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New Museum Studies Program Requirements Approved for Fall 2013

Monday, June 3, 2013

KU Museum Studies: Preparing Leaders to Shape the Future of Museums

The University of Kansas has approved significant changes to its graduate program in Museum Studies. The updated 36-credit-hour curriculum goes into effect in Fall 2013 and responds to the museum profession’s current and future needs while preparing graduates for leadership and innovation in museums, historical societies, and related institutions.

KU Museum Studies students master the interdisciplinary and collaborative nature of museum work along with thorough understanding of the concepts and theories that shape contemporary museum studies. They contribute insights generated through disciplined and creative scholarship as they develop expertise in specialized areas of museum practice. A complete description of the program can be found on the Academics page of the program website.

THE PROGRAM – With guidance from academic advisors and Program staff, Museum Studies students craft individualized programs of study tailored to their interests and reflecting current museum standards.  The wide-ranging academic resources of the University of Kansas are available in fields as diverse as learning theory, social media, audience evaluation, non-profit leadership, psychology, theater, and public administration ‒ as well as in history, anthropology, art history, natural sciences, and visual arts. Students also have opportunities to engage with the staff and resources of numerous museums in the Lawrence area as well as in Kansas City and Topeka.

The program has six components:  The Museum Studies Core; Museum Professional Areas; Museum Conceptual Domains; Electives; Museum Experience (Internship); and Final Product (Research).

The Museum Studies Core.  The Museum Studies Core consists of a suite of three courses designed to ensure that all students in the KU Museum Studies Program gain a comprehensive understanding of theory, history, techniques, and problems common to museums, historical societies, and related institutions.

Museum Professional Areas.  Each student in the KU Museum Studies Program will develop expertise in at least one of the principal areas of museum work: Leadership and Management, Interpretation, Collections, and Community Connections. These courses incorporate training in best practices, policy development, legal and regulatory concerns, and future trends. Students learn essential processes and practices for building resilient institutions, making meaning in informal settings, managing and caring for collections, and effectively engaging with diverse communities. 

Museum Conceptual Domains. Courses concerning the conceptual domains of museum work – materiality, engagement, and representation – place museological subjects in broad historical and intellectual frameworks and provide students with an understanding of the historical and theoretical foundations of museums.

Electives and Other Museum Studies Courses. Electives enable students to deepen their knowledge in a particular area of museum work by taking courses pertinent to their area of specialization.

• Museum Experience. Internships and other museum experiences are a critical component of the KU Museum Studies Program. Upon graduation, each student will have gained at least 500 hours of museum experience, including at least 250 hours in a supervised internship in a local, regional, national, or international setting.

• Final Product and Examination. Each KU Museum Studies student develops a final product, based on research or other creative activity, that contributes to the museum studies field and demonstrates the student’s ability to engage conceptually and professionally with the discipline. Students defend their final product as part of a comprehensive master’s examination.

APPLICATION – Students are admitted to the program each Fall. To be considered for admission to the KU Museum Studies Program, a candidate must have a baccalaureate degree and a grade-point average of at least 3.0 in previous college work. A detailed description of application requirements can be found on the Museum Studies Program website. We welcome questions from prospective students by telephone, email, or mail. For more information, please contact:

KU Museum Studies
University of Kansas
Lippincott Hall
1410 Jayhawk Blvd, Room 6
Lawrence, KS 66045


Read the latest MUSE News!

Find out what KU's Museum Studies Program and our alumni are up to:

September 2017 Newsletter
January 2017 Newsletter


Museum Events

Art Cart: Painted Fans
Saturday, January 20 | 1 p.m.-4 p.m.
Spencer Museum of Art, Sam and Connie Perkins Central Court, 317
1301 Mississippi St.
The Art Cart is a drop-in activity station where children and grown-ups enjoy hands-on art projects together, taking inspiration from original works of art. After traveling the world, Sallie Casey Thayer donated her collection of objects to KU to form what is now the Spencer Museum of Art. Learn about Mrs. Thayer and create a painted folding fan to start your own collection.

Slow Art Sunday: Steel Wool Peignoir
Sunday, January 21 | 2 p.m.-3 p.m.
Spencer Museum of Art, Kemper Family Foundations Balcony, 408
1301 Mississippi St.
Slow down at the Spencer and spend time getting to know one great work of art. Slow Art Sunday features one work for visitors to contemplate and converse about with Museum staff. In January, get to know Steel Wool Peignoir by Mimi Smith.

