Museum Studies Program Guidelines for Directed Research Projects

(CMST 6502/3 credits)

Directed Research (DR) projects are permitted by the Museum Studies Program under special circumstances. By their very nature, DR projects are intended to provide a student with an opportunity for an in-depth research project or special study that will enhance - in a clear and convincing manner - the student’s program of study or field of interest. DR projects usually are undertaken with an outside subject specialist, if appropriate, or a GW faculty member, if willing.

Directed Research projects must be cleared in advance of registration by the student’s Museum Studies advisor who reviews a formal proposal for the project, accompanied by the curriculum vita (CV) of the project’s sponsor. A formal proposal is a short prospectus (2-3 pages) that describes the project and includes a bibliography. The sponsor is responsible for providing the Museum Studies Program with a formal evaluation of the project (used for grading) when it is completed.

Directed Research projects are the equivalent of a 3-credit class and therefore must represent a substantial undertaking on the part of the student. The student must choose one of two ways to structure his/her Directed Research project:

Option A:

Research Paper. It is expected that the paper exceed 30 pages, including an extensive bibliography. In all instances, the student needs to produce a copy of his/her work in a timely manner for grading by his or her Museum Studies/DR advisor.

Option B:

Museum-Based Project (similar to an internship project). It is expected that the student will turn in copies of everything produced for the project, accompanied by written explanation in a folder or notebook.

All paperwork for a DR project goes through the Museum Studies Program Head.

The timetable for completing the project is determined by the student and his/her sponsor. DR projects are usually completed within the semester of registration but on occasion, they may be extended. When that occurs the student receives an “IPG” [In Progress] grade until the study is complete.

The student is responsible for turning in the necessary paperwork, along with the approved project proposal to the Museum Studies Advisor. The necessary paperwork includes: Directed Research Checklist, Statement of Expectations (Project Proposal) and the supervisor’s CV.