Art History Program

MA in Art History

The successful completion of the MA requires thirty hours of coursework that must include:

8110: Introduction to Graduate Study

Three distribution requirements that cover three chronological periods: Ancient, Medieval-Baroque, and Modern.

Distribution requirements can be taken at either the 7000 or 8000 levels.

The Ancient requirement is fulfilled only by courses in Greek and Roman art and archaeology.

Students can also enroll in a 3000-level course as a readings course (7960) to fulfill distribution requirements in appropriate periods. This requires approval of the course instructor.

At least 15 of the 30 credit hours must be taken at the 8000-level. (Graduate students will take 8000-level seminars whenever possible.)

No more than 40% (12 of 30) can be Problems, Special Readings, or Research Hours (7960/8070/8080/8090)

Courses for an interdisciplinary minor may not be counted toward the 30 hours required for the MA

Language Requirement

The purpose of the language requirement is to enable students to participate in graduate seminars and pursue individual research.  Consequently, students should fulfill the language requirements as quickly as possible.  All students must demonstrate reading knowledge of one foreign language, usually German or a Romance language.  Language requirements may be satisfied by achieving a grade of B or better in a course approved by the Director of Graduate Studies. Departmental language exams are also offered, usually in the fall semester of each year.

Master’s Essay Option

To complete the degree, students must complete a scholarly essay under the guidance of a faculty advisor. It will most likely be a revision of a research paper from a graduate course taken in the Department of Art History and Archaeology.  It may also involve the formation of a committee and a defense.

Master’s Thesis Option

Graduate students who intend to pursue doctoral work should complete the thesis option. This decision is made during the student’s second or third semester in consultation the faculty.

Course Requirements:

At least 30 hours of coursework as outlined above.

8080: Master’s Readings and 8090: Master’s Research.

No more than six hours can be directed toward the thesis (8080 and 8090)

Language Requirements:

All students who pursue the thesis option must have reading knowledge of two modern languages: German and a Romance language.

The department expects that the modern language requirement will be met by the end of the third semester for use in advanced coursework as well as thesis research and writing.

Master’s Thesis Committee:

The master’s thesis committee consists of at least three people: the student’s thesis advisor, a second member from within the program, and a third member from outside the program. The student should invite the latter two after consultation with the thesis advisor.

The committee must approve the thesis topic in the semester before the student plans to defend the thesis; often, this is accomplished during an interview for candidacy.

Master’s Thesis:

The master’s thesis enables graduate students to engage in independent and thorough research in a specific area of study.  A successful thesis will demonstrate the student’s ability to use bibliography in the field, effectively utilize research tools and techniques, synthesize a variety of sources, and sustain an argument.

Master’s Thesis Defense:

The defense of the master’s thesis is an oral examination, chaired by the student’s advisor. The student should submit a complete draft of the thesis to the advisor at least two months before the intended defense date and a final draft, approved by the advisor, to the entire committee 30 days before the defense. Any changes recommended by the committee during the defense must be made before the finished thesis can be submitted to the Office of Graduate Studies.

The thesis defense can be held only in the fall and spring semesters before the final week of classes.

Each student is responsible for ensuring that he or she meets the deadlines and guidelines established by the Office of Graduate Studies for graduation.