The M.A. provides students with a broad knowledge of the visual arts in European/American or East Asian art history, as well as an introduction to the basic concepts and methods of the discipline. The M.A. may be pursed as a terminal degree or as preparation to petition for specialized doctoral studies at KU or to apply elsewhere. The Combined M.A./Ph.D. is intended for students who want to pursue the Ph.D. in art history at KU, but who do not yet hold the M.A. degree in art history. All applicants are considered for competitive funding packages and GTA, GRA, and GA positions, however Combined M.A./Ph.D. students are given priority.

Admission to Graduate Studies

An applicant seeking to pursue graduate study in the College may be admitted as either a degree-seeking or non-degree seeking student. Policies and procedures of Graduate Studies govern the process of Graduate admission. These may be found in the Graduate Studies section of the online catalog.

Please consult the Departments & Programs section of the online catalog for information regarding program-specific admissions criteria and requirements. Special admissions requirements pertain to Interdisciplinary Studies degrees, which may be found in the Graduate Studies section of the online catalog.

Graduate Admission

M.A. and Combined M.A./Ph.D. applicants are expected to hold the B.A. or equivalent degree with an overall grade-point average of 3.3 or better and to have taken at least 6 college courses in art history or the equivalent, distributed to provide the basic foundation for advanced study. M.A. and Combined M.A./Ph.D. applicants should specify their area of proposed study (European/American art or East Asian art).

Completed applications must be submitted by January 1 for fall admission. The Graduate Record Examination general test is required.

Submit your graduate application online. The M.A./Ph.D. applicant must apply to the Combined M.A./Ph.D. program. Only one application fee is required.

The University of Kansas
Department of History of Art
Graduate Admissions
Spencer Museum of Art
1301 Mississippi St., Room 209
Lawrence, KS 66045-7500

M.A. Degree Requirements

The student must complete 30 hours of graduate credit, at least 21 of which must be in art history distributed according to department requirements (see department website). Students pursuing the degree in European/American art must take at least 18 credit hours at the 700-900 level 6 hours of which must be taken at the 800 level or higher. Students pursuing the degree in East Asian art history must take at least 15 credit hours at the 600 level or higher, 6 hours of which must be taken at the 800 level or higher (see department website for specifics). All course work must satisfy grade standards. The candidate must demonstrate proficiency in the reading of a foreign language, normally a major European language, Chinese, Korean, or Japanese.

A general written examination (in European/American art or East Asian art) must be passed for the M.A. degree. M.A. students who wish to be considered for admission to the Ph.D. program must complete and sign the Petition for Continuation in the Ph.D. Program form, which will be distributed at the M.A. exam and collected with the completed exam essays on day two of testing. It is expected that such students will already have expressed this interest to a potential major field advisor and received that faculty member’s support.

The student must pass the M.A. exam in order for his/her petition to be considered by the graduate faculty. After receiving departmental approval for the petition and completing all M.A. degree requirements, the student will automatically be entered into the Ph.D. program and will be expected to maintain his/her enrollment as per Graduate Studies guidelines. Students who do not submit the petition at the time of the M.A. exam will need to reapply for admission to the art history graduate program.

The Combined M.A./Ph.D. student does not need to submit the Petition for Continuation in the Ph.D. Program form. The student will be evaluated by the graduate faculty upon passing the M.A. exam to determine whether he/she remains eligible to continue to the Ph.D. or if the M.A. is the appropriate terminal degree. In most cases, Combined M.A./Ph.D. students will enter the Ph.D. program upon completion of the requirements for the M.A. degree.

Handbook for Graduate Students

A detailed presentation of departmental degree requirements and regulations is included in the department’s Graduate Student Handbook, available online.