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Art History MA Thesis: Degree Requirements

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Degree Requirements

  • A minimum of 40 numerically graded credits numbered 400 and above and approved by the faculty adviser.
  • A minimum of 10 credits of ART H 700 (Master’s Thesis)
  • Submission of a thesis document
  • Demonstration of an intermediate level of proficiency in a foreign language that supports language in the student’s field of study.

The thesis may be an extension of a seminar paper and 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.

These requirements are minimum MA requirements for the Division of Art History. To be eligible for a degree in the Graduate School, a grade point average of 3.0 in numerically graded courses numbered 500 and above is required. 

Language Requirement

All degree candidates are required to demonstrate knowledge of one foreign language, to be determined in consultation with their advisor. Language requirements may be satisfied by passing departmental proficiency examinations in the relevant languages or by completing the third quarter of the second year of the language as a graduate student at UW. Candidates who expect to pursue a PhD degree are strongly urged to acquire proficiency in a second language appropriate to the student's area of study as determined by the faculty. For Western languages a graduate student must achieve a minimum grade of 3.2 in these courses. For Asian languages the requirement may be fulfilled by passing the third quarter of the third year of classes in the relevant language with a minimum grade of 3.0. Students are expected to satisfy the language requirement during the first quarter of residence in this program; any student who does not do so may be asked to limit his or her art history coursework and concentrate on language training until this requirement is satisfied. All language requirements shall be satisfied before the student begins work on the thesis or practicum. As a general rule, TA/teaching assistant appointments will not be awarded to students who have not passed a language exam.

Credit Hour + Credit Distribution Requirements

The program for the Master of Arts in art history requires a minimum of 55 credits in the thesis track or 65 credits in the nonthesis track. Of these credits, a minimum of 45 credits in the thesis track or 55 credits in the nonthesis track must be numerically graded 5-credit art history courses numbered 500 and above, exclusive of thesis/practicum credits. A maximum of 10 credits in related departments, in numerically graded upper-division courses, may be approved for credit in place of art history courses. No more than 12 credits of ART H 600 may be counted toward the minimum credit requirement for either the thesis-track or nonthesis Master of Arts degree; with faculty approval ART H 597 may be substituted for up to 5 credits of ART H 600. A minimum of 5 numerically graded credits must be taken in four of five major areas: 1) Indigenous; 2) Asian; 3) Ancient, Classical, and Medieval; 4) Italian and Northern Renaissance, Baroque, and Rococo; 5) Western, late 18th c. to the present. A minimum of 15 credits must be taken in 500-level seminars, including at least one seminar each in a Western and a non-Western area. (Note: Art History topics courses numbered in the 520s do not count as seminars.) In addition, ART H 500, Methods of Art History must be taken during the time of the student’s enrollment period. ART H 501 (TA seminar, 5 credits) may be counted only once toward the degree. Students in the thesis track must take at least 10 credits in ART H 700; students in the nonthesis track must take at least 10 practicum credits in ART H 598. ART H 700 and 598 are treated as continuing courses until satisfactory completion of the final examination and are available only for ungraded credit.

Scholarship + Satisfactory Progress Requirements

To be eligible for a degree in the Graduate School, a student must have an average of B (3.00) in numerically graded courses numbered 400 and above and comply with other Graduate School performance guidelines. Read complete list of Graduate School master's degree requirements. Students will receive annual evaluations of their work from the faculty as part of their progress towards the degree.

Admission to the Graduate School allows students to continue graduate study and research at the University of Washington only as long as they maintain satisfactory performance and progress toward completion of their graduate degree program. For more information, read Memo 16: Unsatisfactory Performance and Progress.

Residence Requirement + Time Limitation

Thirty of the credits required for the MA must be taken at the University of Washington. All work for the MA must be completed within six years; beyond that period, students must petition for an extension. This includes quarters spent on leave and applicable work transferred from other institutions.