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Art history graduate students at The University of Iowa undertake an intellectually challenging program intended to produce professionals who demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of art history as an academic and humanistic discipline and who possess superior knowledge of a field of specialization as indicated by their research and writing. Because the Ph.D. represents the terminal degree in the art history discipline, the graduate program curriculum at the University of Iowa is structured primarily for students pursuing a Ph.D. degree and a future academic career. Students earning an M.A. from our graduate program are well qualified to enter careers in museums, commercial galleries, and non-profit organizations.

Master of Arts (M.A.) students are expected to acquire a broad knowledge of art history, to become familiar with major periods and monuments of world art, and to gain proficiency in scholarship. The M.A. program in art history provides students with training in research methods and theory necessary for subsequent scholarship at the Ph.D. level. Every successful M.A. student must complete a qualifying paper that demonstrates the candidate's ability to conduct scholarly research and convey ideas in writing appropriate to the discipline and the chosen field of specialization.

Ph.D. students are expected to acquire greater breadth and depth of knowledge in the discipline of art history, to achieve a high level of expertise in a specialized field, and to demonstrate professional speaking and writing skills. The Ph.D. program in art history at The University of Iowa provides students with the scholarly challenges, research skills, and mentoring necessary for professional development and successful careers. Every successful Ph.D. student must complete a publishable dissertation that makes an original contribution to the art history discipline and demonstrates evidence of the candidate's superior understanding of the critical issues in the chosen field of specialization.