This is the review for the Master of Arts in Museum Studies at the University of Oklahoma. For starters, here are some facts about the university and program:
- The degree is entirely online though they offer on-campus classes depends on the number of students enrolled at each location
- The University of Oklahoma of Liberal Studies publishes the Journal of Museum Studies, that from the sound of it, gives students and professors the chance to publish.
- The program is a 33 credit course and requires the completion of a thesis or research project or a museum elective with an exam at the end
These facts were found here.
So far, there have been four responses about the program at the University of Oklahoma from alumni who graduated less than a year ago to 10 years ago. These include three respondents who graduated 0-5 years ago and one respondent who graduated 6-10 years ago.
The advantages of the program are, according to the respondents:
- Online which means students can work full-time from anywhere and guaranteed in-state tuition
- R1 (U.S. rating system for research universities) school name that provides the expected level of support and opportunities for the ranking
- Professors from specialty museums all across the country and from different disciplines and job fields
- Covers a wide range of museum topics, from Native American museums to budget planning
- Fairly rigorous reading and writing assignments
- Good mix of classes, both theory and practical
The disadvantages of the program are, according to the respondents:
- Some on-campus class work would be ideal
- Program was good, but it seemed more geared to museum professionals already working in the field
- Assignments were not very thorough and relatively easy
- Not enough interaction and discussion with professors and other students.
- Professors did not post taped lectures – all communication and learning was done via the assignments.
The overall score of the program based on how it was when the respondents attended: 7.00/10.00
One respondent stated she was aware of changes to the program stating that “it seems the program has evolved into higher-level thinking – definitely more critical thinking is involved in this program than when I attended.” which raises the rating of the program as it is now to a 7.00/10.00
Three of the four respondents do not live in the same area as the University of Oklahoma.
Two respondents work at specialty museums, one works for the National Park Service, and one works at a science museum.
In answering the question, “Which best describes the aspect of work you do in museums currently?” Three included curatorial duties and collections management, two listed registration and administration, and one included exhibitions, education, archival/library duties, and/or visitor services/membership.
Based on these few responses and looking around the website, this program looks like a decent option, especially if a student is looking to continue working full-time while earning their master’s degree. Though the program does look inexpensive, there does seem to a difference in price based on whether or not a student is a resident of Oklahoma (see Tuition and Fees page). If you would like more information about the program, check out their website. If you have something to add or refute, please comment below, contact me, and/or fill out the survey!
I will be updating this post as I receive more responses so be sure to check back!