ma in arthistory

The Master of Arts degree in Art History offered jointly with the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, is the only art history graduate program in the state. The M.A. degree in Art History prepares students for further academic study at the doctoral level or for professional careers in teaching, museums, galleries, and other arts-related fields. Students may enroll on either campus and must take at least 6 hours of course work on the other campus.

The M.A. program offers a wide range of art history courses and graduate seminars. Each student must take ARH 680 (Methods and Approaches to the History of Art). The M.A. program offers specialized study in Medieval Art, Early Modern Art, Eighteenth-Century/Nineteenth-Century Art, Twentieth-Century/Contemporary Art, South Asian Art, and East Asian Art. The small size of the program affords graduate students the opportunity to work closely with individual faculty members on both campuses in seminars and directed research projects. The M.A. in Art History provides students with a thorough grounding in art history, critical thinking, and research methods.

Program Details

The M.A. in Art History is a 30-hour degree. Students enrolled in the Plan I (thesis) track take 24 hours of art history course work and 6 hours of thesis research. Degree requirements include a comprehensive examination and a thesis. Students enrolled in the Plan II (non-thesis) track take 24 hours of art history course work and 6 hours course work geared toward professional study, which may include a museum or gallery internship. Degree requirements include a comprehensive examination and the completion of a final research project. In addition, prior to taking the comprehensive examination, students in both tracks must demonstrate a reading knowledge of a language, appropriate to the student’s field of study.

The program offers funding for graduate students in the forms of graduate assistantships and a UAB/Birmingham Museum of Art Curatorial Fellowship. UAB/BMA student fellows have engaged in a variety of exciting research projects at the BMA and organized such exhibitions as The Golden Age: Illustration from the Birmingham Museum of Art Collection, a show that was presented in conjunction with Norman Rockwell’s America, and Vanguard Views, an exhibition celebrating innovation in visual art and design in the early twentieth century. The art history faculty also regularly offer study abroad programs for students in South Asia and Europe.

Each year, graduate students present their research at the Annual Graduate Symposium organized by the joint UAB/UA M.A. Program in Art History. They also participate in UAB’s Graduate Student Research Day, where they compete for prizes against other UAB graduate students in the humanities.

Admission Requirements

A minimum GPA of 3.0 (B) is required for acceptance into the program. The applicant should also have completed 24 semester hours in art history and related areas such as history, aesthetics, archaeology, and anthropology.

Application Due Dates

Students may apply for admission for either the fall or spring semester.

  • Spring admission: applications due by October 1
  • Fall admission: applications due by April 1

Course Catalog

A complete list of degree requirements and courses for M.A. in Art History are available in the UAB Graduate Catalog.

For more information about the M.A. in Art History, please contact Dr. Noa Turel, Associate Professor and M.A. Art History Graduate Director.

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