Art History, M.A.

Academic Preparation
Professional Preparation

Application Process
M.A. Art History Procedures Manual – an update is in progress
M.A. Art History THECB Marketable Skills
Contact Information

Academic Preparation

The M.A. in Art History prepares students to excel in academic, museum, and other careers in the arts and humanities. Students develop an enhanced understanding of past and contemporary visual art forms, in-depth knowledge of art history methodologies, and advanced skills in art history research. Graduates critically analyze and apply different theories and methods to investigate artworks, images from visual culture, or other related materials. They furthermore design, implement and defend original research of relevance to the area of specialization.

Coursework for the M.A. in Art History consists of 30 semester credit hours and is completed in two years. The program includes 15 to 21 hours in graduate art history seminars, an optional six-credit-hour minor, a seminar in research methods, and a six-credit-hour original research project. Students additionally complete a Research Project Colloquium presentation of the proposed original research and demonstrate proficiency in foreign language sufficient to engage in primary source investigation.

Faculty provide supervision and mentorship in the following areas for graduate study.

  • Visual and material culture of the ancient Mediterranean and Near East
  • Visual and material culture of South Asia
  • Art of the Americas from the 16th Century to today
  • European art from the 18th Century to today
  • Modern and contemporary Arab art and art of the Middle East
  • Architecture and design history in the U.S. and Europe from 1800 to today
  • Historiography, methodology, and theory of art, design, and visual culture since 1900

Within these areas, students work with an array of faculty whose interests and expertise intersect on aspects of colonialism, postcolonialism, geography, ritual and spatial analysis, race, gender, and sexuality. Faculty members explore, contextualize and challenge hegemonic frameworks that have shaped (and continue to shape) the study of art.

Recent M.A. students and their projects include the following.

  • Emma Ahmad, 2021, “Lebanese Modernity in the Global Art Canon: Saloua Raouda Choucair at the Tate Modern”
  • Claudia Eisermann, 2021, “Whose Portrait? Exploring the Multivalency of Nur Jahan Holding a Portrait of Jahangir”
  • Natalie Howlett, 2022, “L’Attitude of Liminality: Henri-Pierre Danloux’s Mademoiselle Rosalie Duthé”
  • Lydia Moore, 2022, “Reconstructing Narrative at the 1907 Society of Arts and Crafts Boston Exhibition: Status and Education in Display Script”
  • Julianna Morris, 2021, “Speechless and Complex Embodiment: Questions of Accessibility and inclusion analyzed through the Concept of Embodiment in Critical Disability Studies, Art History, and Exhibition Studies”
  • Callie Storie, 2022, ‘I wonder in whose possession it is now’: Palestinian-Arab Middle-Class Cultural Practices and The Sakakini Family’s Missing Art Collection 

Professional Preparation

Pairing the M.A. in Art History with a graduate academic certificate prepares students for careers in museums, galleries, and other arts organizations. Certificate study is undertaken simultaneously with the M.A. in Art History, providing additional professional training and complementing academic preparation.

The following certificates can be paired with the M.A. in Art History for added professional preparation.

Art Museum Education: The graduate academic certificate in art museum education in the CVAD Department of Art Education is intended to provide professional training for post-baccalaureate students who desire careers in areas of art museum education or expertise in the use of art museums as educational resources. Those who complete the program will possess the skills to develop and implement education programs for art museum audiences of varied ages and backgrounds. The program consists of 18 credit hours, which includes a six-credit-hour museum internship. View the video about Museum Education for more information.

Archival Management: The graduate academic certificate in archival management in the College of Information provides students with the theoretical and practical background necessary to undertake careers in various archival settings such as corporate archives, government archives, museums, and other collecting repositories. The program comprises 15 Archives and Manuscripts and Digital Curation course credit hours.

Digital Content Management: Perfect for those interested in the care and curation of digital images and objects, the digital content management graduate academic certificate in the College of Information prepares students to meet the challenges of managing the life cycle of digital assets, including digital images. The four required courses provide theoretical foundations and conceptual tools through structured learning experiences and supervised class projects. Students learn the basic knowledge and technical skills necessary to manage digital content, build applications, and develop services that respond to institutional and individual user needs.

Digital Curation and Data Management: The graduate academic certificate in digital curation and data management in the College of Information prepares students with knowledge and skills for the emerging digital curation and data management workforce. The curriculum provides the conceptual foundation and application experiences to develop a defined set of competencies to perform essential job functions involving management, curation, preservation, and stewardship of digital data and information. The four required courses provide students with hands-on experiences with technologies and applications in a virtual lab setting.

