History and Art History
College of Humanities and Social Sciences

MA in Art History

The program in art history offers a unique master's degree based on departmental strengths in traditional research, the application of new media, and the vast cultural resources of the Washington, D.C., area. Students study a broad range of art-historical periods, theory, and research methods. In addition, the program emphasizes new media skills, museum studies, and preprofessional internship training. Graduates are well-prepared for art museum and gallery professional work, where a master's degree is now routinely required, or further study in doctoral programs.

An accelerated master's option is available to students in any bachelor's program.  See Bachelor's Degree (any)/Art History, Accelerated MA for requirements.

For policies governing all graduate degrees, see the Academic Policies section of the catalog.

The University Catalog is the authoritative source for information on program requirements and courses. The Schedule of Classes is the authoritative source for information on classes scheduled for this semester. See the Schedule for the most up-to-date information and see Patriot web to register for classes. Requirements may be different for earlier catalog years. See the University Catalog archives.

Degree Requirements (Catalog Year 2016-2017)

This program does not permit a reduction of credit based on a previously conferred graduate degree.

Three required courses (9 credits)

ARTH 600 - Methods and Research in Art History Credits: 3

ARTH 601 - Colloquium in Art History Credits: 3

ARTH 699 - Topics in Art History Credits: 3

Four to five elective courses (12-15 credits) in ARTH and HIST

Students may choose electives in AVT, ANTH, or CULT with prior written permission of the graduate director. Students who choose to write a thesis complete 12 elective credits; others complete 15.

One course (3 credits) of applied preprofessional learning chosen from:

ARTH 593 - Internship in Art History and the Decorative Arts Credits: 3-6

ARTH 594 - The Museum Credits: 3

One course (3 credits) in technology and new media chosen from:

HIST 696 - Clio Wired: An Introduction to History and New Media Credits: 3

HIST 697 - Creating History in New Media Credits: 3

Research language proficiency

Students must demonstrate reading ability in one relevant research language to be approved by the graduate director.

Written comprehensive exam

Students who do not pass may retake the exam once, following the original process.  The second exam must be taken within 12 months of the first exam.

Optional Thesis (3 credits)

Students who choose to write a thesis should be aware of the policies governing theses as stated in the Academic Policies section of this catalog. They must follow the thesis enrollment policy of the university and once enrolled in ARTH 799, maintain continuous enrollment.

ARTH 799 - Master's Thesis Credits: 1-3

Total: 30 credits

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