Undergraduate Course Descriptions
MST 1300 - Introduction to Museum Studies This course provides an overview of museums and the people who create, govern, and operate them. Students will learn about the different types of museums, how museums have changed over time, how museums have striven for greater inclusiveness and respect for other cultures, and how they have dealt with subjects and exhibits that have proven controversial.
MST 2303 - Museum Educational Programming This course examines the history and development of museum education, including both directed/formal education and free-choice/informal learning. Through an examination of program development which includes assessing needs, learning styles, teaching techniques and evaluation, students will learn how to effectively serve museum visitors of all ages.
MST 3304 - Introduction to Cultural Collections Management An introduction to the historical development of cultural collections in museums, libraries, and archives. Students will examine the similarities and differences between libraries, archives, and museums with an emphasis on the intellectual, physical, legal, financial, and ethical challenges associated with collection development, management, access, and preservation in each of these fields.
MST 4301 - Introduction to Museum Administration This course provides an overview of issues pertaining to museums and other non-profit organizations, working with boards of trustees, budgetary planning, fund raising, public relations, and ethics. In addition to weekly readings drawn from current museum literature, students will gain practical experience in problem solving and grant writing.
MST 3305 - Exhibit Design and Preparation Every museum, from the smallest local historical society to the Guggenheim Museum, puts on exhibits from time to time. The audience for such exhibits is varied: from curators and historians to museum members and the general public. Through classroom theory and hands-on application students will learn about the needs, interests and learning styles, and the best way to reach these audiences through a well-designed exhibit.
MST 3308 - Introduction to Material Culture In this course we will study the material evidence of American life, from cradles to graves, from churches to forts, from teapots to landscapes, showing how artifacts are evidence of their place and time, and how humans made and used such objects in their everyday life, in their social life, and in their political life.
MST 4305 - Preservation Management Through classroom theory and hands-on activities, this course provides an introduction to the physical care of collections. Topics covered include the causes of deterioration in collections, protective storage, collections care in use, disaster preparedness, policy development, needs assessment, funding, and preservation planning.
MST 4309 - Introduction American Decorative Arts American decorative arts are displayed in art museums but also in historic house museums and historic villages. Students will learn to differentiate artifacts from different time periods and regions, to understand the differences between hand-made and industrially-made artifacts, and to recognize appropriate and inappropriate uses of artifacts in historic settings.
MST 4307 - Historic Buildings and Sites Historic museums are sometimes found within one building, but in historic buildings, villages, or even landscapes such as battlefields. This course will follow historic preservation from early patriotic and volunteer-based efforts such as Mount Vernon, to the development of preservation professionals at Colonial Williamsburg and elsewhere, and ultimately to modern preservation organizations such as the National Trust for Historic Preservation and important tools such as the National Register of Historic Places.
MST 4313 - Introduction to Ethical Issues in Museum Collections Management This course studies ethical issues in museum collections management. Topics covered include the sale of collections, the patrimony of antiquities, Nazi-looted art, and repatriation of Native American collections.
MST 4324 - Archival Collections and Museums This course is an introduction to the history of records and recordkeeping systems, the organizational structure of museums, and the role of the collector and the researcher in the creation and use of institutional and collected archives. Students will learn the basics of preservation, care, and use of archives, particularly within the museum environment.
MST 4V60 - Museum Internship Internship in the daily operation of a museum or related organization and completion of a