Master of Arts in Art History - Museum Studies Track

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  • Course description
    Graduate degree programs in Art History include the Master of Arts (M.A.) with individual tracks in Architectural History, Art Historical Studies, and Museum Studies, and the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) with Historical and Curatorial tracks.

    The program in museum studies stresses those attitudes and skills necessary to accomplish the major goals of any professional museum operation: to collect, preserve, exhibit and interpret the art and artifacts of the past and present within an extended curriculum and professional museum environment. The course of study also includes an internship for academic credit under the direct supervision and professional guidance of individuals in the field.

    The curriculum provides a broad overview of historical developments, institutional responsibilities and theoretical issues relevant to contemporary museum practice. And it offers a practical and scholarly foundation upon which students may build curatorial careers that include exhibit and/or education program development.
    The VCUarts Museum Studies track provides a broad overview of historical developments, institutional responsibilities, professional opportunities, and theoretical issues relevant to contemporary museum practice. Museum Studies courses foster creative strategizing and critical thinking to meet the challenges of today's museum profession, preparing students to enter the competitive museum field with a sound foundation of practical knowledge and skills.

    The curriculum equips students to build careers in curatorship, collections management, educational program development, and exhibit development. It includes museum internship and practicum opportunities and offers an option of completing either a scholarly thesis or a museum project .

    A rich variety of museums in the Richmond area provide ample opportunities for organized site visits with museum professionals, internship and volunteer experiences , and a broad range of collections for research.

    Program Requirements
    Students typically complete this 36-credit program in two or two and a half years.

    1. ARTH 690: Historiography and Methodology (3 credits), to be taken in the first semester
    2. 4 graduate ARTH courses (12 credits)
    3. 4 Museum Studies courses (12 credits)
    4. Museum Internship (3 credits)
    5. Thesis or Museum Project (6 credits)
    1. The foreign language exam (in French, Italian, Spanish or German) is taken in the first semester.
    2. The slide exam covering general art historical knowledge is taken in the second semester.
    3. Essay exam covering the student's primary area of study is taken in the third semester.
    4. All exams and coursework must be completed before advancing to candidacy and writing the thesis.
    Admissions Requirements
    1. B.A. or B.F.A. in art history or related field, with 15 credit hours of undergraduate courses.
    2. 3.2 GPA on last 60 hours of undergraduate course work.
    3. GRE score of 1000 cumulative verbal/analytical.
    4. GRE scores: 1000 combined Verbal and Quantitative, 5 or better on the Analytic Writing portion.
    5. 2 letters of reference from college instructors who can assess the applicant's academic preparation and promise.
    6. 1 letter of reference from a museum professional who has supervised the applicant's work as a museum intern, employee, or volunteer.
    7. Statement of purpose outlining the applicant's reasons for seeking a graduate degree, area of intended specialization in art history, and professional goals. The statement of purpose may also include professional experience relevant to the pursuit of a graduate degree in art history.
    8. Writing Sample: undergraduate research paper in art history
    9. There is no language requirement for admission, although students should have some language background to prepare them to pass the department language exam. The department does not provide language instruction.
    10. Applicants who do not meet all minimum requirements may be admitted to the program on a provisional basis, pending approval of the department graduate committee.

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