UMKC Catalog


Master of Arts: Art History - M.A. in Art History

Applications for Graduate Study

Applications for the M.A. in Art History are considered on a rolling basis, but students who would like to begin in the fall semester are encouraged to submit complete applications by March 15 of that year; those who would like to begin in the spring semester should submit their applications by November 1 of the preceding year. Submission by those dates will ensure maximum choice in course work. M.A. students who wish to be considered for GTA-ships during the following academic year must submit their applications by March 15.

Art History Classification of Entering Students

Admission to the graduate program in art history requires a B.A. or equivalent degree and sufficient undergraduate study in art history to provide a sound foundation for advanced study. Ideally, this foundation would include a solid grounding in the history of Western art, some study of non-Western art, and sufficient advanced-level work to indicate that a student can succeed in the specialized or topical courses and seminars associated with graduate study. Admission review is done by the graduate advisor in Art History.

The applicant should have, in addition to a good general education in the humanities, 18 to 24 credit hours in art history with a grade-point average of 3.0 or better. Students with fewer hours and/or a restricted exposure to other humanities and fine arts courses, or having inconsistent grades, are eligible for admission to the graduate program on the basis of recent evidence indicating the potential for success, such as performance in 400-level courses, or through papers and exams for courses elsewhere. If there are some deficiencies in preparation that can be met readily by one or two undergraduate survey courses, a student will be admitted to graduate study. However, the survey courses must be taken for undergraduate credit before the student is allowed to take the qualifying examination that is required for advancement to degree candidacy.

Applicants lacking the minimum preparation deemed necessary for admission to graduate-level study in art history may make up their deficiency through enrollment in selected undergraduate courses offered by the department. These will be determined after consultation with a faculty advisor and in all cases must include 400-level work. Progress will be reviewed at the end of each term, and if warranted, reclassification to graduate status will occur prior to the start of the next semester.

Requirements for Graduation

All degree candidates are required to take a minimum of 30 graduate credits, including ART-HIST 5501, Scope and Methods of Art History, and a maximum of 6 credit hours of ART-HIST 5599, Research and Thesis. Other courses are determined in consultation with the adviser and the supervising committee for the thesis.

Special Requirements

Requirements for Retention

A student must maintain a graduate grade-point average of 3.0. In extenuating circumstances, a student may petition the Department of Art and Art History to be continued as a graduate student for one term (or 6 hours) if the graduate GPA falls below 3.0. The deficiency must be remedied during the approved probationary period if the student is to be continued.

Reading Knowledge in Foreign Language

M.A. students must acquire a reading knowledge of one foreign language considered essential to advanced study in art history before beginning the M.A. thesis. Students are encouraged to acquire this skill as early as possible in their graduate studies, so they may use it in graduate seminars and research papers. This requirement is most often fulfilled by three semesters at the college level, with a grade of B or better in the third semester. Students who believe they have acquired a sufficient reading knowledge, but have not completed three semesters of language training at the college level, may petition the graduate adviser to take a reading exam in that language. Normally, however, three semesters of college-level study are necessary to achieve sufficient mastery.

Thesis or Final Project in Art History

The final requirement for the M.A. degree in Art History is the M.A. thesis, which is normally begun two semesters before a student completes the degree. The thesis is an approved project that demonstrates capacity for independent work of a suitably high level of proficiency, one utilizing the primary sources available on the topic in English and in the foreign language that meets the program requirement, as well as the major relevant secondary sources . This project, selected in conjunction with the thesis advisor most often develops from a seminar paper, and its presentation must conform to the requirements of the School of Graduate Studies.