Master of Arts: Art History
The Master of Arts program in art history requires a minimum of 30 s.h. of graduate credit and is offered with thesis. M.A. students are expected to acquire a broad knowledge of art history and to become familiar with major periods and monuments of world art. They also become proficient scholars, receiving training in research methods and theory necessary for subsequent scholarship at the Ph.D. level.
M.A. students must maintain a g.p.a. of at least 3.50. Only one semester of academic probation is allowed. All M.A. candidates, including transfer students, must take at least 24 s.h. in residence at The University of Iowa.
M.A. students in art history must earn a grade of B or higher in semester-long courses (100-level or above) in five of the following 10 distribution fields: African (including Oceanic), architecture, Asian, ancient (3000 B.C.E. to 300 C.E.), medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, 18th- and 19th-century European, American (including pre-Columbian, Native American, and African American), and modern/contemporary. These courses must be taken after the B.A. is granted.
M.A. students must complete a substantial thesis that demonstrates their ability to conduct scholarly research and convey ideas in writing appropriately for the discipline and for the student's specialization field.
Applications to the M.A. program in art history, with all supporting materials and requests for financial aid, must be received at the School of Art and Art History and the University's Office of Graduate Admissions by December 15 for fall admission in the following year.
Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree, preferably in art history or a related field.
Although exceptions may be made when other components of the application are strong, applicants should have a combined verbal and quantitative score of at least 1200 and an analytical writing score of at least 5 on the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) General Test; and an undergraduate g.p.a. of at least 3.25 on a 4.00 scale.
In addition to materials submitted to the Office of Graduate Admissions, the following materials must be submitted to the graduate secretary at the School of Art and Art History: transcripts from all colleges and universities the applicant has attended; three letters of recommendation assessing the applicant's potential for graduate study in art history (sent by the person making the recommendation); and a research paper (preferably from an art history course) or undergraduate thesis that demonstrates the applicant's potential to undertake research in art history.
Applicants also must submit a 1,000-word personal statement describing their intellectual development, academic interests, and career goals; the statement must name the University of Iowa faculty member under whose guidance the applicant hopes to work and tell how that faculty member's area of expertise, or how the art history program, is especially suited to the applicant's interests and goals.
M.A. students in art history must satisfactorily complete during their first fall semester of enrollment and must register for an art history seminar in their first, second, and third semesters of enrollment. They also must satisfactorily complete every semester that they are enrolled for 9 s.h. or more; students who register for less than 9 s.h. are strongly encouraged to attend the colloquium, as well.
Courses outside the curriculum of the School of Art and Art History's art history division do not carry art history credit. Cross-referenced courses not taught by art history faculty members also do not carry art history credit.
Directed Studies (01H:300) is designed for graduate students who already have taken one or more advanced courses in a specific art history field. It provides students with an opportunity to work one-to-one with a professor to continue specific research interests developed in lecture courses or seminars, or on topics that eventually may be the subject of a thesis or dissertation. Directed Studies cannot be substituted for a lecture course already offered in the program. Students must discuss their decision to take Directed Studies with the professor involved and have the professor's approval. The Directed Studies topic must be within the professor's range of expertise.
Students meet with their Directed Studies professor once a week. The hours of work and written assignments required for Directed Studies must be equal to a comparable regularly scheduled course. Directed Studies is not available through Guided Correspondence Study.
M.A. students must demonstrate proficiency in French or German by the end of their third semester. Proficiency is determined by a translation exam administered under the direction of the art history division. Credit earned in language courses does not count toward the degree.
The M.A. committee consists of the student's M.A. thesis advisor and two additional tenured or tenure-track faculty members in art history.
M.A. students must complete a written thesis on a topic chosen from one of the 10 distribution fields (see "Master of Arts: Art History" above). Students register for and may count 3 s.h. of thesis credit toward graduation. Students choose an M.A. thesis advisor who specializes in their concentration field. Students who wish to concentrate in more than one field must work closely with faculty members in both fields.
The final examination constitutes an oral defense of the written M.A. thesis. The final examination meeting with the M.A. committee normally takes place toward the end of the student's last semester of course work.