Science on Tap: The Cambrian: More than just Trilobites
Wednesday, January 24 | 7:30 p.m.
Free State Brewing Co., 636 Massachusetts St.
The Cambrian is a time in Earth’s history when many modern animal relatives make their first appearance. It is also a time when many bizarre animals without modern relatives appear in the fossil record. At this Science on Tap, Dr. Julien Kimmig will talk about the diversity of animals during this amazing period and what it can teach us about the future of life on earth. 

Career Close-ups: Developing a Career in the Museum World
Friday, January 26 | 2 p.m.-4 p.m.
Spencer Museum of Art, Auditorium 309
1301 Mississippi St.
Undergraduate and graduate students are invited to explore how any major can lead to a career in a cultural organization. A panel of museum professionals will share their experiences, followed by a networking reception and behind-the-scenes tours of KU’s museums. This year’s panelists include: Dina Bennett (Mulvane Art Museum, Washburn University), Glenn North (Black Archives of Mid-America), and Adrianne Russell (Cabinet of Curiosities). Advance registration is required at www.spencerart.ku.edu/career-closeups. Please register by January 24. Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/events/476618689399321/
Sponsored by the Spencer Museum of Art, KU Natural History Museum, University Career Center, and the Museum Studies Program.

Final Friday: Community and Culture Closing Celebration
Friday, January 26 | 6 p.m.-7:30 p.m.
Watkins Museum of History, 1047 Massachusetts St.
The Watkins, in partnership with the Max Kade Center and the Lawrence Opera Theatre, present an evening of 19th-century German-American music and cuisine.

Discovery Day: Celebrating Kansas
Sunday, January 28 | 1 p.m.-3 p.m.
KU Natural History Museum, 1345 Jayhawk Blvd.
In honor of Kansas Day, join us for hands-on activities that are all about Kansas wildlife, plants and fossils. 

Kenneth A. Spencer Lecture: An Evening with Eve L. Ewing: Poetry in Context
Wednesday, January 31 | 7 p.m.-8:30 p.m.
Liberty Hall, 644 Massachusetts St.
Eve L. Ewing is a sociologist, poet, essayist, artist, and educator whose research focuses on racism, social inequality, urban policy, and the impact of these forces on American public schools and the lives of young people. Dr. Ewing earned a Ph.D. from Harvard University and is recognized as a leader and social influencer, especially in conversations involving academia, writing, black women, and the intersection of politics and popular culture. Sponsored by The Commons.

University in the Art Museum for Graduate Students
Thursday, February 1 | 3 p.m.-4:30 p.m.
Spencer Museum of Art, 1301 Mississippi St.
University in the Art Museum introduces graduate students to opportunities for object-based teaching, learning, and research through collaborative partnerships with the Spencer Museum of Art. This workshop includes discussions led by graduate students in the departments of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies; Geography; and Atmospheric Science. Advance registration is required by Monday, January 29. Register online at https://spencerart.ku.edu/uam.

Extraordinary Animals: Awesome Adaptations
Sunday, February 4 | 1 p.m.-3 p.m.
KU Natural History Museum, 1345 Jayhawk Blvd.
At this new monthly animal event, parents and children are invited to learn about animals of Kansas. Museum Animal Specialist Ashley Welton will offer presentations about animal adaptations using touchable specimens from the museums collections at 1:15, 1:45 and 2:15 pm. 

FeBREWary at the Watkins
Thursday, February 15 | 6 p.m.-9 p.m.
Watkins Museum of History, 1047 Massachusetts St.
The Watkins, in partnership with Lawrence Beer Co., presents an evening of beer, food, and knowledge! Enjoy beer and a fascinating talk on brewing provided by Lawrence Beer Co., plus food from local restaurants and an informal museum tour. Tickets are $15 for DCHS members, $20 for non-members. You may sign up online or contact the museum at 785-841-4109. We recommend buying in advance. Ages 21 and over only, please. More information and registration.

Winter Table: An Evening of Herpetology
Wednesday, February 28 | 6:30 p.m.
KU Natural History Museum, 1345 Jayhawk Blvd.
A celebration of more than 100 years of KU herpetology research programs and the careers of Linda Trueb and Bill Duellman. Explore the Natural History Museum's reptile and amphibian collections and enjoy appetizers and drinks. Dine in the Panorama Gallery with KU herpetology scientists and students conducting reptile and amphibian research across the globe. 

6:30 pm: appetizers, drinks and science salon
7:00 pm: dinner and program
$50 per person 

Reserve your space now at the 2018 Winter Table by ordering tickets online. Tickets are $50 per person. You may also call 785-864-4450 to purchase by phone or you may purchase tickets at the museum lobby during business hours. Questions? Contact biodiversity@ku.edu or 785-864-4450.

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