University of Mary Washington

Type of education program: 
Program name: 
Museum Studies Program
Historic Preservation

UMW offers an undergraduate degree with a minor in Museum Studies. In addition students may request to pursue an interdisciplinary program or a special major.

The Museum Studies Minor is an interdisciplinary minor program (administered through the Historic Preservation Department) that was developed in conjunction with the three UMW museums (UMW Galleries, Gari Melchers Home and Studio, and the James Monroe Museum) and the departments of anthropology, art and art history, American studies, classics, historic preservation, and history. It provides students with the academic foundation and practical experience necessary for entrance into museum careers. It explores the manner in which museums are organized and operate and how they care for and interpret their collections, serve their audiences, respond to new technologies, and grapple with complex legal and ethical issues unique to their disciplines, including the cultural implications of the work they do and the extent of its impact from the intimate community to the global market. Historic Preservation currently serves as the home department for the Museum Studies Minor and students interested in enrolling in the minor should contact the chair of the department. The requirements for the minor are listed in the Museum Studies section of the Catalog.

Historic Preservation Department offers an interdisciplinary major that acquaints students with a broad range of activities, methods, and theoretical perspectives. Historic Preservation majors explore the theoretical, ethical, and philosophical issues that surround preservation practice. Students in the program may emphasize historic architecture, building forensics, folklore, archaeology, preservation planning, material culture, or museums in their course work. The program focuses on the maintenance, conservation, advocacy, and interpretation of historic sites and structures and on cultural resource management. The acquisition of research and analytical skills is stressed and substantial fieldwork, laboratory, or research assignments are woven into most courses. The academic program of the department is strongly enhanced by the research and public education programs of the UMW Center for Historic Preservation.

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