Graduate Art History Curriculum

Master of Arts Program in Art History

Requirements for the Master of Arts Degree

These requirements are in addition to the general requirements for the Master of Arts degree. Full details about program policies and expectations may be found in the handbook for MA candidates; each incoming student may obtain a copy of this handbook from the department office and is responsible for all schedules and guidelines outlined in it.

Students admitted into the program may pursue the MA degree along two tracks of matriculation. The Research Track is designed for students who wish to pursue advanced scholarly studies beyond the MA degree and prepares them for PhD studies in art history or allied disciplines. The Professional Track is designed for students who consider the MA degree a professional degree that enhances a current profession or leads to a new career. Potential students choose which of the two tracks they wish to pursue on their program application in order to receive the proper matriculation advice and guidance from department faculty.

Program Requirements: Research Track (30 credits)

1. ARTH 740 (Art History Methods Colloquium) or undergraduate equivalent (3 cr.)
2. Art History Electives (24–27 cr.). Students must pass at least one course in three of five broad areas: Ancient, Medieval, Renaissance-Baroque, Modern-Contemporary, and Asia/Americas. Two courses must be seminars. Students may opt to take two graduate courses (6 cr.) in allied disciplines such as History, Literature, and Media Studies.
3. Successful completion of the Art History Qualifying Exam* (normally taken within the first semester of matriculation). The exam is intended to demonstrate a general knowledge of the major monuments in the history of art.
4. Demonstration of proficiency in two foreign languages relevant to art historical research and scholarship.
5. A Master’s Thesis proposal prepared under the supervision of the student’s MA thesis advisor (a full time faculty member in the department) and approved by all full-time members of the faculty.
6. A Master’s Thesis (3 cr.). The thesis is an original, lengthy art historical argument supported by extensive research in primary and secondary sources. It is written under the supervision of a faculty advisor and approved by both the faculty advisor and a second reader.

Program Requirements: Professional Track (30 credits)

1. ARTH 740 (Art History Methods Colloquium) or undergraduate equivalent (3 cr.)
2. Art History Electives (27–30 cr.). Students must pass at least one course in three of five broad areas: Ancient, Medieval, Renaissance-Baroque, Modern-Contemporary, and Asia/Americas. Two courses must be seminars. Students may opt to take two graduate courses (6 cr.) in allied disciplines such as History, Literature, and Media Studies.
3. Successful completion of the Art History Qualifying Exam* (normally taken in the first semester of matriculation). The exam is intended to demonstrate a general knowledge of the major monuments in the history of art.

*About the exam: The department has created a dedicated website for the qualifying exam. For a more in-depth description of the exam, the full list of the artworks that students are required to know, and study photos of each work, go to MA Qualifying Exam – Study Images.

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