English Institute, or retake the TOEFL exam.
  • 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 by the Graduate School upon the recommendation of the Graduate Program Advisor.
  • Probationary status is removed by completing nine credit hours of approved graduate study with a GPA of 3.0 or higher in one semester for a full-time student and within three semesters for a part-time student.
  • 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 track desired, specific interests in museum science and management, and long-term professional objectives. Available tracks in the program are: Anthropology, History, Native American, and General.


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:

Courses in one of three tracks

Museum Administration

Informal Education and Object-Based Learning

Collections Care, Digitization and Research

Museum Administration Track (12 credits hours)

Collections Care, Digitization, and Research (12 credit hours)

Electives (6 credit hours)

Selected courses are available in the following academic departments -


Internship or capstone project

Students are required to successfully complete an off-site internship. The internship component may be completed with a zero credit hour enrollment but if a student chooses to enroll in additional credit hours, no more than six credit hours of internship will count towards a master’s degree. Students holding professional positions within a museum are required to successfully complete a three credit hour enrollment in “Museum Project” in lieu of an internship.

All master’s students are advised by the Director of Museum Science and Management (MSM) program.

If a student wishes to change theme track after admission, the student must request permission of the Director and Dean of the Graduate School, preferably before the end of their first semester (or for part-time students, before completing nine credit hours). If a student desires to change his/her track, the Director will consult with the appropriate graduate program advisor or the Museum Science and Management Graduate Committee regarding the student’s request to assure that the student has the appropriate background.

Students who anticipate enrolling in the Museum Project course should select a research advisor by the beginning of the second semester to determine an appropriate sequence of course work and to address early steps which may be necessary as part of the project.

A 3.0 grade point average is required of all students in the Graduate School. No graduate credit is given for a course in which a grade lower than C has been received. Project and internship grades are recorded on a Pass/Fail basis; passing grades in these courses are required for the degree.

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: All Programs