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Art History MA Thesis

View examples of in-progress and completed theses from School students and alumni.

Before
 beginning
 work
 on
 a 
master’s
 thesis
,
 the
 student 
must
 receive
 the Supervisory
 Committee’s
 approval
 of
 a
 written 
proposal.

The
 thesis may 
be 
an
 extension 
of 
a
 seminar 
paper 
and
 it 
must 
demonstrate
 the
 student’s
 ability
 to 
conduct
 rigorous
 research,
 indicate
 familiarity
 with
 bibliographical and
 reference
 materials,
 and
 show
 a
 capacity
 for
 the
 synthesis
 and
 critical
 evaluation
 of
 the
 material
 under
 consideration.

Supervisory Committees

The Director of Graduate Studies (Graduate Program Coordinator) is responsible for monitoring students’ satisfactory progress toward the degree, including completion of language and other requirements. When it is appropriate, the student consults with the Director of Graduate Studies and the faculty member of the field in which the student wishes to do a thesis/practicum, and in consultation with the committee chair chooses a Supervisory Committee consisting of three or four faculty members, two of whom must be current members of the Art History faculty, including the chair. Adjunct or Emeritus faculty may serve on committees if the committee also includes two regular members of the Art History faculty. One or more members of the committee may be selected from a field other than art history if required by the subject. The Supervisory Committee will be available for consultation with the student and will be responsible for final evaluation of the thesis/practicum. The Graduate School does not require notification of the membership of this committee. The committee chair shall keep written records concerning any formal agreements of stipulations regarding the student’s program of study and thesis/practicum.

Thesis

Before beginning work on a master's thesis or practicum, the student must receive the Supervisory Committee's approval of a written proposal. The thesis may be an extension of a seminar paper and it must demonstrate the student's ability to conduct rigorous research, indicate familiarity with bibliographical and reference materials, and show a capacity for the synthesis and critical evaluation of the material under consideration. The practicum must evidence the student's practical or theoretical knowledge of some aspects of art in historical or contemporary situations. It may take any of a variety of forms, either within or outside the academic offerings of the University. For example, a practicum may consist of an internship in any of a number of institutional settings, such as a public art museum, or of the publication of critical, educational, or other writings. The practicum must be comprised of activities carried out after the student's admission to the program. A complete draft of the thesis or practicum report approved by the Supervisory Committee chair must be delivered to each member of the committee at least 30 days before the date of the Final Examination.

Final Examination

The final examination is an oral defense of the candidate's thesis, or of a written report in which the candidate describes and evaluates the experience of a practicum, held following submission of the thesis or practicum report to the Supervisory Committee members and conducted by the Supervisory Committee. The Supervisory Committee must certify the results of the final examination. At the final examination, the graduate student and at least one Art History faculty members of his or her committee (or a substitute from the Art History faculty, if necessary) should be physically present when any members participate through audio or electronic conferencing.

Degree Application

Students must apply online to the Graduate School office for a Master’s degree in the quarter in which they expect to graduate; check the Graduate School website for deadlines. The filing of the online application (warrant) is the responsibility solely of the student, who must be registered for the quarter in which the degree is expected. Master's degree applications are valid for one quarter only; if requirements for the degree are not completed during this quarter the student must file a new application. The thesis must be submitted electronically to the Graduate School office by the last day of final examinations of the quarter in which degree requirements are completed. Students will need to apply online in MyGrad for their degree updates, forms, and to schedule their defense date. The application for graduation must be completed at least three weeks prior to the defense. The Master’s Supervisory Committee Approval Form and the warrant, generated by the online application, need to be submitted with original ink signatures of all committee members; no faxes, scans, stamps, or emails are permitted by the Graduate School. For further instructions, see the Graduate School website.

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