Interactive and Virtual Digital Communication: Ideal for museum and gallery social media coordinators, the graduate academic certificate in interactive and virtual digital communication in the Mayborn School of Journalism trains students in the most up-to-date written, visual and technical competencies required to successfully communicate in today’s online and information world. The graduate academic certificate in interactive and virtual digital communication requires 18 hours.  

Funding Information

Fall Academic Achievement Scholarship, Toulouse Graduate School

The Academic Achievement Scholarship is a one-year, $1,000 tuition scholarship that begins only during the fall semester. Recipients who are international or non-resident may be eligible to pay Texas resident tuition during the terms of the scholarship. If all scholarship requirements are met during year one of the award, the student will automatically receive a one-year renewal of the scholarship, pending the availability of funds.

Teaching Assistantship

Full-time students in the M.A. in Art History program are eligible to serve as Teaching Assistants in the CVAD Department of Art History, the UNT Art Gallery, the Texas Fashion Collection, and elsewhere within the college. The Department of Art History can offer quarter-time appointments of 10 hours/week and half-time appointments of 20 hours/week. Employment is predicated on full-time graduate enrollment in 9 hours of coursework each semester, progress toward the degree, and good academic standing.

Exemplary students with a half-time TA appointment can receive a tuition waiver for 6 hours of coursework per semester through the Toulouse Graduate School’s Tuition Benefit Plan.

There are many opportunities for scholarships both within CVAD and UNT. Explore your options by visiting the following web pages.

Application Process to the M.A. in Art History Program

Applications for the M.A. in Art History are considered for fall and spring starts. Application deadlines to be considered for admission, scholarships, fellowships and assistantships are Feb. 1 for a fall start date and Oct. 1 for a spring start date.

Applying to a College of Visual Arts and Design program is a two-part process. An applicant must apply to the Toulouse School of Graduate Studies and the Department of Art History, as detailed in the following steps.

Step 1: Apply to the UNT Toulouse Graduate School

  • Submit an online application at ApplyTexas as soon as possible.
  • Contact the registrar's office at each college and university you have attended and request that each send an official transcript of your records to the UNT Toulouse Graduate School. Transcripts are required from every college or university you have attended and must arrive by the application deadline.

Sending Your Transcripts

By U.S. Postal Service

Toulouse Graduate School
1155 Union Circle #305459
Denton, TX 76203-5017

By UPS/FedEx

Toulouse Graduate School
1147 Union Circle, ESSC 354
Denton, TX 76203-5459


Step 2: Apply to the Department of Art History 

Required Items

  1. Letter of intent. In this 500- to 750-word essay, describe your goals in pursuing an M.A. in Art History. Applicants must identify specific faculty members who can potentially serve as major professors for the M.A. research project. Applicants must have research interests that intersect with faculty specializations.
    • Please contact the Chair of the Department if you have questions regarding faculty and our areas of expertise. Please upload this document to the student portal created via Step 1 above.
  2. Two letters of recommendation. The letters should come from faculty members who can speak to your potential for success in a graduate-level art history program. They must be on letterhead and emailed directly to the department at by the recommender. There is no specific recommendation form required.
  3. Professional resume. This should list all relevant work experience, affiliations, etc. Please upload this document to the student portal created via Step 1 above.
  4.  Writing sample. A recent research paper of 3000 to 4500 words is best. If you do not have a research paper in art history, you may submit a research paper from a related field. Please upload this document to the student portal created via Step 1 above.

Program Manual

A program manual — currently under revision — summarizes the Master of Arts, Art History Program. We intend that you use the procedures outlined to plan and fulfill all requirements for the M.A. degree in Art History. Please contact the Department of Art History,, for your copy of the program manual.

In addition to this manual, you must obtain and carefully read the current UNT Graduate Catalog, as you are additionally subject to all of the policies and procedures outlined in the catalog. Please note that the Art History faculty are always willing to assist you with planning and realizing your coursework and degree requirements. However, the responsibility of meeting all CVAD and UNT Toulouse Graduate School requirements for the degree of M.A. in Art History rests with you, the student.

For additional information, visit the Toulouse Graduate School website. 

THECB Marketable Skills for the M.A. Degree in Art History

The marketable skills for the M.A. in Art History in accordance with the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board are as follow.

  1. Advanced scholarly writing
  2. Primary and secondary source analysis
  3. Critical thinking
  4. Research design
  5. Research implementation 

Contact Information

Department of Art History
Art Building, Room 230