Graduate Studies

Museum Studies

Director: Heidi K. Lung
Graduate Committee Chairperson: Heidi K. Lung
Office: WIU-Quad Cities Campus
Telephone: (309) 762-9481
Fax: (309) 762-6989
Location of Program Offering: Quad Cities

Learning Outcomes

For student learning outcomes, please see

Program Description

The certificate program in Museum Studies provides a complementary track of courses that allows students who have obtained a master’s degree or are currently enrolled in a graduate program in another discipline, to explore the field of museum work. It aims to provide knowledge and training in various aspects of museum work including history, theory and practices in museum professions and exhibition development. Students select additional coursework to gain knowledge in museum administration, collections management, education, community development, tourism, fundraising, and art history.

Certificate Requirements

I. Core Courses: 6 s.h.

MST 500 Museum Origins (3)
MST 502 Museum Exhibition (3)

II. Electives: 9 s.h.

Select from the following:

MST 501 Museum Administration (3)
MST 503 Collections Management (3)
MST 515 Museum Education & Evaluation (3)
MST 516 Visitor Studies (3)
MST 520 Independent Study in Museum Education (3, repeatable)
MST 599 Special Topics in Museums (3)
RPTA 424G Fund Raising and Volunteerism in Leisure Services (3)
RPTA 448G Interpretation of Cultural and Environmental Resources (3)
RPTA 460G Sustainable Tourism Development (3)
RPTA 467G Event Planning and Management (3)
ARTE 439G High School Art Methods (3)
ARTH 485G Research in Art History (3)
ARTH 496G History of Contemporary Art (3)

III. Required Practicum: 3 s.h.

MST 560 Practicum in Museums

TOTAL: 18 s.h.

Course Descriptions

Museum Studies (MST)

500 Museum Origins. (3) History of museums; origin, character, and evolution into content-specific institutions; anecdotes and personalities; how museums influenced society and their continuing relevance.

501 Museum Administration. (3) This course will provide students with an overview of management history, theory and practice focusing on the issues involved in managing a non-profit organization. Topics to be covered include strategic planning; ethics and governance; membership; earned income; and marketing and non-profit finance. Students will complete a finance assignment and an in-depth museum management case study. A variety of topics will be covered including the concepts of project management, team building, group problem solving, and managing change. Case studies of actual projects in museums.

502 Museum Exhibition. (3) This course will focus on the development of interpretive museum exhibitions including theory, planning, research, methodologies, design, construction and installation, and the application of new technologies.

503 Museum Collections Management. (3) This course will provide an introduction to the basic theories, methodologies, and current issues relating to archives management. Establishing collections policies; laws, regulations, conventions, and codes that bear on acquisitions, deaccessions, loans and collection care; accountability; access problems. The implementation of collections policies: establishing and managing collections; management procedures and systems; documentation of collections; records preservation; tax codes; data bases; collections access and storage; restitution and repatriation laws and controversies; handling, packing and shipping; inventory control; and responsibilities of a museum registrar

515 Museum Education & Evaluation. (3) Public education is a core function of museums. This course considers the educational role of museums from an exploration of learning styles and theory. Topics include interpretation, school partnerships, curricula development, accessibility, technology, educational outreach, and program evaluation.

516 Visitor Studies. (3) The purpose of this course is to introduce evaluative methods used to design and implement museum visitor studies. Students will explore the uses of front-end, formative, and summative evaluation approaches to better understand visitor experience and improve museum program offerings.

520 Independent Study in Museum Education. (1–3, repeatable to 6) Students may take up to three hours of independent study per semester in areas related to museum studies; art; history; or recreation, park and tourism administration. Students must design the study in consultation with the appropriate faculty member, complete an Application of Independent Study form, and have it signed by the program director before enrolling for the course. Prerequisite: Nine semester hours of completed coursework.

560 Practicum in Museums. (1–3, repeatable to 3) This course is designed to give supervised practical experience in museums.

599 Special Topics in Museum Studies. (3, repeatable under different special topics) A special topics course acknowledges the changing environment of museums. This course focuses on emerging issues in museum professional practice. Students will explore the chosen topic through current research, theory, and practice in museums. Practical application of ideas will take place in museum settings.

Art (ARTE)

439G High School Art Methods. (3) Students are involved in selecting those learning objectives and situations which emanate from a meaningful art curriculum for the secondary school student. Prerequisites: ART 101, 102, 361, or 360/460, or permission of the instructor.

Art (ARTH)

485G Research in Art History. (3, repeatable to 9) An intensive study of a special area of art history selected with the instructor. Prerequisite: Written permission of the instructor.

496G History of Contemporary Art. (3) A survey of post-WWII developments in the visual arts. The primary focus is upon Western art, but attention is also paid to developments in Asian, African, and Latin American countries. The central interpretive ideas and concerns for the course will be drawn from contemporary theory and criticism.

Recreation, Park and Tourism Administration (RPTA)

424G Fund Raising and Volunteerism in Leisure Services. (3) A study of the principles and practices associated with fund raising and utilization of volunteers in public as well as private nonprofit Leisure service organizations. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor.

448G Interpretation of Cultural and Environmental Resources. (3) Develops a basic understanding for interpretation of natural, environmental and cultural resources. Includes philosophy and techniques. Field trip. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor.

460G Sustainable Tourism Development. (3) Provides essentials for successful development of a local tourism economy including organizing, planning, developing, and operation. Prerequisite: RPTA 362 or permission of the instructor.  

467G Event Planning and Management. (3) The application of methods and techniques to plan, implement and evaluate successful community special events. Content includes selection of event themes and coordination of set up, staff, finance, promotion, partnerships, operations and evaluation. Prerequisite: RPTA 332.