About the Heritage and Museum Sciences Master’s Program
Program Coordinator: Dr. Eileen Johnson, Chairperson and Horn Professor of Museum Science; Director, Academic and Curatorial Programs, Museum of Texas Tech University
The Master of Arts in Heritage and Museum Sciences is housed in the Museum of Texas Tech University. Heritage and Museum Sciences offers a concentration in either Museum Science or Heritage Management. The concentration in Museum Science emphasizes thorough preparation in the broad spectrum of museum theory and practice. Graduates from the Museum Science concentration of the program have a comprehensive background in museum studies and are prepared as generalists in a number of subdisciplines, including collections management and care; exhibitions and interpretation; museology; museum management; and curatorship in anthropology, art, history, paleontology, or the natural sciences.
The Heritage Management concentration emphasizes extensive investigation in the field of heritage management. Graduates from the Heritage Management concentration of the program are prepared to enhance local, regional, and national sociological and scientific values; encourage preservation and stewardship of cultural and natural heritage; advocate public service; and direct educational programing designed to derive maximum advantage from innovative technology without the loss of cultural identity and biodiversity. The Heritage Management concentration is configured to allow students to emphasize areas of special interest such as heritage administration, conservation, interpretation, heritage education, and use (heritage tourism and ecotourism). The concentration offers both theoretical and practical coursework designed to prepare graduates to be leaders in the heritage management field.
The chairperson of the program administers the Heritage and Museum Sciences program. Interested persons should contact the chair or academic program coordinator at the Museum of Texas Tech University for comprehensive information about the program and application process. Applicants will be considered for admission to the Heritage and Museum Sciences program after the following materials are received: (1) two letters of reference from persons knowledgeable of the student’s academic and professional abilities, and (2) a completed career summary statement. Prior to admission consideration, students must complete the online application through the Graduate School and satisfy the requirements of the university, including an official transcript of complete undergraduate coursework and GRE scores. Once that process is concluded, program admission and competitive scholarship awards are based on three general categories of criteria:
Academic Record. All academic records may be considered – 60 hours, total, major, post-baccalaureate.
Test Scores. Scores on the GRE should be no more than five years old. The GRE is required, but no test score will be considered the sole criterion.
Individual Profile. Profiles may include recommendation letters, research background, motivation, multilingual proficiency, undergraduate institution, presentations, and the completed career summary statement. Other information that admission and scholarship committees may consider is work commitment, demonstrated commitment to a particular field of work or study, and community involvement.
All students majoring in the program must take the following 4 required courses:
Museum Science Concentration
A student in the Museum Science concentration must take at least 15 hours from the Museum Science core curriculum, a minimum of 12 hours of elective graduate-level courses, and 6 hours of thesis or internship.
The Museum Science core curriculum includes the following course options:
Heritage Management Concentration
A student majoring in the Heritage Management concentration must take at least 15 hours from the Heritage Management core curriculum, a minimum of 12 hours of graduate-level elective courses, and 6 hours of thesis or internship. Course numbers for the HMGT 7000 core curriculum courses are pending.
The Heritage Management core curriculum include:
Additional Requirements. For electives, the Heritage and Museum Science program uses a variety of existing courses offered by various departments within the university to address individual educational and career goals. All students in both concentrations must develop competency in the core courses taught by members of the Heritage and Museum Sciences graduate faculty and museum staff. Competency is construed to mean an understanding of professional museum and heritage practices.
A total of 45 credit hours of graduate-level work is required for graduation. In addition, students must pass a faculty panel exam (qualifiers) prior to beginning either the internship or thesis and must pass comprehensive written and oral exams at the conclusion of their studies. Students pursuing the thesis option must write and defend a thesis. Internships (full-time, paid) are to be at a location approved by the student’s advisory committee and program chairperson.
Following the first 9 credit hours of graduate study, each student’s curriculum is formalized through consultation with a graduate faculty advisory committee that reflects the student’s area of emphasis and consists of at least three members. This degree plan is approved by the faculty advisor and the chairperson and sent to the Graduate School. When approved, it serves as a tool for advising and review to assure completion of degree requirements.
A minor at the master’s level in the Museum Science concentration consists of 9 approved credit hours in the core curriculum; a minor at the doctoral level consists of 15 hours of Museum Science courses, at least 9 of which must be from the core curriculum. A minor at the master’s level in the Heritage Management concentration consists of 9 approved credit hours in the core curriculum; a minor at the doctoral level consists of 15 hours of Heritage Management courses, at least 9 of which must be from the core curriculum. Masters and doctoral students from outside the program may also select from the required courses.