Museum Studies

The UMSL Difference


Three special characteristics distinguish the UMSL Museum Studies curriculum:

Visitor-centered museology
As a key element in the current processes of change, museums are reevaluating their relationships with the communities and visitors they serve and may serve. This curriculum prepares graduates to work within the emerging new model of museology which places the visitors at the center of the museum's mission.

Theoretical foundations
When a field is changing, one needs theoretical tools for diagnosing the current situation, analyzing what is at stake, and envisioning creative alternatives. This program provides intensive training in process theories drawn from the social sciences, organizational studies, learning theory and creativity theory, with a particular focus on theories that illuminate the processes involved in fundamental change in social institutions and complex organizations. The choice and presentation of theories stress their practical application in organizational diagnosis and action.

Practical Experience
Our students receive Graduate Research Assistantships that include working twenty hours per week in one of the great museums of St. Louis. Because they stay in the same job assignment for their two years in the programs, students graduate with an optimal combination of classroom training and practical experience.