Joy K. Lintelman, program director
Susan J. Lee
The heritage and museum studies program offers an interdisciplinary major that equips students with the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in careers in museums, galleries, archives, cultural and historical sites, libraries, and the nascent field of digital humanities. Students in this program will critically examine the ways heritage is and has been preserved and presented. Our rapidly changing global environment is witnessing dramatic transformations in information and communication technologies, causing institutions that collect, curate, and categorize knowledge to re-examine how our society curates and preserves our culture, tradition, and heritage. The heritage and museum studies major addresses these challenges by engaging students in contemporary methods, global perspectives, and transferable skills to help them become leaders in the heritage and museum fields.
Many heritage and museum studies students choose a second major or a minor in areas such as art, history, Greek and Roman studies, business, biology, or environmental and sustainability studies.
The undergraduate certificate in heritage and museum studies also makes an excellent complementary degree, paired with study in other fields both in and out of the Humanities.
Learning Goals for the Heritage and Museum Studies Major
The heritage and museum studies program provides experiences that prepare students to achieve the following core competencies:
- Understanding the histories of museums, collections, and exhibitions, and the critical roles that these institutions and practices play in the production of knowledge, culture, tradition, and heritage.
- Developing familiarity with the theory and practice of museums, galleries, archives, cultural and historical sites, and libraries.
- Understanding the role of diverse heritage in societies across the globe, and the connections between cultural roots and human well-being.
- Gaining practical experience in contemporary methods of museum and/or archival work.
- Developing abilities to present historical and cultural information through a variety of means and to a diverse audience.
- Cultivating the knowledge and skill to become technologically savvy and ethically minded professionals in the fields of heritage and cultural preservation, art museums, and archives.
- Practicing cultural understanding as central to engaged local and global citizenship.
- Demonstrating through active participation in the local, regional, and/or global community an awareness of different perspectives on the human experience.
This course is an introduction to the histories, purposes, and responsibilities of heritage organizations as sites for the construction, preservation, and dissemination of memory, identity, and culture. Content analyzes heritage organizations as sources for social responsibility and as tools for understanding cultural, social, and political influences in society.
This course examines the history, ideology, and practice of collecting within institutional contexts. Content explores the foundational principles, theories, and methods associated with the care of collections including appraisal, accessioning, arrangement and description, access, and preservation. The transformation of heritage organizations in the digital age will also addressed, particularly managing collections in a digital environment.
Courses covering various topics of interest in this particular discipline are offered regularly. Contact department or program chair for more information.
HMS 399 is a requirement for Heritage and Museum Studies majors and must be taken in the semester that the student is enrolled in HMS 395. This course is designed to help students make interdisciplinary connections and solidify transferable skills as students collectively reflect on their internship experiences.
This course provides an opportunity for individual students to conduct in-depth study of a particular topic under the supervision of a faculty member. Contact the department or program chair for more information.
This course provides an opportunity for individual students to conduct research in a specific area of study, completed under the direction of a faculty mentor. Specific expectations of the research experience to be determined by the faculty. Repeatable for credit.