Free-standing Master's Program

General Information

“The master's degree is conferred only on completion of a coherent and focused program of advanced study.”(Graduate School Catalog)

Admission

This program is designed for students who wish to develop their academic background in art history in order to pursue a career in the art world (museum, gallery, auction house, art consulting, publishing, etc.) and for those who wish to complete an M.A. before considering a Ph.D. program.  It is a two-year program.  Preference for funding will normally go to applicants to the Ph.D.

In addition to fulfilling the requirements outlined below, students should continue to acquire a broad knowledge of art history and related subjects by reading widely on their own and by taking and auditing courses. Those who did not major or minor in art history should speak with their faculty advisors as soon as possible about additional coursework that may be required.

All student schedules should be designed in consultation with the faculty advisor and the DGS based on the requirements outlined below.  In extraordinary circumstances a student nearing the end of coursework who has not been able to take a course with his or her major professor may substitute an independent study (AH 799) for a lecture course. The independent study (AH 799) for the completion of the master’s thesis (see below) may not be counted as a lecture course.*

A. Courses

AH 701

M.A. students with a strong background in art history or the equivalent should take a minimum of seven art history courses, at least THREE of which must be seminars

B. Breadth

At least one course in three of the five following areas:

  • Cross-Cultural/Diaspora
  • Africa/Middle East
  • Asia
  • Europe
  • The Americas

At least one course in three of the four following periods:

  • Ancient to Medieval
  • Early Modern (Circa 1400–Circa 1800)
  • Modern (Circa 1800–Circa 1945)
  • Contemporary (Post 1945)

C. Language

One foreign language. (See the Graduate Handbook)

D. Master's Thesis

Students complete their master's thesis in the fourth semester, usually registering for AH799 (credits to be determined) with their major professor.

The thesis is normally a perfected seminar paper of 30-40 pages, based on original research, analysis and interpretation.

Students who wish to do so may deposit their Master’s Thesis with Memorial Library. See here for more information. http://grad.wisc.edu/currentstudents/mastersthesis

*Seminars are defined as discussion-based classes of 12 or fewer students requiring more and longer reading and writing assignments as well as more in-depth research projects. Lectures are defined as larger classes in which a faculty member addresses the group and assessment is based on shorter writing assignments and quizzes/exams.