Sep 19, 2019  
2016-2017 Graduate Catalog 

Art History

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School of Art and Art History 

Art History Program

The School of Art & Art History offers graduate programs leading to the M.A. and Ph.D. degrees. Minimum requirements for these degrees are available in the Graduate Degrees  section of this catalog. For complete details of the M.A. and Ph.D. degree requirements, see the Director of Graduate Studies—Art History. Art History students may participate in courses offered by the State University System’s programs in Paris, London, and Florence. Other study-abroad programs may be approved by the director of graduate studies. 

For the M.A. degree, the School offers areas of emphasis in Ancient, Medieval, Renaissance/Baroque, Modern, and non-Western art history (including African, Asian, and Oceanic). A minimum of 36 credit hours is required:

  (3 credits), 27 hours of course work, and ARH 6971  (6 credits). Course work requires a graduate seminar in each of the following areas: Ancient, Renaissance/Baroque, Modern/Contemporary, and Non-West (a total of 12 credit hours). Nine credits may be taken in related areas with the graduate program adviser’s approval. Reading proficiency in a foreign language appropriate to the major area of study must be demonstrated before thesis research is begun. Language courses cannot apply toward degree credit.  

For the Ph.D. degree, the School offers the same areas of specialization as for the M.A. degree. Up to 30 credits from the M.A. degree may apply toward the 90 credit Ph.D. degree. A program of 60 credit hours beyond the M.A. degree is required. Core courses will consist of a minimum of 30 hours in art history:

  • 18 hours in a primary area (5000-level or above)
  • 9 hours in a secondary area (5000-level or above)
  • 3 hours of theory/methodology of art history (if   or its equivalent has not been taken as part of the M.A.)
  • An additional 12 hours of outside electives taken in other schools or departments are required in a discipline(s) related to the primary area of study
  • Finally, 27 hours of dissertation research and writing is required.

By the end of the second semester or equivalent full-time study, students should form their supervisory committee that must include a minimum of four Graduate Faculty members; one of whom must agree to serve as primary dissertation adviser and supervisory committee chair. The supervisory committee will also act as the qualifying examination committee. Normally students will take the qualifying examination during the spring term of the third year in residence. The examination is both written and oral. It will cover the major and minor art history areas of emphasis as well as the student’s preliminary formulation of a dissertation topic and provisional statement of the approaches to that topic as expressed in the dissertation prospectus. On successful completion of the qualifying examination, the approval by the supervisory committee of the dissertation prospectus, and fulfilling all other course and language requirements, the student makes formal application for a change of status to Ph.D. candidacy. Normally, a student will be expected to present the completed dissertation and defend it at an oral defense conducted by the supervisory committee by the end of the sixth year in the program. For Ph.D. students, reading knowledge of two research languages other than English must be demonstrated by the end of the second year of course work, or by the end of the first semester in the case of transfer students. Language courses are not applicable toward degree credit. 

For more information, please see our website:

Degrees Offered with a Major in Art History

Doctor of Philosophy

Master of Arts

School of Art and Art History Departmental Courses

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