Jul 24, 2024  
2023-2024 Graduate Bulletin 
2023-2024 Graduate Bulletin [ARCHIVED BULLETIN]

Museum Science and Management, M.A.

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Henry Kendall College of Arts and Sciences

Kirsten Olds, Art History
William Smith, Associate Director, Helmerich Center for American Research

The Henry Kendall College of Arts & Sciences, in collaboration with the Gilcrease Museum and various academic departments in other colleges on TU campus, offers an interdisciplinary program leading to a Master of Arts (M.A.) degree in museum science and management. The Museum Science and Management (MSM) program provides both interdisciplinary coursework 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 faculty at TU, staff of the Gilcrease Museum, and other industry professionals collaborate to provide in-depth opportunities to specialize in the curation, care, and exhibition of American art, archaeology, ethnology, and archives. Through mandatory program workshops, students will be mentored in topics and issues related to professionalism and career development.


The MSM program prepares the next generation of museum professionals through classroom preparation, a commitment to hands-on projects, and meaningful internships for all museum science and management 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 Outcomes

Students who complete the M.A. in museum science and management program will:

  • Create museum products such as proposals, reports, presentations, and databases that conform to industry standards, are clear concise and persuasive, and serve the institution’s mission.
  • Critically evaluate projects and programs according to industry standards, including legal and ethical considerations, safety and collections care, and concern for visitor experience.


Candidates for admission to the Master of Arts (M.A.) program in museum science and management must meet the requirements for admission to the Graduate School, including language proficiency, found in the Admission  section of this Bulletin. Applicants must be approved by the Graduate School and the program director and satisfy the following requirements:

  • Writing sample that demonstrates the student’s research and/or critical thinking skills.
  • 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.
  • 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.


Curriculum Requirements

The M.A. in museum science and management degree program requires the completion of 33 credit hours, including classroom instruction coupled with work in a museum setting.

Museum Science and Management Core (12 hours)

Tracks (12 hours)

One of the following tracks:

Museum Administration Track

Twelve hours selected from the following:

Informal Education and Object-based Learning Track

Collections Care, Digitization, and Research Track

Electives (9 hours)

Electives in art history, accounting, anthropology, chemistry, communications, geosciences, history, law, management, and marketing selected with approval of the Graduate Program Advisor.

Internship or Capstone Project

Students are required to successfully complete an internship in a museum. 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 MSM 7440-6 Museum Internship  will count towards the master’s degree. Students holding professional positions within a museum are required to successfully complete a three-credit hour enrollment in MSM 7551-3 Museum Project  in lieu of an internship.

All master’s students are advised by the co-directors of the Museum Science and Management program.

If a student wishes to change track after their first semester, the student must request permission of the Program Co-directors.

Students who anticipate enrolling in the MSM 7551-3 Museum Project  course should select a research advisor by the beginning of the second semester to determine an appropriate sequence of coursework 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: Henry Kendall College of Arts and Sciences