School of Liberal Arts
(An asterisk [*] denotes associate membership in University Graduate School faculty.)
The Museum Studies Program provides an integration of museum history and theory with hands-on instruction in a variety of museum techniques and practices. It encompasses the scholarly exploration of museums, their history, operations, and role in society from an interdisciplinary perspective while also training students in the technical aspects of museum work such as collections care and management, administration, education, exhibit planning and design, and technology.
As an urban university, IUPUI is part of a community with a rich heritage of museums and cultural arts. The Museum Studies Program has developed collaborative relationships with area museums and has an extensive network of adjunct faculty and guest lecturers who bring state-of-the-art museum practice to the curriculum. The program also offers extensive opportunities for student learning through the resources of the museum community with experiences such as internships; collaboration on exhibit development and design; exhibition- and collections-focused courses; access to collections; collaboration with faculty on museum research projects; and participation in museum-sponsored seminars, lectures, and professional meetings. The integral role of Indianapolis museums in the museum studies curriculum fosters a critical, reflective, and scholarly discourse on museums that is applied to current practices and issues in the field.
Students considering application to the certificate program are welcome in the classes (with prerequisites or instructor's consent). Up to 9 credit hours earned as a graduate nondegree student may be applied toward the certificate upon admission to the certificate program.
A503 Introduction to Museum Studies (3 cr.) This survey of museology introduces students to the history of museums and to debates on the philosophical nature of museums and their roles in society. The course covers the types and definitions of museums, traces the history of museums, discusses contemporary museum practice and examines current issues in the museum profession.
Choose five courses from the following, or from a list of approved electives. See program director for a current list of approved electives.
A508 Museum Internship (1-6 cr.) P: A503 and two other museum studies graduate courses or consent of the instructor. An arranged learning experience in museum work appropriate to individual career goals, focusing on an aspect of museum practice and working with a museum mentor. May be repeated for credit.
A510 Museum Education (3 cr.) P: A503 or consent of instructor. This survey of museum education introduces students to a variety of professional skills through exercises, projects, museum visitor observation, and in-museum classes. It covers education theory most central to museum practice, the duties of museum educators, and current issues in museum education.
A512 Exhibit Planning and Design (3 cr.) P: A503 or consent of instructor. This course offers a survey of museum exhibit planning and design through an integration of theory and practice. The class introduces students to exhibit development, including exhibit administration, design, and evaluation, and to a variety of professional skills through hands-on exercises, exhibit critiques, museum observations, and in-museum classes.
A514 Museums and Technology (3 cr.) P: A503 or consent of instructor. This course surveys the growing use of technology in museums. It examines applications for information management in collections, conservation science, and archives. It examines critically the use of technology in the service of education both in exhibit contexts and in the variety of educational programs and Web-based dissemination of knowledge.
A516 Collections Care and Management (3 cr.) P: A503 or consent of instructor. A survey of techniques for the management and care of collections in museums. It covers documentation, management of collections, processes, administrative functions, risk management, and ethical and legal issues. The course also covers the physical care and conservation of collections.
A518 Museums and Audiences (3 cr.) P: A503 or consent of instructor. This course examines the ways museums seek to better understand their audiences, serve them more effectively, and strive to reach new audiences. The course looks at a broad range of visitor studies and the ways in which museums and audiences interact.
Y525 Museum Management (3 cr.) P: consent of instructor. Management of art and historical museums; the museum: its legal status, the building, management and staff, goals and objectives, fundraising and budgeting, collections and exhibition, education, and community outreach (Bloomington campus only).
A505 Museum Methods (3 cr.) This survey of museum practice introduces students to methods, skills, and resources in three areas of museum work: artifacts, interpretation, and organizational administration, as well as to the ethical ramifications of these methods (course does not count toward graduate certificate).