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Master of Arts (M.A.) in Art History

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The Master of Arts program in art history requires a minimum of 30 s.h. of graduate credit and is offered with thesis. M.A. students are expected to acquire a broad knowledge of art history and to become familiar with major periods and monuments of world art. They also become proficient scholars, receiving training in research methods and theory necessary for subsequent scholarship at the PhD level.

M.A. students must maintain a GPA of at least 3.50. Only one semester of academic probation is allowed. All M.A. candidates, including transfer students, must take at least 24 s.h. in residence at the University of Iowa.

M.A. students in art history must earn a grade of B or higher in semester-long upper-level courses in five of the following 10 distribution fields: African (including Oceanic), architecture, Asian, ancient (3000 BCE to 300 CE), medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, 18th- and 19th-century European, American (including pre-Columbian, Native American, and African American), and modern/contemporary. These courses must be taken after the B.A. is granted.

M.A. students must complete a substantial thesis that demonstrates their ability to conduct scholarly research and convey ideas in writing appropriately for the discipline and for the student's specialization field.

Overview: University of Iowa Graduate Program in Art History

Admission

Applications to the M.A. program in art history, with all supporting materials and requests for financial aid, must be received by December 15 for fall admission in the following year.  Please see Apply Now link for complete information.

Required Courses

M.A. students in art history must satisfactorily complete during their first fall semester of enrollment and must register for an art history seminar in their first, second, and third semesters of enrollment. They also must satisfactorily complete every semester that they are enrolled for 9 s.h. or more; students who register for less than 9 s.h. are strongly encouraged to attend the colloquium, as well.

Courses outside the curriculum of the School of Art & Art History's art history division do not carry art history credit. Cross-referenced courses not taught by art history faculty members also do not carry art history credit.

Directed Studies

Directed Studies (ARTH:6040:0IND) is designed for graduate students who already have taken one or more advanced courses in a specific art history field. It provides students with an opportunity to work one-to-one with a professor to continue specific research interests developed in lecture courses or seminars, or on topics that eventually may be the subject of a thesis or dissertation. Directed Studies cannot be substituted for a lecture course already offered in the program. Students must discuss their decision to take Directed Studies with the professor involved and have the professor's approval. The Directed Studies topic must be within the professor's range of expertise.

Students meet with their Directed Studies professor once a week. The hours of work and written assignments required for Directed Studies must be equal to a comparable regularly scheduled course. Directed Studies is not available through Guided Correspondence Study.

Language Requirement

M.A. students must demonstrate proficiency in French or German by the end of their third semester. Proficiency is determined by a translation exam administered under the direction of the art history division. Credit earned in language courses does not count toward the degree.

M.A. Committee

The M.A. committee consists of the student's MA thesis advisor and two additional tenured or tenure-track faculty members in art history.

M.A. Thesis

M.A. students must complete a written thesis on a topic chosen from one of the 10 distribution fields. Students register for and may count 3 s.h. of thesis credit toward graduation. Students choose an M.A. thesis advisor who specializes in their concentration field. Students who wish to concentrate in more than one field must work closely with faculty members in both fields.

Final Examination

The final examination constitutes an oral defense of the written M.A. thesis. The final examination meeting with the M.A. committee normally takes place toward the end of the student's last semester of course work.