Jun 21, 2021  
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog 
    
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Heritage Interpretation and Museum Studies, Graduate Certificate


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General Program Information


Department of Appalachian Studies

Ron Roach, Ph.D., Department Chair and Graduate Coordintor
222 Nicks Hall
Box 70556
(423) 439-7494
e-mail: roachr@etsu.edu

Faculty: Appalachian Studies: Lee Bidgood; Rebecca Fletcher; Jane MacMorran; Nate Olson; Ted Olson; Ron Roach; Communication and Storytelling Studies: Amber Kinser, Delanna Reid; History: Tom Lee, Steve Nash; additional faculty in other academic units who teach related courses.

This interdisciplinary graduate certificate represents a partnership between several academic departments and units, including Appalachian Studies, Biological Sciences, Communication Studies, Geosciences, History, Liberal Studies, and Sociology and Anthropology.

The Heritage Interpretation and Museum Studies Graduate Certificate is a 21-credit interdisciplinary program for students who would like to increase their knowledge of museum studies and heritage interpretation. The certificate prepares students to pursue a career in a museum, heritage site, or similar organization. The certificate may also prepare students to pursue additional graduate studies in heritage interpretation, museum studies, public history, or related fields. The certificate is also quite helpful to those who are already working in the field and wish to enhance their professional skills or credentials.

Northeast Tennessee is home to a large number of museums and heritage sites, and cultural heritage tourism is one of the most important and fastest-growing segments of the region’s economy. This certificate provides knowledge and skills for students interested in this field. This program is distinguished from similar programs in that it strongly emphasizes the communication and storytelling skills that are essential to the creative interpretation of natural and cultural resources. 

Heritage interpretation is the way in which natural, cultural, or historic resources are presented to the public, helping them to experience the resources, discover meaning, and form connections. The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) defines heritage as “the legacy that we receive from the past, that we experience in the present, and that we will pass on to future generations.” Heritage encompasses both natural heritage (features of the natural landscape) and cultural heritage (the whole range of cultural resources created or built by humans in the past). How a community interprets and uses its heritage plays an important role in sustainable development by helping to build a sense of community among diverse groups and individuals, creating jobs and economic growth through heritage tourism, building respect for history and for cultural and social diversity, and challenging prejudice and stereotypes.

This graduate certificate can be an excellent complement to master’s degrees or graduate certificates in several disciplines, including anthropology, Appalachian studies, archival studies, biological sciences, communication and storytelling studies, geosciences, history, public administration, sociology, and storytelling.

Admission Requirements


In addition to the admissions criteria set by the ETSU School of Graduate Studies, the following are required:

  1. Three letters of recommendation from academic or professional mentors or associates.
  2. A formal writing sample, such as a paper previously submitted for credit in an undergraduate or graduate course.

Articulation Agreement


A student who completes the graduate certificate in Heritage Interpretation and Museum Studies and later wishes to pursue the MA in Appalachian Studies may transfer up to 18 certificate credits into the master’s degree with the approval of the degree graduate coordinator and the School of Graduate Studies. All transfer credit, however, must meet GPA requirements and must be within the six-year matriculation limits.

A student who completes the graduate certificate in Heritage Interpretation and Museum Studies and later wishes to pursue the MA in Communication and Storytelling Studies may transfer up to 18 certificate credits into the master’s degree with the approval of the degree graduate coordinator and the School of Graduate Studies. All transfer credit, however, must meet GPA requirements and must be within the six-year matriculation limits.

A student who completes the graduate certificate in Heritage Interpretation and Museum Studies and later wishes to pursue the MA in Liberal Studies may transfer up to 12 certificate credits into the master’s degree with the approval of the degree graduate coordinator and the School of Graduate Studies. All transfer credit, however, must meet GPA requirements and must be within the six-year matriculation limits.

Heritage Interpretation and Museum Studies, Graduate Certificate Requirements: 21 credits


Required Courses 9 credits
Advisor Approved Electives 9 credits
Practicum/Internship 3 credits
TOTAL 21 credits

Advisor Approved Electives: 9 credits


Choose 9 credits from the following areas, based on interest and professional goals:

Practicum/Internship: 3 credits


Taken in the appropriate department, according to student interest and professional goals.

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