Dec 06, 2023  
2021-2022 Graduate Bulletin 
2021-2022 Graduate Bulletin [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Art History, MA

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The Master of Arts in Art History prepares students with the course work, language skills, and research experience needed for further graduate study or work in arts organizations or educational settings. The curriculum is structured to provide both breadth and depth of inquiry through a variety of approaches to art history and, more broadly, visual studies. We recommend that courses be selected in consultation with the graduate advisor to take full advantage of the multiple approaches, expertise, and insights of the faculty. 


Admission Requirements 

Applicants from a wide variety of educational backgrounds may earn a M.A. degree in Art History. However, those without an undergraduate art history major should consult with the art history & visual studies graduate advisor before applying. Depending on one’s prior preparation, some students may be advised to enroll as a post-baccalaureate to take selected preparatory courses that may count toward the graduate degree requirements if the student is later admitted to the M.A. program (as outlined in The Graduate School’s general regulations).  Requirements otherwise conform to UK general requirements for Graduate School admission.  


Application Procedures  

The Graduate School, which is the administrative unit for all graduate students, and the Art History & Visual Studies graduate program, which is responsible for the academic curriculum, require different application materials.   Application materials for admission to the Graduate School include:  

  • Application form  

  • Copies of transcripts from all higher education institutions previously attended, which should be uploaded on the appropriate location of the online application. Domestic students are to self-report GPAs for each institution attended. (Tip: Convert transcripts on colored paper to white with black ink so as not to exceed the megabyte limitation on the online form.)  

  • GRE scores that you self-report in the appropriate location on the online application. (At the point of acceptance into the program, official GRE scores must be requested and sent directly from the Educational Testing Service (ETS) to the University of Kentucky; the Institution Code for the GRE for UK Graduate School is R1837).  

  • TOEFL scores and/or IELTS scores if an international student.  

  • Application fee.  


Application materials for the Art History graduate program are also to be submitted online on the graduate admissions application and include:  

  • Brief résumé 

  • Personal statement that explains your interest in art history graduate study, experience, and plans.  

  • Sample of research writing, such as an undergraduate research paper  

  • Contact information in the form of email addresses for two recommenders who will be notified to submit their recommendations electronically to the online system.  


Application Deadlines January 1 - for all applicants, including those requesting a teaching assistantship. Students who want an assistantship should send a separate letter that indicates their interest in being considered either by e-mail attachment or in hard-copy form to the Graduate Advisor in Art History & Visual Studies, School of Art & Visual Studies, 236 Bolivar Street, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40506-0090 


Degree Requirements  

In addition to the provisions below, either option also conforms to general degree requirements for all Master of Arts Programs. 


Plan A - Thesis Option  

Candidates who plan to continue study at the doctoral level should select Plan A. This option emphasizes art historical research, problem solving, and communication skills. Specific requirements include:  

  1. Minimum of 30 credit hours of graduate course work.* 

  1. Foreign language reading competency in one foreign language (German usually recommended).** 

  1. Satisfactory completion and oral defense of a thesis.  


Plan B - Non-Thesis  

Option Plan B emphasizes course work to broaden the candidate’s foundation in art historical knowledge, theory, and methods. Candidates who plan careers in visual arts fields that do not require a Ph.D. - professional placements in galleries, museums, art organizations, arts administration, etc. - may want to select this option. Specific requirements include:  

  1. Minimum of 36 credit hours of graduate course work.* 

  1. Foreign language reading competency in one foreign language (German often recommended).** 

  1. Satisfactory completion of final comprehensive exam.  


*Six of the minimum 30 or 36 required credit hours may be taken in related areas such as anthropology, film studies, historic preservation, history, literature, philosophy, studio art, or women’s studies, as determined by consultation with the graduate advisor.  


**The foreign language competency requirement may be satisfied by any of the means established by the Graduate School. 

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