We offer graduate courses in European, American, East Asian, and African art. Students may pursue graduate degrees in European and American Art/Global Modern and Contemporary Art or East Asian Art. Students who are interested in pursuing graduate degrees that emphasize international and/or transnational modern and contemporary art should follow the European and American/Global Modern and Contemporary track.
The Combined M.A./Ph.D. is a streamlined degree track intended for students who want to pursue the Ph.D. in art history at KU, but who do not yet hold the M.A. degree in art history.
The M.A. in History of Art requires 30 hours of graduate credit, at least 21 of which must be taken in art history according to the department's established distribution requirements.
- Students studying European and American Art/Global Modern and Contemporary Art take ten courses. At least seven must be art history graduate seminars (700 level or above); of the seven, at least two must be numbered 800 level or above. Students must take at least one art history course numbered 500 or above in three of the following four areas:
- 400-1400: Europe, the Mediterranean, or Near East
- 1300-1700: Europe, the Mediterranean, or Near East
- 1700-1900: Europe or America
- Post-1900: Global Modern and Contemporary Art (Europe, the Americas, Africa, Asia and the Middle East)
- Students studying East Asian Art should take a balanced distribution of graduate-level (500 level or above) courses in Chinese, Korean and Japanese art history. Of the required ten courses to complete the M.A., at least five must be art history graduate seminars (700 level or above); of the five, at least two must be numbered 800 level or above.
M.A. students must demonstrate proficiency in the reading of a foreign language, normally a major European language, Chinese, Korean, or Japanese during the course of the program.
The final component of the History of Art M.A. is a general written examination in either European and American Art/Global Modern and Contemporary Art or East Asian Art. Combined M.A./Ph.D. students must pass the written exam in order to be considered for formal admission to the Ph.D. program.
In consultation with their faculty advisor and comprehensive exam committee, Ph.D. students develop a program of study composed of eighteen to twenty-one post-M.A. credit hours focusing on one major and two minor areas of study. Students are also required to demonstrate knowledge of at least one foreign language sufficient to meet the demands of their research prior to taking the comprehensive examination.
Upon completion of their coursework, students take both written and oral comprehensive examinations that cover their one major and two minor areas of study. Following the passing of the exams, students prepare a dissertation proposal and begin work on the dissertation.
For fall semester admission, all application materials must be received by January 5
For spring semester admission, all application materials must be received by October 1
- A completed graduate application
- Three letters of recommendation (preferably from art history professors). The application system will send your recommenders an email containing the instructions for submitting their letters to KU.
- A chronological list of art history courses completed that includes (1) the number of credit hours, (2) the instructor's name, and (3) the grade received. Applicants typically have completed no fewer than 18 credit hours of art history coursework.
- Resumé or curriculum vitae
- A statement of personal and educational interests and career objectives; not to exceed 750 words. Please address how the graduate program in Art History at KU would help you to achieve your goals.
- A writing sample, preferably from an art history course, of no more than 8-20 pages of text (not including the bibliography, endnotes, and images) that you feel best represents your research, writing, and critical thinking skills.
- Official transcripts, or copies of official transcripts, of all post-secondary education
To be considered for admission, an applicant must hold a bachelor's degree. The Office of Graduate Studies requires applicants, international or domestic, whose native language is not English to demonstrate English proficiency. Please review Graduate Admissions' English proficiency requirements for additional information.