Introduction to Museum Theory & Practice

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Course Details

About this Course


Museums – why do we have them and what is their function in society? What sort of institutions fall under the definition of a museum? What does it mean to work in a museum? Museum studies encompasses interdisciplinary ideas and capabilities required of a museum professional—from the practical skills needed to operate a museum to theories on the societal role of museums. This course provides a foundation for many of the more concrete skills learned in later courses, including the basic structure of museums as outlined by the topics below. Current issues museums face today are balanced with history of the evolution of museums in the United States. Students will learn through lecture, discussion and in-class activities, reading and writing assignments, museum visits and guest speakers.

Topics include:

  • Current affairs relevant to museums
  • Museum history
  • Mission and vision
  • Roles and organizational structure
  • Strategic planning
  • Working with boards
  • Facilities management
  • Museum architecture
  • Legal and ethical issues in museums

Program Overview

This course is part of the Certificate in Museum Studies .