Art History, MA

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Learn about the history of art and museum practices from award-winning faculty while exploring the cutting edge of cultural industries, opening up a new world of inquiry.

The MA in art with a concentration in art history is a comprehensive degree program designed to train students to engage with visuality in multiple ways.

A diverse curriculum fosters critical understanding of aesthetics, production, patronage and consumption of art. Nine internationally recognized faculty members offer classes covering many cultures, time periods and geographies, using multiple approaches and methodologies. The program stresses intersections between disciplines, borders, margins, points of mediation and technological developments throughout history and offers focused study in the areas of images and digital technologies, art in social and political contexts, and the histories and theories of visual culture.

At A Glance

Art History, MA

Plan of study

The Plan of study is the required curriculum to complete this graduate level program.

View Plan of Study

Degree requirements

Required Core (3 credit hours)
ARS 501 Methodologies and Art History (3)

Focus Area Coursework (12 credit hours)
seminars (12)

Electives (6 credit hours)

Research (3 credit hours)
ARS 592 Research (3)

Culminating Experience (6 credit hours)
ARS 599 Thesis (6)

Additional Curriculum Information
This program must include a minimum of 24 credit hours in art history, with at least 12 of these earned in 500-level seminars.

Four courses in the areas shown below are required, with two of these courses outside the geographical area of specialization:

  • ancient
  • Asian
  • contemporary
  • global
  • Latin American
  • Medieval
  • modern
  • pre-Columbian
  • Renaissance

For elective coursework, students may choose to take either 500-level courses in art history or related areas, such as in anthropology, history, museum studies, religion or up to six credit hours of the following omnibus courses:

ARS 584 Internship
ARS 590 Reading and Conference
ARS 592 Research

Students must have reading knowledge of one research language in addition to English. The selected language needs to be appropriate for the area of research concentration and must be approved by the faculty mentor. This requirement can be met by taking a language for reading knowledge course in the School of International Letters and Cultures with a grade of "B" or better or by passing the Graduate Foreign Language Examination offered by SILC, which requires a fee.

Admission requirements

Applicants must fulfill the requirements of both the Graduate College and the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts.

Applicants are eligible to apply to the program if they have earned a bachelor's or master's degree from a regionally accredited institution. In addition, applicants must have an undergraduate major or minor in art history or at least four upper-division art history courses in which a GPA of 3.00 or higher was maintained.

Applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in the last 60 hours of their first bachelor's degree program, or applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in an applicable master's degree program.

All applicants must submit:

  1. graduate admission application and application fee
  2. official transcripts
  3. GRE scores
  4. three letters of recommendation.
  5. one formal research paper for review
  6. statement of intent
  7. proof of English proficiency

Additional Application Information
An applicant whose native language is not English must provide proof of English proficiency regardless of current residency.

The statement of intent should be one-page and indicate the objectives for graduate study.

Students should see the program website for application deadlines and admission terms.

Information about this program

Visit the School of Art website for full details.