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MA in Art History

MA student leading outreach program

This degree involves broad exposure to the history of art as well as focused attention to one of the department’s major areas. The 36-hour Master of Arts degree is designed to develop research and writing skills that will be useful in a professional career in one of the art historical disciplines.

Application window for 2024-2025 school year is now open

The funding deadline for MA in Art History is February 5th

Graduate Application


Entrance into the Master’s program usually requires a Bachelor of Arts degree with a concentration in Undergraduate Art History courses and reading knowledge of one foreign language. Admission and funding of students is competitive and based on scholastic record, statement of purpose (outlining relevant experiences, background, research interests and professional goals), three letters of recommendation, research and writing proficiency, and language capabilities.


The program is designed to be completed within 2 years.

Course Requirements

36 credit hours of coursework

During their first semester, full-time students (minimum 9 credits per semester) are required to take Methods of Art History and two additional courses at the 5000-level. During the second semester, students usually take three 5000-level courses. During the second year, students take three courses each semester for a total of 36 credits.

The M.A. track requires:

  • Methods of Art History
  • A course in a field outside the western tradition
  • A minimum of three courses—constituting a major field—in one of the three Fields of Study: the Post-Ancient and Medieval World, Modernities and Modernisms, and the Visual Cultures of the Americas (VCA).
  • One course in two of the Fields of Study outside of your major field
The M.A. Art History track allows for an optional thesis path, which would require (in lieu of two art history elective courses):
  • A directed independent study aimed at developing research towards the thesis
  • A Masters’ thesis

Language Requirement

To succeed in their graduate coursework, students must have a reading knowledge of one research language. This requirement is met by French, German, Spanish or another research language appropriate to the student’s field of study, to be approved by the major professor in consultation with the Graduate Studies Committee. The requirement is fulfilled either by passing an exam in reading knowledge or successfully completing an intermediate-level course. Although it is highly recommended that students meet the foreign language requirement before beginning the program, the requirement must be met by the end of the first year of coursework.

M.A. Progress Review

All faculty members in the department review and evaluate each student’s progress toward the end of the first academic year. In early March, students submit a self-assessment of their progress through the program and an M.A. Review Cover Sheet.

For more information, please contact Academic Coordinator Emily Johnson.