History and Art History
College of Humanities and Social Sciences

MA in History of Decorative Arts

George Mason University is not accepting new applications for this program. For any inquiries, please contact Heidi Nasstrom Evans, interim director, MA in the History of Decorative Arts, at 202-633-8627 or at hevans4@gmu.edu.

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)

To receive the MA in the history of decorative arts students must complete 48 graduate credits with a minimum GPA of 3.0. A maximum of 9 credits from other institutions may be transferred into this program or may be reduced based on a previously conferred graduate degree. Reduction or transfer of credit is subject to the approval of the director and the dean.

Eight core courses (24 credits)

ARTH 570 - Proseminar in History of Decorative Arts

ARTH 571 - Survey of Decorative Arts I

ARTH 572 - Survey of Decorative Arts II

ARTH 630 - Material Culture Studies

ARTH 640 - European Decorative Arts

ARTH 650 - Global Decorative Arts

ARTH 660 - Museum Studies

ARTH 670 - Design and Design History

Six to eight elective courses (18-24 credits)

Students choose electives in consultation with an advisor. Courses with variable topics may be repeated for credit when the topic varies. A total of 6 credits of independent study and 6 credits of internship each may be applied to the degree.

Students may apply 3 or 6 credits of thesis in place of 1 or 2 elective courses. Students who do not complete a thesis complete 24 elective credits and a comprehensive examination.

Choose from:

ARTH 593 - Internship in Art History and the Decorative Arts

ARTH 594 - The Museum

ARTH 596 - Independent Study

ARTH 599 - Special Topics in Art History and the Decorative Arts

ARTH 610 - Theory of Decorative Arts

ARTH 620 - Topics in Individual Decorative Arts

ARTH 630 - Material Culture Studies

ARTH 640 - European Decorative Arts

ARTH 650 - Global Decorative Arts

ARTH 660 - Museum Studies

ARTH 670 - Design and Design History

Examination or thesis

Students must successfully pass a comprehensive examination or complete a 3-6 credit thesis.

Examination

The purpose of the comprehensive examination is to test the student’s familiarity with the important objects and literature relating to one major and one minor field. Fields are defined by country, medium, and century. The student is expected to be conversant with bibliographic references, be able to evaluate information critically, and be able to recognize objects, makers, and styles. The exam consists of a one-hour oral component on the major and minor fields followed by an essay on the major field.

Thesis (3 - 6 credits)

A thesis requires a minimum of 1 semester. Students who undertake a 3-credit thesis take 3 fewer elective credits. Students who undertake a 6-credit thesis register for 3 credits the first semester and 3 credits the second semester; they take 6 fewer elective credits.

Once enrolled in ARTH 799, students are required to maintain continuous registration until the thesis is submitted to and accepted by the University Library. The continuous registration policy is specified in the Academic Policies section of the catalog.

ARTH 799 - Master's Thesis

Total: 48 credits

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