Frequently Asked Questions for Current MSP Students

What if I am not a Rackham student? How do I register for MSP courses?

MSP 601 and MSP 602 must be registered for as Rackham courses. Students in the School of Information Master of Science Information, the Law School, and any other non-Rackham graduate program must register for MSP courses under Rackham and not your home school, to fulfill Rackham requirements that half of the certificate credit hours must be completed in Rackham in order to be approved for graduation.

Any non-Rackham students who have registered for MSP courses under their home school will need to contact their home department’s registrar, ask to be withdrawn from the MSP courses that were registered for under their school, and re-register for the MSP courses under Rackham.

The complete list of non-Rackham graduate programs is available from their website. If you have questions about your graduate program is part of Rackham, please consult the graduate student coordinator in your home program.

How many courses may I double count?

Students in dual degree programs may double count a limited number of credit hours toward the requirements of both degrees (that is, toward both your primary degree and the Museum Studies Certificate). This is seldom a concern for PhD students, but is something masters students should pay close attention to. No more than one-sixth of the total credit hours required for a master’s degree may be double-counted with a certificate, and not more than one-half the credit hours necessary for the certificate may be double counted with a masters.

To figure out how many credits you can double count: add the minimum number of credits required for each program independently (masters plus certificate), and divide that total by 6. A person can double count up to that many credits. However, a student cannot double count more than half of the credits required for the certificate.

Please note that individual masters programs may have more restrictive policies than those outlined above. Please check with your graduate student coordinator to confirm that you may double count MSP courses with your primary degree.

Do I need to tell my home department about my MSP courses?

Yes! It is very important that you speak with both your academic advisor and graduate student coordinator (if these are different people) in your home department about requirements for your primary degree. Departments have different rules that students must follow regarding required credits, and MSP cannot advise you on the requirements of your home department. You must work with your home program to make sure that you are taking enough classes to be able to appropriately count them for credit when it comes time to apply for graduation so that you will have enough credits for each program/field of study.

I took some museum-related elective courses before I joined MSP. Can they count toward the Certificate?

It is possible to receive retroactive elective credit for a course taken no more than five years prior to submitting the paperwork for elective credit. If you are interested in doing so, please schedule a meeting with the MSP Director to discuss the course’s possible appropriateness as an MSP elective.  If the course is an approved “explicit elective,” you will only need to complete and submit the Application for Elective Credit section of the Guidelines and Application for MSP Electives form. If the course is an “implicit elective” and you produced a final project that dealt with museums, you will need to complete both parts of the above-referenced form and submit a copy of your final project. If you did not produce a museum-focused final project, you will need to write a 5 to 10 page paper that addresses how the issues considered in the course relate to the museum field. Any questions regarding this process should be directed to the MSP Director.

I will be graduating with my primary degree before I complete all of the requirements for the MSP Certificate. Can I still receive the MSP Certificate? When should I file the Dual Degree/Joint Degree form?

Yes, it is quite common for MSP students to receive the certificate after they have graduated with their primary degree. This is especially the case for Master’s students, who often begin MSP in the final year of their MA/MS program.

Master’s students (including Law students) must complete the dual degree/joint form (PhD students do not need to complete this form) in order to be awarded both your primary degree and the MSP certificate. However, you cannot submit this form until you have completed all requirements for both degrees.

That is, if you are ready to apply for your Master’s degree, but have not yet completed your practicum, then you are getting only one degree at graduation and cannot submit the dual degree form. Once you have completed the practicum and had your practicum paper approved by the MSP Director and Associate Director, then you are ready to apply for the certificate (assuming you have successfully completed MSP601, 602 and your electives). It is at this time that we must submit the dual/joint degree form.

If you will be leaving town after graduation, we recommend that you complete as much of the form as you can with your primary department before you graduate (and get your academic advisor’s signature) and then leave it on file with MSP. Even if you will be in town, it is a good idea to do this, so that your primary department can review your status before you graduate and can confirm that there will be no issues with double-counting courses when the time comes to apply for the certificate. We will sign and complete our part once you have fulfilled all MSP requirements, date it with the appropriate date, and forward it to Rackham on your behalf. Once Rackham receives information from us that you have successfully fulfilled all requirements for the certificate they will authorize approval of the MSP certificate. You will not owe any additional tuition or fees. You will receive notification from MSP and from Rackham when the Certificate is awarded.