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Art History - M.A.

Uncover the rich tapestry of art history with our M.A. degree. Our comprehensive curriculum empowers you to gain a comprehensive understanding of art from diverse historic and cultural traditions, and engage with relevant methodologies and theories. You'll develop advanced research skills and knowledge and learn to access primary and secondary source material in diverse formats, including digital technology. Our program fosters global engagement and recognizes the role of art and cultural production in fostering communities and understanding social systems.

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College of the Arts
School of Art

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The Master of Arts in Art History offers a range of perspectives on art, theory, and cultural production across historical periods, geographic regions, and significant movements. Graduate students can specialize in African, Asian, American or European art with sub-themes ranging from Renaissance patronage to curatorial studies to critical theory. Students learn and grow in a dynamic, challenging, and supportive department. In addition to the eight full-time faculty, visiting professors from departments in cognate fields and from other institutions are invited to present a variety of courses as special topic offerings.  Travel Study trips to New York City are offered regularly, as well as opportunities to study abroad in Florence and Paris.

Highlights of our program include:

  • A select number of graduate assistantships that offer tuition remission and a stipend

  • Teaching, curatorial and research opportunities

  • Close working relationships with faculty 

  • Opportunities to meet visiting artists, critics, and historians

  • Access to world-class museums and research libraries

Learn more about our Art History faculty

Program Information


For more information about graduate admissions, visit the graduate admission website. For more information on international admissions, visit the international admission website.

Admission Requirements

  • Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university
  • Minimum 2.750 undergraduate GPA on a 4.000-point scale
  • Official transcript(s)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Goal statement (approximately 250 words) indicating the proposed area of specialization within the art history curriculum
  • Three letters of recommendation from persons who are in the proposed area of study or a closely related field
  • English language proficiency - all international students must provide proof of English language proficiency (unless they meet specific exceptions to waive) by earning one of the following:1
    • Minimum 79 TOEFL iBT score
    • Minimum 6.5 IELTS score
    • Minimum 58 PTE score
    • Minimum 110 DET score

International applicants who do not meet the above test scores will not be considered for admission.

Application Deadlines

  • Fall Semester
    • Application deadline: February 1

Applications submitted by this deadline will receive the strongest consideration for admission.

Learning Outcomes

Program Learning Outcomes

Graduates of this program will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of art from a range of historic and cultural traditions.
  2. Observe, describe and interpret art objects, events and concepts within their cultural context.
  3. Engage with a variety of methodologies and theories relevant to different fields of art history.
  4. Demonstrate an advanced level of written and oral analysis.
  5. Demonstrate advanced research skills and knowledge in a particular artist, collection, period or movement through the thesis.
  6. Access and utilize relevant primary and secondary source material in diverse formats, including digital technology.
  7. Become engaged citizens of a global community and recognize the role of art and cultural production as they foster communities, reflect identities and understand social systems.

Program Requirements

Major Requirements

Major Requirements
ARTH 62091ART HISTORY SEMINAR (repeated each semester)12
Art History (ARTH) Graduate Electives11
Culminating Requirement
ART 67199M.A.THESIS I 16
Minimum Total Credit Hours:32

The thesis is a significant project or body of work done independently of other coursework. Students are expected to demonstrate the ability to conduct research or produce a significant, original project in a discriminating and disciplined manner. The thesis topic should be one that will further the student’s knowledge and ability in the specialty by demonstrating skill as a researcher or studio artist. The outcome should be an effort that serves as a foundation for the pursuit of independent work when the graduate program is completed. At this stage, students are expected to work in close consultation with their thesis advisor.

Graduation Requirements

Minimum Major GPA Minimum Overall GPA
- 3.000
  • A reading knowledge of a language other than English is required.
  • Successful completion of the Candidacy Review Examination is a requirement in every School of Art graduate program. In the Art History major, the examination is given in the third semester of full-time coursework. Successful completion of the examination designates the student as a candidate for the degree.
  • No more than one-half of a graduate student’s coursework may be taken in 50000-level courses.
  • Grades below C are not counted toward completion of requirements for the degree.
Program Delivery
  • Delivery:
    • In person
  • Location:
    • Kent Campus

National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD)

Examples of Possible Careers and Salaries



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Additional Careers
  • Art history at the high school and introductory college survey level
  • Museum registrars and museum technicians
  • Property appraisers and assessors as part of auction houses, art galleries and antique shop businesses
Notice: Career Information Source
* Source of occupation titles and labor data comes from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' Occupational Outlook Handbook. Data comprises projected percent change in employment over the next 10 years; nation-wide employment numbers; and the yearly median wage at which half of the workers in the occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less.