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Museum Studies Program

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Principal Course Distribution Requirement

Principal courses offer introductions to the breadth of disciplines in the College. They acquaint students with the subject matter in an area, with the types of questions that are asked about that subject matter, with the knowledge that has been developed and is now basic to the area, and with the methods and standards by which claims to truth are judged.

Students must complete courses in topical groups in three major divisions (humanities, natural sciences and mathematics, and social sciences). For the B.A., three courses are required from each division, with no more than one course from any topical group. The B.G.S. requires two courses from each division, with no more than one from any topical group. To fulfill the requirement, a course must be designated as a principal course according to the codes listed below.

These are the major divisions, their topical subgroups, and the codes that identify them:

Humanities

  • HT: Historical studies
  • HL: Literature and the arts
  • HR: Philosophy and religion

Natural Sciences and Mathematics

  • NB: Biological sciences
  • NE: Earth sciences
  • NM: Mathematical sciences
  • NP: Physical science

Social Sciences

  • SC: Culture and society
  • SI: Individual behavior
  • SF: Public affairs

No course may fulfill both a principal course distribution requirement and a non-Western culture or second-level mathematics course requirement. Laboratory science courses designated as principal courses may fulfill both the laboratory science requirement and one of the distribution requirements. No free-standing laboratory course may by itself fulfill either the laboratory science requirement or a principal course requirement. Students should begin taking principal courses early in their academic careers. An honors equivalent of a principal course may fulfill a principal course requirement.

View all approved principal course distribution courses »

Non-Western Culture Requirement

A non-Western culture course acquaints students with the culture, society, and values of a non-Western people, for example, from Asia, the Pacific Islands, the Middle East, or Africa. Students must complete one approved non-Western culture course.

One approved non-Western culture course is required. Occasionally courses with varying topics fulfill the non-Western culture course requirement. See the Schedule of Classes for details. These courses are coded NW.

View all approved non-Western culture courses »

Transfer and Earned Credit Course Codes

These codes are used to evaluate transfer credit and to determine which academic requirements a course meets.

  • H: Humanities
  • N: Natural Sciences and Mathematics
  • S: Social Sciences
  • W: World Civilization and Culture
  • U: Undesignated Elective Credit (course does not satisfy distribution requirement)

All Museum Studies courses

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Lecture, discussion, and laboratory exercises on the nature of museums as organizations; accounting, budget cycles, personnel management, and related topics will be presented using, as appropriate, case studies and a simulated museum organization model. (Same as AMS 731, BIOL 785, GEOL 783, and HIST 728.) Prerequisite: Museum Studies student, Indigenous Nations Studies student, or consent of instructor. LEC
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The purpose of this course is to provide an overview of the kinds of museums, their various missions, and their characteristics and potentials as research, education, and public service institutions responsible for collections of natural and cultural objects. (Same as AMS 720, BIOL 788, GEOL 782, and HIST 720.) Prerequisite: Museum Studies student, Indigenous Nations Studies student, or consent of instructor. LEC
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Presentation of principles and practices of exhibit management, design, and production. Topics will include developing a master plan for museum exhibits; concept development; design, installation, and maintenance of exhibits; design theory; design process; label writing and editing; selection of materials architectural requirements and building codes; cost estimating; publicity; security; and exhibit evaluation. Consideration will be given to exhibition problems in public and private museums in the areas of anthropology, art, history, natural history, and technology. (Same as AMS 700, BIOL 787, GEOL 781, and HIST 723.) Prerequisite: Museum Studies student, Indigenous Nations Studies student, or consent of instructor. LEC
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Lecture, discussion, and laboratory exercises on the nature of museum collections, their associated data, and their use in scholarly research; cataloging, storage, fumigation, automated information management and related topics will be presented for museums of art, history, natural history and anthropology. (Same as AMS 730, BIOL 798, GEOL 785, and HIST 725.) Prerequisite: Museum Studies student, Indigenous Nations Studies student, or consent of instructor. LEC
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Consideration of the goals of an institution's public education services, developing programs, identifying potential audiences, developing audiences, and funding. Workshops and demonstrations are designed for students to gain practical experience working with various programs and developing model programs. (Same as AMS 797, BIOL 784, GEOL 784, and HIST 721.) Prerequisite: Museum Studies student, Indigenous Nations Studies student, or consent of instructor. LEC
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This course will acquaint the future museum professional with problems in conserving all types of collections. Philosophical and ethical approaches will be discussed, as well as the changing practices regarding conservation techniques. Emphasis will be placed on detection and identification of causes of deterioration in objects made of organic and inorganic materials, and how these problems can be remedied. Storage and care of objects will also be considered. (Same as AMS 714, BIOL 700, GEOL 780, and HIST 722.) Prerequisite: Museum Studies student, Indigenous Nations Studies student, or consent of instructor. LEC
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Study of the principles and practices applicable to the preservation, care, and administration of archives and manuscripts. Practical experience will be an integral part of this course. (Same as HIST 727.) LEC
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Seminar course to provide students with a working knowledge of the primary issues and current trends in building, administration, and care of scientific collections. Topics include permits, collecting, accessioning, cataloging, preservation, preventive conservation, and access to collections and data. The course format consists of readings, lectures, guest speakers, discussions, and visits to scientific collections on campus. (Same as BIOL 706.) LEC
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Advanced courses on special topics in museum studies, given as need arises. Lectures, discussions of readings, and guest speakers. Topic for semester to be announced. Prerequisite: Graduate standing in Museum Studies Program or permission of instructor. LEC
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In-depth examination of specific topics currently of concern to museums and museum professionals. Topic for semester to be announced. Prerequisite: Graduate standing in Museum Studies Program, or permission of instructor. LEC
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Individual research in a specialized topic not ordinarily treated in a Museum Studies core course for which there is a member of the graduate faculty competent and willing to direct a research project. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor. RSH
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Directed reading in an area of Museum Studies in which there is no particular course in the Museum Studies program or in cooperating departments but in which there is a member of the graduate faculty competent and willing to direct a program study. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor. IND
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Provides directed, practical experience in research, collection, care, and management, public education, and exhibits with emphasis to suit the particular requirements of each student. (Same as AMS 799, ANTH 799, BIOL 799, GEOL 723, and HIST 799.) FLD
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Preservation and collection conservation theory and principles, including condition reporting, conservation of furniture and wooden objects, inorganic-based materials, metal objects, organic-based materials, paintings, photographic materials, textiles, three-dimensional objects, and works on paper. LEC
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Theory and principles of preventive conservation, with emphasis on its application to storage environment quality, archival supports and housings, basic bookbinding, composite objects, integrated pest management, light and lighting, paper evaluation and mending, temperature, and relative humidity. LEC
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Understanding the conservator-curator relationship; principles of conservation assessment, documentation, conservation research, environmental monitoring, handling objects, photographic documentation, and development of a publishable preservation research project. LEC
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Application of conservation theory and practice to exhibition development, planning, and preparation; conservation bookbinding; health and safety in conservation; integrated pest management; ethics of conservation; parameters of professional conservation practice. LEC
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