M.A. in Art History

Students at the Cleveland Museum of Art

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:

  • Competitive 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

For more information or to schedule a visit, contact Joseph Underwood Division Coordinator, at junder18@kent.edu or 330-672-3824.



The admission cycle for fall 2023 is now closed and we are no longer accepting applications.  We invite you to consider applying to our program when the next application cycle opens in August of 2023 for Fall 2024 admission.  Our application deadline for the School of Art is generally in early February, so please be sure to check our website next fall for exact deadlines and ensure that all application materials arrive by that date to qualify for admission consideration.

The Master of Arts in Art History program asks students to specialize in one area for the thesis. Applicants to the graduate program should have a strong undergraduate record with evidence of course work in the history of global art and knowledge of at least one language other than English. Experience and demonstrated ability in research and writing are essential.

Program Outline:
14 hours – Methodologies and electives in Art History 
12 hours – ARTH 62091, Art History Seminars 
6 hours – ART 67199, M.A. Thesis  
(32 total)   


  • Applicants are expected to have an undergraduate background in Art History and a 2.75 overall grade point average. Those with grade point averages below 3.0 will be admitted under conditional admission and be required to maintain a 3.0 in graduate work to continue in the program.
  • All applicants must submit official transcripts from their undergraduate degree, a curriculum vitae, a goals statement, and three letters of recommendation.
  • International students must provide proof of English language proficiency through adequate scores from one of these tests: TOEFL PBT, TOEFL IBT, MELAB, IELTS, or PTE. See the Art History Program page for more details.


  • Students are required to take Art History Methodologies (ARTH 52001) in their first semester, and the two-hour ARTH 62000 Art History Research Methods and Research course is highly recommended in the third semester.
  • Since four “Graduate Student Only” seminars (ARTH 62091) are required, students should enroll in the seminar each semester.
  • Students will choose a faculty advisor for the candidacy exam by the end of the second semester. They may continue with the same advisor for their thesis if the research interest aligns with the faculty member’s expertise.
  • A candidacy exam (written and oral components) must be passed in the third semester to continue in the program.
  • A reading knowledge of a language other than English is required. A language translation exam is administered each semester, and students must take it each semester of enrollment until they pass the exam.
  • While travel study is not a requirement for the graduate program, faculty do encourage students to take advantage of the unique learning opportunities that travel study affords

MA in Art History Catalog