Core Courses – 21 credits total.
Core courses are obligatory for all students enrolled in the M.A. program. They include:

(scroll down for full course information)

  • Museum Management: Inside Today’s Museums (3 credits)
  • The Value of Art: Art Criticism & Art Market (3 credits)
  • The Art of Display: Museology & Curatorship (3 credits)
  • Art Theory- From the Beginning to the “End” of Art (3 credits)
  • Thesis Preparation (2 credits)
  • Principles of Fundraising (1 credit)
  • Principles of Business: Accounting, Finance and Economics (3 credits)
  • Principles of Business: Management and Marketing (3 credits)

Museum Management: Inside Today’s Museums (3 credits)

In this course, students will learn the fundamentals of contemporary museum organization and administration, focusing on both the theoretical challenges that face 21st century museum directors as well as the practical aspects of a museum’s day-to-day operations. No longer considered treasure palaces with one authoritative voice, museums today are engaged with their audiences in both local and global settings; they are challenged to justify their relevance in the public sphere, constantly confronting issues of authority, social responsibility, and ethics. Students will consider these topics while learning about the practical areas of museum management, including leadership, planning, development, finance, governance, audience, digital museums, law, cultural patrimony and the assessment of museums’ public value. Through readings, lectures, online interviews with directors, and social media websites as well as site visits to Rome’s unparalleled collections and museums, students will encounter an international spectrum of critical and creative managers who are transforming museums and professional practices. While these topics are often associated with the role of director, this course is relevant to all students who wish to manage any assets or resources inside a museum, including personnel, finance, marketing, collections, curation, education, conservation, buildings, or equipment.

The Value of Art: Art Criticism and the Art Market (3 credits)

This course examines the issue of the value of art from the point of view of traditional aesthetic approaches to art as well as from the point of view of the contemporary art market. Students will be able to examine relevant theories that address the issue of the artistic value in terms of aesthetic, historical, cultural, social, and material/economic value. Students will also learn about the way in which the market price is made, and different factors that impact the formation of the price and how the price is related to the qualities/characteristics of particular artworks. This course will enable students to think critically of the social impact of artistic and broader cultural values and the way these values are structured.

The Art of Display: Museology & Curatorship (3 credits)

In this course, students will study principles and practices relating to core curatorial functions in today’s museums, which are more often thought of sites of social interaction than historical treasure palaces. The focus will be on the curator’s primary responsibilities, including the development of permanent collections and the creation of exhibitions. Students will learn about the relationship of curatorship to the museum’s mission, ethical and other challenges facing museums, and how technology is changing the ways museums fulfill their curatorial responsibilities. They will also become acquainted with curatorial relationships with collectors and other museum donors and the procedures for realizing successful exhibitions. Following case studies of best curatorial practices internationally and making site visits to Rome’s unparalleled private and public art collections, archaeological sites and museums, students will acquire the necessary knowledge and analytical skills to form their own critiques and ideas about curatorial roles and exhibitions. They will be encouraged to develop the broadest possible thinking about the evolving role of the curator in the 21st century. Conceived as a practicum, emphasis will be placed on current practice rather than theory.

Art Theory - From the Beginning to the “End” of Art (3 credits)

This course examines relevant theories of art, from the beginning of the modern understanding of “art” (which was finally constructed in the eighteenth century, based on the Renaissance and post-Renaissance developments in the society and culture), till the so called “ends” of art, art history and art theory, in the late-twenty century discourses.
Students will be able to critically examine the modern, western European concept of art and its social implications, and to understand the place of artworks in the broader intellectual, cultural, ideological and social environment.

Thesis Preparation (2 credits)

This course prepares students for their M.A. thesis. Classes are designed to help students, through seminar discussions, to define their own field of research for their MA thesis. The purpose of this seminar is also to teach students how to formulate a problem statement, and how to choose an adequate methodological approach, which will lead to a solid structure and successful completion of their MA thesis. Students will report on their progress and discuss with other students methodological issues and difficulties that they may face during the preliminary work on their thesis.

Principles of Fundraising (1 credit)

Fundraising is a complex and potentially very time-consuming task; so that a carefully targeted approach will certainly save time and produce better results for the hard-pressed academic, archaeologist or heritage manager. This course will examine the matter of funding from the applicant’s point of view, looking at questions such as how to choose an appropriate funding source (government, private, corporation, NGO or individual donor) and develop a relationship with them, how ethics impinge on that choice, and the reporting procedures and proof of sustainability which may be required if you are successful. At the end of the course, students will be challenged in a group project to produce a complete campaign plan for an actual non-profit organization.

Principles of Business: Accounting, Finance and Economics (3 credits)

This course provides a survey of accounting, finance and economics basics. Accounting methodologies, financial analysis, valuation, and macro and micro economics (fiscal and tax policy, privatization, investment, tariff/subsidy, regulation), are studied for both large and small organizations and enterprises. Case studies, lecture and in class exercises provide for a practical approach to financial business management. Valuation, international macroeconomics, public goods, externalities and the role of business in society are also examined. The course assumes no prior knowledge of business techniques or terminology.

Principles of Business: Management and Marketing (3 credits)

This course provides a survey of business management, marketing and operations basics. Management theory, marketing, strategy, IT, human resources, operations and other functional business areas are studied in both large and small organizations and enterprises. Case studies, videos, lectures and in class exercises provide for a highly practical approach to day-to-day business management. Most topics are studied from an international perspective with particular emphasis on destination, food, cultural heritage management. The course assumes no prior knowledge of business techniques or terminology.