Calligraphy on folding fan by Wang Maolin

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Graduate Programs

The Division of Art History offers a master's degree (MA) thesis track, master's degree (MA) practicum track and a doctorate degree (PhD). 

The Master of Arts in Art History thesis track emphasizes research and writing in the discipline of Art History and culminates in a thesis. The thesis may begin as a seminar paper that the student develops into a publishable article for an academic journal or publication.  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. This degree prepares the student to continue further scholarly pursuits at the PhD level.

 The Master of Arts in Art History practicum track emphasizes applied learning using the discipline of Art History to understand or promote the value of the visual arts in a variety of cultural, educational, or business settings. The practicum could take the form of a curatorial, educational, archival, or connoisseurship project in an art museum, gallery, or private art collection. This is a terminal degree and is not intended for continued study and research in a PhD program.

The Ph.D. program in Art History prepares graduates for university-level teaching, curator positions at major museums, and independent research in the field. Before beginning work for the Ph.D. should have completed a Master of Arts degree in the History of Art.

Please note that the UW Art History program does not include course work in art conservation or restoration. For information about museum studies, see the UW Museum Studies website. For information about the UW Museology Program see their website

Visit the 2017 Graduate Thesis + Dissertation Showcase website to learn about recent graduates.

You may also view examples of in-progress and completed theses and dissertations.

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