This is the review for Baylor Universtiy’s M.A. in Museum Studies program. Here are some quick facts about the University and its program:
- Baylor University is the “oldest continually operating university in Texas”
- As of Fall 2016, there are 2,611 graduate students enrolled at Baylor
- The university offers scholarships and loans as well graduate assistantships through the Museum Studies program.
- Baylor University is the home to the Mayborn Museum Complex and the Martin Museum of Art
This review is based on four responses from students who graduated less than a year ago up to 10 years ago. The breakdown is 75% graduated 0-5 years ago and 25% graduated 6-10 years ago.
The advantages these graduates found are:
- Professor to student ratio
- Most of the professors are very invested in the students and have connections in the museum world
- Getting to attend the Texas Association of Museums (TAM) Conference which is a good opportunity to network
- Hands-on experience and field trips
- Required classes on the basic disciplines in museums (Education, Administration, Collections Management) and other elected classes to choose from that can easily focus your study on a certain area of museum work
- All classes are held in Baylor’s on-campus museum
- Student work study positions, graduate assistantships, and internships are available through Baylor’s on-campus museum and oral history program as well as museums within the Waco area
- A master’s thesis, project or internship is required for completion of the degree
- Ability to take an independent study
- Several local alums in area museums for mentorship
The disadvantages these graduates found are:
- No concentration available
- Limited classes based on current professors; heavy focus on decorative arts and collections – education classes are offered
- Some big-name Texas museums are nearby to gain experience at, but none that will (probably) be known nationally
- Does not offer more in-depth study for a specific discipline within museum work
There was a lot of focus on Texas history and museums
- Graduate assistantships are only available to 2nd year master’s students
- The cost of the program as Baylor is a private college
- Not all the classes were offered due to lack of professors to teach them
- Some of the classes seemed to be based on the professor’s personal interest, not what would be most beneficial to an emerging museum professional
The average rating of the program as it was when the graduates attended is 7.5/10.0
The average rating of the program as it is now is 7.7/10.0
The change is due to the program offering more courses.
100% of respondents do not live near Baylor University
50% of graduates work in art museums, 25% work in historic houses, 25% work in a nonprofit.
100% of graduates have duties in their jobs that include collections management, 50% of graduates have duties that include registration, curatorial responsibilities, and visitor services. 25% of graduates have duties that include education and administration.
Some examples of current job titles are:
Some dream jobs are:
- Education Director
- Registrar/Collections Manager
I would say, after a brief overview of the museum studies website and reading the responses, the program at Baylor University is good. I like that they encourage attending conferences and apparently the alumni do too. Other than that the program is not particularly spectacular, nothing really makes the program unique.
Cost is almost always an issue which makes the assistantship only offered in the 2nd year a disadvantage. However, the wording online says, “They [the students] may request an assistantship on a semester by semester basis after they have been admitted into the program,” which could also be interpreted as being allowed to apply even in the spring semester. I will hopefully have some clarification on that in the future.
If you would like to learn more from the source, this is the link to the website!