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Joint Museum Studies/African & African-American Studies M.A.

Requirements for the joint KU Master of Arts Degree in Museum Studies and African-American Studies

Students completing the Joint degree take all of the required courses in each of the respective programs, as well as fulfilling each program’s requirements to gain a breadth of knowledge. Coordination in advising between the two programs enables students to take courses that satisfy the degree needs for both programs. To earn both degrees, students complete 54 graduate credit hours, 15 of which are applied to both programs. Because the required courses are offered regularly, students are able to complete their required courses in the first four semesters of the program, using the final two semesters to complete the remaining credit hour requirements. The programs’ curricular requirements follow; further details on program expectations are available in the respective Graduate Handbooks.

Museum Studies Requirements for Joint M.A.

1. 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. MUSE 803, taken in a student’s third semester of study, is a research course that enables students to conduct research or other creative activities that advance the discipline of museum studies.

MUSE 801                   The Nature of Museums                               3 credits

MUSE 802                  Culture of Museums                                       3 credits

MUSE 803                  Seminar in Current Museum Topics             3 credits

2. Museum Professional Areas (9 credit hours)
Students will develop expertise in the principal specialties of museum work by completing at least three professional area courses (9 credit hours) a, at least one of which must be a Museum Studies (MUSE) course. Many courses in other departments may fulfill requirements; it is the responsibility of students, and their advisors, to ensure 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.  Courses taken must be at the 500 level or above.  The following lists include examples of courses that may fulfill the professional areas requirement.

A list of available professional area courses can be found on the Museum Studies website.

3. Museum Experience (3 credit hours)
While enrolled in the Museum Studies program, students are required to gain at least 500 hours of museum experience, of which at least 250 hours must be in an approved, professionally supervised internship.  Students enroll in 3 credit hours of MUSE 799: Museum Internship to meet this requirement.

African & African-American Studies Requirements for Joint M.A.

4. African & African-American Studies Core (12 credit hours)

AAAS 801       Introduction to Africana Studies: African-American      3 credits

AAAS 802       Introduction to Africana Studies: African                         3 credits

AAAS 803       Research Methods in Africana Studies                            3 credits

AAAS 804       Seminar in Africana Studies                                               3 credits

5. African & African-American Studies Area of Specialization (6 credit hours)
Students are expected to choose 2 courses in their area of specialization.  Courses must be 500-level or above and have an AAAS course number.

Shared Requirements

6. Joint Degree Electives (15 credit hours)
Any graduate level MUSE or AAAS course may count as an elective.  Out-of-field courses must be approved by the Directors of Graduate Study for both programs.

7. Final Project or Thesis
Students completing the joint degree program are required to defend either a final project or thesis in their final semester. The student should consult with their African & African-American Studies and Museum Studies faculty advisors to identify a project or thesis topic that effectively incorporates both areas of study. Faculty advisors from both programs will oversee and evaluate the project or thesis. Students who choose to complete a thesis must enroll in at least 3 credit hours of AAAS 899 in their final semester in lieu of an elective course.

Each student will successfully defend their final project or thesis as their final master’s examination. The final exam committee, chosen by the student, must have at least four members; at least two from the Museum Studies area and at least two from the African & African-American Studies area.

If a student decides to complete only the MUSE M.A. or AAAS M.A. and withdraw from the other program, they must complete all requirements for the stand-alone degree.

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