ACADEMICS - MASTER OF ARTS IN ART HISTORY
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The Master of Arts program enables students to gain a deeper understanding of the history of art, its objects, and its methods. An integral component of this program, which sets it apart from many others, is "the museum experience": the opportunity to study in art museums and work with museum professionals. Closely linked to the Amon Carter Museum, Kimbell Art Museum, and Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, the program will also utilize other significant art resources found in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, including those of Dallas Museum of Art, Arlington Museum of Art, Sid Richardson Collection of Western Art, the Meadows Museum, Museum of African-American American Life and Culture, McKinney Avenue Contemporary, and Trammell and Margaret Crow Collection of Asian Art. Centering on the art object, the program allows students to expand their knowledge of the historical, stylistic, and theoretical dimensions of the visual arts, while having the practical experience of working directly with art objects and in museums with professional staffs. Graduates of the program will be prepared to engage in work at the Ph.D. level and pursue careers in the teaching and art museum professions. A Bachelor of Arts degree in art history is also available.
Applicants will normally have completed 18 semester hours (6 courses) in art history. The department will consider applications from qualified students in other fields. Applicants are expected to have studied one foreign language--French, German, Italian, Spanish, or one approved by the department--for two years or have reading proficiency. The TOEFL exam is required for foreign students. The application must include:
- a statement of no more than 250 words describing the applicant's academic and professional objectives
- a writing sample (such as an undergraduate paper) of 1250 to 2500 words
- Three letters of recommendation
- GRE General Test
February 15: Deadline for receipt of applications to the M.A. program.
For further admission information and an application form, contact the Office of Graduate Studies or write:
Office of Graduate Studies
College of Fine Arts
Texas Christian University
TCU Box 298000
Fort Worth, Texas 76129
The program requires 36 hours of course work, including the thesis. Upon approval of the faculty, entering students may transfer in up to 6 hours of graduate study in art history. Passing a reading proficiency examination in a foreign language is required.
- ART 70003: Art Historical Methods (3 hrs)
- ART 70013: The Art Museum (3 hrs)
- ART 70023: Approaches to the Art Object (3 hrs)
- ART 70983: Art Museum Internship
- Thesis (6 hrs)
The remaining 18 hours are elective courses; students are strongly encouraged to enroll in courses that reflect chronological and geographical diversity. Generally, a student may not earn more than 3 hours of graduate credit in coursework taken outside of the art history program.
The thesis is to be fulfilled by a paper, or its equivalent, that demonstrates
advanced research skills. The thesis should be the result of independent study,
the revision and improvement of a seminar paper, or writing generated by the
student's museum internship. In all cases, the topic must receive approval
of the student's advisor. The thesis will be overseen by department faculty
members, in conjunction with a museum professional.
Foreign Language Requirement
Students are required to pass a reading proficiency examination in French,
Italian, Spanish, or another language approved by the faculty upon entering
the program. Exams will be administered early in the first semester. Students
will be expected to translate two passages into English, one with the use of
a dictionary and one without dictionary. Each passage will be no more
than 250 words, and students will be given 30 minutes to complete each portion
of the exam.
Foreign language exams are administered to ensure that students can do art
historical research in a foreign language. To this end, students are
encouraged to make sure that they have a good understanding of basic grammar
and vocabulary, as well as important art historical terminology. Students whose
basic knowledge of a language or mastery of basic terminology in art history
appears to be unsatisfactory will not receive a passing grade on the exam.
Language exams will be graded on the following scale: high pass; pass; low
pass; fail. The dictionary and non-dictionary portions of the exam will each
be graded separately. Students are required to pass both sections of the exam
for the M.A. in art history.
Students who do not pass the examination have two options:
Option 1: Retake and pass the examination at the beginning of the following
Option 2: Enroll in two semesters (or an approved equivalent) of
second-year foreign language study and earn at least a “B” in
both semesters (or the equivalent). This option must be completed before
the beginning of the second year of graduate study. Students who elect
this option should be aware, however, that our fellowships do not provide
funding for foreign language study, so they must make their own financial
arrangements if this course is selected.
Final Oral Examination
This university requirement will be fulfilled by a "capstone conversation" between the student and her/his thesis committee by reviewing and assessing the student's work and progress.
Core Graduate Courses
ART 70003 Art Historical Methods
Seminar focusing on the historiography of art history and current methodologies
employed by the discipline. Topics include the origins of art history;
research techniques employed to study the production and reception of the
art object; the premises and results of contemporary modes of interpreting
the art object, as well as current issues in the field.
ART 70013 The Art Museum
Seminar assessing a broad range of historical and contemporary issues, practices,
and concerns of art museums, and which examines more specifically, the
collections and philosophies of the Amon Carter Museum, the Kimbell Art
Museum, and the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. The class includes numerous
ART 70023 Approaches to the Art Object
Seminar on the physical characteristics of art works, focusing on the
science/art of authenticating and identifying art works in terms of authorship
and date. Information also on artistic techniques, condition, and conservation.
The chronological emphasis of the course may vary, depending on the particular
interests of the instructor.
ART 70100 Museum Seminar
Seminar offering students the opportunity to study an art historical topic
in depth, within an art museum environment. The course's specific topic varies,
but the course always centers on actual works of art. Therefore, the seminar
will meet the majority of the time in an art museum and include the participation
of museum professionals.
ART 70300 Special Topics Seminar
Seminar offering the opportunity to study various significant topics in
ART 70983 Internship
Semester-long internship in an art museum. The objective of the internship
is to provide the student with the practical experience of working
in an art museum. The internship may take a variety of forms in a
range of departments within an art museum, but will, in every case,
afford the student the opportunity to make a tangible contribution
to the museum (a research project, development of educational material,
public lecture, etc.). An internship contract is drawn up between
the student, her/his advisor, and a museum professional, who serves
as the intern's supervisor.
ART 70996 Thesis
Completion of a paper, or its equivalent, that demonstrates advanced
research skills. The thesis should be the result of independent study,
the revision and improvement of a seminar paper, or writing generated
by the student's museum internship. In all cases, the topic must
receive approval of the student's advisor. The thesis will be overseen
by department faculty members, in conjunction with a museum professional.
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