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MA in Art History


The Art History division offers a complete range of courses in Western art, from Ancient to Modern, as well as Pre-Columbian and African. On the graduate level, the division provides an in-depth knowledge in a specialized field within the discipline of Art History and serves as a foundation for those students who plan on pursuing academic, curatorial, and research positions in a professional environment. The faculty members in Art History are committed to integrating historical, theoretical and critical aspects of art history and contemporary art production into lecture courses and seminars.

Expected Learning Outcomes: 

1. Graduates with a MA in Art History should have attained a breadth and depth of art historical monuments, art historical methodologies, and important period concepts.

2. Graduates with a MA in Art History should have an in-depth knowledge of the monuments, literature and historiography of a specialized field within the discipline of Art history.

3. Graduates with a MA in Art History should have developed research and writing skills appropriate for a professional environment or that demonstrate readiness for entering a Ph.D. program.

4. Graduates with a MA in Art History should have advanced skills in analysis and critical thinking.

5. Graduates with a MA in Art History should have well-developed presentation skills.

Assessment Activities: 

Assessment Tool #1

Outcomes 1, 2, 3: Art History faculty, including the graduate faculty advisor, meet with students at the beginning of each semester to address their focus area of study and to plan and monitor their progress through the program. The advisor continues to meet on a regular basis with the students to assess their progress through their Plan of Study. 

Assessment Tool #2

Outcomes 1, 3, 4, 5: Each student is required to take an oral examination which assesses their general knowledge of art history. The required foreign language reading comprehension is assessed through the foreign language reading exam, where the student must demonstrate a high level of proficiency. In their final semester, students are required to either successfully pass a comprehensive Master's Exam or complete a written thesis which demonstrates their mastery of research, writing and critical thinking skills. The successful completion and approval of the exam or thesis is the culmination of the degree program.


Use of Assessment Tool #1 + #2:

Art History faculty regularly assess program outcomes through discussions of both current and former MA Art History candidate outcomes, scutinizing student feedback including obstacles for successful matriculation through their program, relavent course topics and availability, and additional areas of interest that would strengthen the MA curriculum.

Changes Based on Assessment Results:

  • Instituting a two-track MA degree that allows for either a Master's Exam or Thesis document, expiditing the time to graduation and addressing the varying needs of graduate students.
  • The addition of a second semester, required ARH 511B Methods course, to further develop the research skills of Art History MA students, better preparing them for careers in the field or future entrance into doctoral programs.
  • Addition of ARH 526a: European Art Since 1945 to fill a critical void in the curriculum.
  • The addition of a new faculty member with a Photographic History specialty to address the growing popularity of this emphasis area and strengthen connections to the nationally ranked MFA Photography division and the Center for Creative Photography, an important archive/research institution on campus.


Updated date: Wed, 12/02/2015 - 10:52