Purpose of the MA degree: both a broad knowledge of world art, and a basic sampling of the diverse theory and methods employed by our faculty in the discipline of art history.

The Master’s program in art history is designed to be completed in four semesters.

Course Work:

Total of 12 courses, 36 credits.

3 required courses: Advanced Readings: Methods (ARTH 850) in the first semester; Thesis Writing Seminar (ARTH 992) and Masters Thesis (ARTH 993) in the fourth semester.

9 courses of which 5 should be graduate seminars (900 level).

In order to develop breadth of knowledge, both in terms of content and method, students must take at least 2 courses whose topics cover the time period before 1700 C.E. and two covering the period after 1700 C.E. Additionally, students must take courses with 5 different members of the graduate faculty.

Graduate Courses:

Students are advised to audit 2 survey courses over the course of their first two semesters in order to develop some breadth of knowledge.

Language Requirement

By the end of the third semester, all M.A. students are required to have met the language requirement of one language, other than English, appropriate to the area of study. The language will be determined in consultation with the student’s advisor, the Director of Graduate Studies, and  the graduate committee. The student can demonstrate competency by obtaining a passing grade on the UNC-CH reading competency exam, or earning a “B” (or a graduate “P”) or better in a fourth semester or higher language course, or by earning a “B” (or graduate “P”) in a literature course in that language at UNC-CH. Graduate-level reading courses are also possibilities for fulfilling this requirement, though these are offered with increasingly less frequency, so students are encouraged to consider the reading competency exam as their primary means by which to meet this requirement. A German reading course is offered through Duke every fall (501); French 602x is offered at UNC but not on a yearly basis.

Note: No credit toward the MA course work requirements is given for language courses.

Master’s Exam

M.A. students take this exam at the beginning of their third semester. Students who do not pass the exam at that time may re-take the exam at the end of the third semester. Only students who have successfully passed the exam may register for ARTH 992 (M.A. Thesis Writing Seminar) or ARTH 993 (M.A. Thesis Registration). The exam is offered only during the fall semester.

Master’s Thesis

The MA Thesis is completed by the end of the fourth semester of enrollment. The completed Thesis must be signed by the members of the Thesis Committee and submitted to the Graduate School in time for May graduation.