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Columbia Campus    
2018-2019 Graduate Studies Bulletin 
  Mar 27, 2023
2018-2019 Graduate Studies Bulletin [Archived Catalog]

Art History, M.A.

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Learning Outcomes

  • MA art history students evidence knowledge of major movements in Asian and Western art. 
  • MA art history students successfully demonstrate in writing the ability to apply the currently used methods in the history of art to the analysis of works of art and/or architecture.  
  • MA art history students demonstrate in writing the ability to conduct research to develop original ideas about the meanings of works of art or architecture using one or more of the methodologies currently in use in the profession.
  • MA art history students demonstrate the ability to write and to speak persuasively and coherently about works of art or architecture using a sophisticated art historical vocabulary.
  • MA art history students demonstrate a reading proficiency in a foreign language selected with advisor approval.
  • Students successfully pursue their post-graduation career goals. 

Degree Requirements (30 Hours)

All students accepted into the program must take the M.A. proficiency examination in the history of art during the first semester of their residence. The examination consists of the identification and discussion of certain major works of Western and Asian art from antiquity to the present. Students who fail the exam may retake it at the beginning of their second semester. Failure to pass the exam on the second attempt results in dismissal from the program. Faculty advisors are assigned to students by the end of their first semester. All art history majors are required to pass a reading proficiency test in a foreign language approved by the faculty advisor.

Students are required to complete 24 hours of course work, at least half at the 700-level or above, including ARTH 701 - Methodologies and Practices of Art History  and at least one course in three of the four areas of core study offered by the faculty:

  • Renaissance, Baroque, and 18th-Century Art and Architecture
  • Modern and Contemporary European Art and Architecture
  • American Art and Architecture
  • Asian Art and Architecture

Courses may only fulfill the requirement for a single area. With the advisor’s approval, up to 6 hours of electives may be fulfilled with courses outside of ARTH. Finally, students are required to complete a written thesis (ARTH 799 , 6 hours) or master’s project (ARTH 798 , 6 hours). The thesis or master’s project committee will consist of a director and two readers. Where appropriate, one of the two readers may be chosen from another department, school, or program. A 4-6 page thesis or master’s project proposal must be approved by the committee. A formal oral defense of the finished written thesis or master’s project will also be required. The oral defense of the thesis or master’s project serves as the student’s comprehensive assessment for the degree.

Degree Requirements

  1. Proficiency exam (completed in the first semester)
  2. ARTH 701  
  3. At least one course in three of the four areas of core study
  4. ARTH 799   or ARTH 798 
  5. Reading proficiency in an approved foreign language
  6. At least half of approved courses at or above the 700 level

Course Work (30 Hours)

B. Core Study (15 hours)

15 hours selected from the following courses with at least one course in three of the four areas.

C. Electives (6 hours)

Selected from ARTH or related disciplines, as approved by faculty advisor.

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