KU offers graduate art history courses in European, American, and East Asian art. Students may pursue graduate degrees in European and American art or East Asian art. Students who are interested in pursuing graduate degrees that emphasize international or transnational modern and contemporary art should follow the concentration (European and American or East Asian) that best aligns with their areas of interest.

The M.A. provides students with a broad and deep knowledge of the visual arts, as well as study of the basic concepts, theories, and methods of the discipline. The M.A. may be pursued as a terminal degree or as preparation for doctoral studies at KU or to apply elsewhere.

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.

Admission to the M.A.

To be considered for regular admission status in the program, a student must hold a bachelor's degree and have earned at least a B (3.0) grade-point average in previous academic work. Please review the full Graduate Studies Admissions Policy. Non-native speakers of English must meet English proficiency requirements as described here

Application Deadline:

For fall semester admission, all application materials submitted by: January 1

The History of Art Department requires the following application materials:  

A full list of the required application materials can be found on the department's website.


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. 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.