Art History, M.A.

Academic Preparation

Students who complete the M.A. degree in Art History at the College of Visual Arts and Design prepare for doctoral study by developing 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 in their investigation of 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 15-21 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.

Students may pursue graduate studies in the following areas.

  • Visual and material culture of the late antique and medieval periods in Europe, the Islamic world, and South Asia
  • Visual and material culture in the Middle East, Europe, and the Americas from the 16th to the 21st Century
  • Historiography, methodology, and theory of art and visual and material culture since 1900

Within these areas, students work with an array of faculty whose interests and expertise intersect on such issues as colonialism, postcolonialism, geography, ritual and spatial analysis, race, gender, and sexuality.

Recent capstone research projects include the following.

Annalisa Giannotti, 2020, “Creating a Brand: Salvador Dalí in American Popular Culture from 1940-1965”
Jaclyn Butt, 2020, “Heavenly Bodies: Analyzing Medieval Metaphor at the Met”
Virginia Cook, 2020, "Rewriting Cultural History: Casa Árabe”
Lizbeth Lopez, 2020, “Analysis of the sculpture No Solid Form Can Contain You using Gloria Anzaldúa’s Theory of Nepantla”
Lindsay Robbins, “Art in Translation: Contextualizing the Instructional Manga Publications of Christopher Hart”

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 in the discipline.

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 a variety of archival settings such as corporate archives, government archives, museums, and other collecting repositories. The program consists of 15 credit hours in courses such as Archives and Manuscripts and Digital Curation.

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 needed to perform essential job functions involving management, curation, preservation, and stewardship of digital data and information. The four required courses provide students 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 the completion of 18 hours.

Funding Information

Academic Achievement Scholarship, TGS

Out-of-state students may apply for the Academic Achievement Scholarship for $1,000. With this scholarship, out-of-state students are granted in-state tuition status, which results in a tuition savings of more than $8,300 annually.

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. Each quarter-time appointment carries a salary of over $2,800, such that half-time employment for the academic year would provide a salary of more than $11,000.

Exemplary students with a half-time TA appointment are also eligible to 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 pages below:

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

Applications for the M.A. in Art History are considered for both fall and spring starts. