Updated on February 19, 2017 to incorporate additional responses.
This is the review for the Museum Science and Heritage Management MA program at Texas Tech University (TTU).
Here are some facts about the university and program:
- To be considered for fellowships, the deadline for applications are February 1st.
- Students may choose between an internship or thesis to complete the degree.
- Students may also choose a “subdivision” which will be the focus of their 12 elective credits. These subdivision choices change whether students choose the Museum Science or Heritage Management major.
- In addition to the general TTU application, the program requires two recommendations, a scholarship application, and a career summary statement
- The school has a pretty extensive university museum
There have been seven responses for the Museum Science program at TTU who graduated less than a year ago to over 16 years ago. The breakdown is: four graduated 0-5 years ago, two graduated 16 or more years ago, and one graduated 11-15 years ago.
The graduates listed the following as advantages of the program:
- The cost of living in Lubbock, Texas.
- Approachable and engaged professors and professionals that treated students as equals, open to independent study and discussions
- Guaranteed, part-time, Graduate Student Assistant Job in the museum complex
- Classes were relevant and well-rounded in curriculum, including a law class to understand the legal requirements of all non-profits and a class on accreditation
- A lot of opportunities to complete internships in the museum field including the museums on and off campus
- Many of us took the courses offered at the same time, so discussion groups formed outside of classrooms
- The program is a general program, but also included specialty areas; history students mixed with art, geology, paleontology, archaeology, textile, and other students
- There was the potential to study off campus
- Fellowships and Scholarships awarded to out of state students
- Encouraged and funded trips to professional conferences
- Small class size, allowing for a better student to teacher ratio
The disadvantages graduates found in the program were:
- Lack of opportunities for learning new and current technologies in classes
- Not a flexible program. Students who were interested in specific focuses were still required to complete the general track
- The museum in which the program is taught and some courses are outdated
- There was no class on grant writing or conservation (preventative maintenance was offered instead), and while there are a substantial number of heritage management classes offered, more non-profit management classes would have been useful.
Based on these pros and cons when respondents attended, respondents rated the program a 9.29/10.00
Based on how the program is now, respondents gave the program a 9.0/10.0
The change in rating is based on an increase in flexibility of the program and added classes to the program. Please note that only four respondents have kept in touch with the program to answer the second rating.
Four of the respondents do not live near TTU, while three do.
Two of the respondents work at history museums, and one works at an academic gallery or museum, historical house, science museum, specialty museum, or an archaeological site.
Five of the respondents have duties in their job that includes Collections Management, three include Registration, and/or Curatorial duties, two include Exhibitions, Visitor Services/Membership, and/or Events/Outreach, and one includes Archival/Library duties.
Some current job titles are:
- Heritage Education Manager
Some dream jobs are:
- Art Curator
- Director of Collections Management
From a brief click-through about the program online and these responses, the Museum Science and Heritage Management programs seem to have all the right things: professional involvement in the field at conferences and internships, financial aid, assistantships and scholarships, and a good balance between generalist programs and specializations. I attended The Mountain-Plains Museums Association conference in 2015 and can attest that there was a high attendance of students from Texas Tech.
It seems ironic to me that a program that has the majority of its advantages centered on its course content has the same focus in its disadvantages. This may mean that their course offerings are very specialized in the content, or that the courses a student takes depend entirely on the specialization they choose. A student in the Museum Management subdivision probably will not take the same courses as a student in Curatorship. However, these are only possibilities. I will be contacting the program to get some definitive information.
If you have some of your own information to share about the program, fill out the survey, contact me, or comment below! Here is a link to their website and the course catalog if you would like more information. Please make sure to check back for updates on this post!