Masters Degree / About MA Art History

General Information

The Master of Arts in Art History degree may be taken in either a thesis or non-thesis track. The thesis track emphasizes training in academic scholarship and offers study in breadth through coursework and research in the preparation of a thesis. Students who plan to continue for a PhD or pursue a career in art-history education typically follow the thesis track. The non-thesis track emphasizes coursework in breadth and practical training experience through a supervised practicum. The non-thesis track may be appropriate for students interested in pursuing certain positions in art museum education, commercial galleries or other visual arts institutions.


Competitive applicants must have a good general background in art history. Applicants need¬†not¬†have an undergraduate major in art history, but should have a solid record of art history course work. In our program we define a “solid record” for our undergraduate majors as 55 quarter credits of art history classes distributed among major fields of study offered in our department. This figure should serve only as a general reference point, however; we do not expect all applicants to have exactly the same background and course distribution as our undergraduate majors. Studio art classes and work experience in art-related fields can enhance your application, but in most cases will not substitute for a good background in academic course work.

Financial Aid

Our main source of departmental financial support for our graduate students is a limited number of Teaching Assistantships. These, however, are rarely awarded to first-year students; exceptions are sometimes made for entering Ph.D. students with teaching experience. A majority of our graduate students have outside jobs (some within the University), at least for part of the year. Additional information and advice about financial aid can be found here.