LSMS 5113 – The World of a Museum

This class is designed to prepare the students to meet the many challenges involved in operating a museum or in being an employee of a museum, and to understand museum management procedures. By successfully completing the course, the student will have a much better understanding of the complexity of the museum world and their place in that world. Moreover, they will be among the better-informed employees of any museum that hires them and will be able to adapt to new challenges and opportunities that may arise during their museum career.

LSMS 5133 – History and Architecture of the Museum

The course will explore the history and architecture of public museums from the late 18th century to the present. First, we will focus on the founding of the Louvre Museum, and then examine the classical model for the museum and museum building established in Europe and America in the 19th century and surviving into the 20th with institutions such as National Gallery of Art. The course will then look at assaults on and the evolution of the classical model by, for instance, the Museum of Modern Art and the art museums of Louis I. Kahn. We will then survey the numerous building projects of recent decades. The course will conclude with an examination of the major issues involved when a museum plans an expansion, selects an architect and determines the building program. The emphasis will be on art museums.

LSMS 5163 – Museum Management and Leadership

This course is designed for students to understand top quality museum administration and management and to meet the challenges of directing and operating successful museums.

LSMS 5173 - Museums, Cultures, and Communities

Museums and their collections no longer stand apart from the communities where they reside and serve. Increasingly, museums are called upon to interact with society in new and sometimes unexpected ways. This evolving role has revised the traditional mission of museums and has called for new approaches and partnerships designed to meet the needs of an increasingly diverse and often demanding audience. Successful interaction with the public through exhibitions, educational programming, board development and volunteer associations not only strengthens the museum’s position of leadership within the community but also is key to gaining and maintaining the financial and moral support required for its very survival.

LSMS 5183 - Collection Management

In this course, we will consider the place of collections in the life of the museum. Just as the types of museums are varied, so is the nature of their collections. It is essential that the collections mesh with the goals and aspirations of the museum. For example, a science museum might have as its major purpose the active demonstration of scientific principles. An art museum might stress an aesthetic experience in which the object was paramount and the interpretation individual. A natural history museum might be a research institution as well as a place for educating and entertaining the public, so it would have a greater archival emphasis.

LSMS 5190 - Museum Project (Independent Study)

Download the project Guidelines

The project will enable the student to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between theory and application by successfully discussing this relationship in the concluding report.
  • Demonstrate the ability to formulate and/or carry out a specific museum project by successfully completing the described project.
  • Demonstrate the relationship between the specific project and broader museum goals and operations by successfully evaluating its effectiveness for museum operations.
  • Discuss the project within the context of the museum’s mission.
  • Interact with museum colleagues and other professional staff.

LSMS 5203 - Historic Preservation

This course introduces students to the field of historic preservation and helps them develop the ability to identify and document historic buildings, sites and structures. The readings are designed to acquaint the student with the range of philosophies, methodologies and “schools of thought” within the field of historic preservation and to introduce the student to its foremost practitioners who are teaching and researching in universities, working within government agencies or operating as independent preservation consultants.

LSMS 5223 - The House Museum

This course will examine the types of House Museum - As places of pilgrimage: where X lived; where Y happened; the BIG house. As architecture: built by A; last/first/oldest example. Students will be introduced to the challenges of conservation and interpretation within buildings that are themselves the exhibit and to the question of objective truth in a historical narrative. Community involvement/inclusion and diversity will be examined.

LSMS 5243 - Small Museums

This course introduces students to the history and nature of small museums in the United States. Today, the majority of museums in the U.S. are small and they are a significant force in the cultural life of communities across the country. They offer unique experiences and issues in administration, finance, funding, staffing, program/exhibition development, community involvement and partnership building.

LSMS 5313 - Museum Education

A central mission of museums is education and outreach. Because education plays such a vital role in museums, it is becoming increasingly necessary for museum professionals to have a strong foundation in museum education. This course serves as an introduction to museum education, including object-based learning, learning environments and learning theories, an understanding of which fosters the development of effective and motivating educational programs in museums. Although this course is intended to target those in the museum profession, this information can be applied toward the development of educational programs in other informal education fields.

LSMS 5333 - Introduction to Museum Interpretation

In 1957, Freeman Tilden of the National Park Service defined the concept of interpretation and pioneered its study and implementation in museums, parks and historic sites. Tilden’s definition inInterpreting Our Heritage states that interpretation is “an educational activity which aims to reveal meanings and relationships through the use of original objects, by firsthand experience, and by illustrative media, rather than simply to communicate factual information.” He described interpretation as a mode of communication intended to highlight information, emphasize the whole and ultimately provoke curiosity about a topic with a variety of media such as exhibits and programs.

LSMS 5403 - Museums and Native Cultures

This course is designed for students to understand the representational history of Native cultures in museums and the dynamic collaboration between a museum and a culture to accomplish an authentic and respectful presentation today.

LSMS 5423 - Controversy and the World of Museum

Controversy and the World of Museum will examine some of the most controversial exhibitions of the 1990s, including shows about ethnicity, slavery, Freud, the Old West, the dropping of the atomic bomb by the Enola Gay, Jewish genocide and other cases from the museum history of the United States. Throughout the course, students also will be introduced with case studies from other countries, providing an international comparison on this subject. Controversies in this country did not simply begin and commonly reoccur in recent years, but, instead, controversies caused by art in America actually date back almost two centuries, and the provocations range from nudity to gigantism.

LSMS 5700 - Special Problems in Museology

Variable topic course. May be repeated with change of content. Maximum credit six hours.

LSMS 5700 - Exhibit Development

Overview of basic areas of museum exhibit development: content, layout, label writing and object display.  Students will be prepared to be a productive member of an exhibit team in a museum.

LSMS 5700 - Technology and the Museum

This course examines current best practices in technology and how it relates to the world of museums. Students will examine ways and resources to connect with museum audiences through current technological trends, how to reach the 21st century crowd and how to enhance their own productivity. The coursework will take students from awareness to potential implementation by assisting in creating their own technological plan.

LSMS 5920 – Internship

Prerequisite: graduate standing, LSTD 5003, and permission of dean. May be repeated; maximum credit six hours. 75 working hours (per credit hour) of field experience directly related to study focus in the Master's program is required. Requirements include journal, reports, written summary and comprehensive examination over these materials. (F, Sp, Su). See also:

Graduate Internship Packet