New master of arts degree program to develop agile, innovative museum leaders

Friday, September 25, 2009

TU’s partnership with world-renowned Gilcrease Museum makes new museum science and management program a natural fit

The University of Tulsa and Gilcrease Museum have announced a new graduate program that combines art, chemistry, history, business and anthropology to develop managers prepared to lead a museum’s complex and diverse needs.

The master of arts in museum science and management (MSM) degree program at TU provides both interdisciplinary coursework and hands-on experience designed to prepare future museum professionals in the areas of:

  • museum administration,
  • fiscal management, 
  • collections care and research, and 
  • museum education.

The MSM program requires 33-credit hours for completion of the master’s degree. The curriculum couples classroom instruction with working in a museum in order to apply theory to practice. Internships may be undertaken at the Gilcrease Museum or other approved museums and facilities to broaden the student's academic and experiential base.

Robert Pickering, senior curator at Gilcrease Museum and director of the museum science and management program, will lead the interdisciplinary curriculum. He will leverage his more than 20 years of experience to prepare students who want to pursue leadership roles in museums of the 21st century.

“The museum science and management program makes full use of the TU and Gilcrease partnership and emphasizes versatility in managing the many aspects of a museum,” said Pickering, who joined Gilcrease Museum in July.

The program was approved this summer by the TU Board of Trustees. Students can begin enrolling in the program starting with the spring 2010 semester.

The interdisciplinary program was formed by utilizing a combination of existing TU graduate-level courses with newly created courses specifically geared towards the program. TU academic departments that contribute to the MSM program include:

  • Anthropology
  • Chemistry 
  • Communication 
  • History 
  • Marketing 
  • Religion and Philosophy

TU and Gilcrease Museum began a historic partnership in 2008 where the institutions use their core strengths to advance the educational goals of each. The staff of Gilcrease Museum and TU faculty collaborate to create in-depth opportunities to specialize in the curation, care, and exhibition of American art, archaeology, ethnology and archives.

For more information about the master’s degree program in museum science and management, visit or contact the Graduate School at (918) 631-2336.

About The University of Tulsa
The University of Tulsa is a private university providing a comprehensive educational experience to 4,200 students from across the United States and around the world. With outstanding facilities, a vibrant residential campus and a student-faculty ratio of 10 to 1, TU has been recognized as one of the 50 “Best Value” private universities by USA Today and the Princeton Review, and ranked 88th among doctoral institutions and 50th among private universities on U.S. News & World Report’s 2010 survey.

About Gilcrease Museum
Gilcrease Museum holds the world’s largest and most comprehensive collection of art and artifacts of the American West, including an unparalleled collection of Native American art and artifacts, as well as thousands of historical documents, maps and manuscripts. Gilcrease is recognized as one of the country's premier facilities for the preservation and study of American art and history. In 2008, the City of Tulsa and The University of Tulsa entered into a historic public-private partnership to manage the city-owned museum, providing additional opportunities to preserve and advance the museum’s collection.

John Bury