Frequently Asked Questions

Does the program support attendance at conferences and professional meetings?

The Museum Studies Program encourages students to attend conferences and professional meetings. They're great places to meet future employers and colleagues, and they can offer specialized training that goes beyond what you can get from courses. Get into the meeting habit; you will be continuing your professional education for the rest of your career.

Are there available scholarships?

Many professional meetings offer scholarships for current students, and we encourage you to apply for them. Museum Studies faculty members are always willing to provide letters of recommendation, so do not hesitate to ask. Applying for scholarship support requires planning ahead, so pay attention to the meeting notices that come to you from the Museum Studies listserv and monitor the websites of large organizations such as the American Association of State and Local History, the National Council on Public History, and the American Association of Museums.

Does the Museum Studies program provide subsidies?

Our budget is limited, but the program is able to subsidize students who are seeking the certificate for one conference or meeting each year for up to $150. University policy requires that this subsidy be in the form of a reimbursement following attendance at the meeting.

When you identify a meeting that you want to attend, please direct a letter (an e-mail is fine) requesting support to Tracy Jentzsch (jentzsch@udel.edu). Attach a copy of the program or provide a link to the online information about the meeting. When your attendance is approved, we will reply via e-mail. Following the meeting, please submit receipts to Tracy for reimbursement. Also, please provide a brief report on your experience at the meeting. Be aware that this report may be edited and put up on the web site as news! You may also want to provide one or more digital images from the meeting.

Will I still be able to graduate on time if I do the course work for the Museum Studies Certificate?

Department requirements for graduate work vary considerably, but most students have found that they can distribute the nine minimum hours of course work over two years without difficulty. Several departments offer courses that can be cross-listed as Museum Studies, one of which can be counted towards the Museum Studies certificate requirements. The internship may be taken either during the semester or during breaks in the academic calendar, including summer. Students registering for a fall internship may complete most of their hours during the summer prior to that semester.

Can the Museum Studies program help with transportation to professional meetings?

Another way that the Museum Studies Program supports student participation in meetings is through reserving and paying for the use of University of Delaware Motor Pool vehicles. These are available for approved use by graduate students. Tracy will help you reserve the vehicle.

What is proper dress for conference and professional meeting attendance?

Remember that you are presenting yourself as a future colleague and dress for the occasion. Avoid jeans unless you are involved with a hands-on workshop that will make a mess. For men, a collared shirt with a nice sweater or blazer and slacks is appropriate. If it is a large professional meeting (AAM, AASLH), consider breaking out a tie. For women, a skirt or slacks, a collared shirt or a businesslike knit top with a sweater or jacket is recommended. Accessorize with jewelry or a scarf.

Should I have my own business cards?

Computers and laser printers have made it easy to create a simple business card for yourself. Don't print out scores of them, but do carry some in your wallet or purse. The card should be printed on heavy stock and should contain your name, your identity (graduate student in a department, museum studies student), and up-to-date contact information including your cell phone and e-mail address. Your e-mail address is another part of your professional identity; do not use nicknames or other gimmicks in the address. Avoid cute icons or other novelties in your card design.

What is the best way to stay networked with contacts?

Don't pepper everyone you talk to with expressions of gratitude, but do send thank-you notes to people with whom you have had substantive conversations, especially if they are offering advice and contacts or could be a future employer or co-worker. The note can be simple, to the effect that you enjoyed talking with the person, that you look forward to future contacts, and that you hope that you have their permission to contact them for information or advice in the future.

Edward Alexander

The Alexander Endowment

Following Edward Alexander's death in 2003, members of his family decided to commemorate his contributions to the museum field, and his love of the University of Delaware, with the creation of the Edward P. Alexander Endowment. Read More

Featured Courses

MSST 608: Public History: Resources, Research, and Practice

Team-taught seminar that acquaints students with the function and resources of American historical organizations and how to use these resources in the non-academic setting for productive historical research. Addressed to those pursuing careers in public history and teaching and scholarship. Cross-listed with HIST608. Read more

Focuses on the planning, designing, and fabrication of economical museum exhibits for changing exhibition rooms and alternative spaces. Emphasizes time-, money- and labor-saving technqiues. Students design and produce a temporary exhibit in the University Gallery or in a local museum.

MSST 866: Independent Study

Focuses on the planning, designing, and fabrication of economical museum exhibits for changing exhibition rooms and alternative spaces. Emphasizes time-, money- and labor-saving technqiues. Students design and produce a temporary exhibit in the University Gallery or in a local museum. Read more

Focuses on the planning, designing, and fabrication of economical museum exhibits for changing exhibition rooms and alternative spaces. Emphasizes time-, money- and labor-saving technqiues. Students design and produce a temporary exhibit in the University Gallery or in a local museum.

What is SWAT?

Each year during the winter break, MSST program director Dr. Kasey Grier leads a group of students to small museum for two weeks of hands-on experience. Projects include inventorying, cataloging and rehousing items. Students follow up these activities with detailed reports outlining thier work and providing recommendations for future collections management activities.

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