Museology Master of Arts Program

December 14, 2016


Welcome to the UW Museology Graduate Program’s blog. As Program Director, I’m delighted to write the first in what will be an ongoing series of posts intended to provide prospective students with a window into our program – issues and ideas we’re thinking about, and highlights of the work we’re doing.

Be inspired. Be inspiring. That’s our program tagline. It hints at our larger goal of exciting and empowering students to use museums to create strong communities. We believe that museums are a significant part of the learning landscape, places where people better understand themselves, others, and the world around them. We are committed to museums as forces for social good, forces that can change the lives of individuals and the fabric of communities. That’s what gets us all up in the morning, and motivates us to come to campus, even on the rainiest of Seattle days.

Our program has 16 affiliate instructors and 4 core faculty, each one contributing specific expertise and experience to the program. As I write this post, our core faculty are wrapping up Fall quarter. Wilson O’Donnell taught Introduction to Museology, in which students are now making culminating presentations on recent museum controversies, from cultural appropriation at the Met to the value of Poke stops in museums. Kris Morrissey is planning her next course, Dialogue-Based Programming in Museums, in which students will participate in a 2-day training session on planning, facilitating and managing dialogue. And Angie Ong is working with student groups conducting evaluation studies for Seattle museums, including the Henry Art Gallery, Living Computer Museum, Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI), and Pacific Science Center.

Our students are also hard at work. In September, we welcomed a cohort of 34 first year students, with a diverse range of backgrounds – anthropology, art history, business, education, history, illustration, and science. Half of these first year students are in paid work study positions in museums across Seattle. Our 37 second year students have designed their graduate thesis, and are planning their data collection or project implementation – topics range from ghost tours in historic homes to interpretive planning in science museums to preservation of video game collections.

As the holidays approach, and our January 15th admissions deadline looms, we are excited to select our next cohort of Museology Graduate students. If you are interested in applying, please feel free to contact me directly with questions or just to talk further about whether our program is the right fit for you. In the meantime, we wish you all a healthy and happy holiday season.

— Jessica Luke