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Art History | Master's Program

Art History (MA)

Offered by the Department of Art, College of Arts and Sciences.

Admission to the Program

In addition to meeting the minimum university requirements for graduate study, applicants should hold a bachelor of arts degree from an accredited college or university. Admission is based on the academic record, Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores, two letters of recommendation from professors with whom work was taken recently, a writing sample, and favorable judgement by the department graduate admissions committee.

At the department's discretion, students whose records indicate a strong aptitude for graduate study but whose undergraduate major was not in art history, and who have completed at least 18 credit hours of art history, may be considered for admission with a deficiency of two courses (6 credit hours). If admitted, they must complete those two courses (taken at the advanced undergraduate or graduate level for 6 credit hours) in addition to the regular MA program requirements.

The MA requires four semesters of full-time study. Part-time students are advised that the program cannot be completed through night courses only, and graduate courses, except independent study or internships, are not offered during the summer sessions.

The program prepares students for varied career options, including further study at the PhD level, teaching in high schools or community colleges, diverse types of museum work (curatorial, development, education, registrar, etc.), historical preservation research, library and archival positions, editing, and other employment opportunities.

Degree Requirements

  • 30-36 credit hours of approved graduate work.
    • For the 30-credit hour program, students take ten courses that focus on discipline-oriented, research-based academic offerings, including the option of a 3-credit internship.
    • The 36-credit hour program with a museum studies specialization requires two additional approved courses in museum studies, arts administration, conservation, or related fields.
    • Both programs provide excellent grounding in art historical methods, analytical skills, and research practices with conventional period specializations in European and American art from early Renaissance through contemporary, plus Asian art and other non-Western topics.
  • Tool of research: Satisfied by completion of ARTH-600 Approaches to Art History (3)¬†with grade of B or better.
  • One written comprehensive examination demonstrating knowledge of the candidate's major field (Renaissance/ Baroque, Modern European, American/Contemporary, or Asian art). Exams are given twice a year, in January and May.
  • Advancement to candidacy after completion of 18 credit hours with a grade point average of 3.00 or higher (on a 4.00 scale) and satisfactory completion of the comprehensive examination.
  • Master's thesis on approved research topic in student's area of specialization, developed under the supervision of faculty member in that area with second committee member from Art History faculty and optional third committee member from related area outside the Art History program.

Course Requirements

Required (9 credit hours)

Field of Specialization (9 credit hours)

  • 9 credit hours (3 courses) in a field of specialization

Additional Approved Courses (12 credit hours)

  • 12 credit hours (4 courses) in additional approved courses

Museum Studies Specialization (6 credit hours)

  • 6 credit hours of approved coursework or internship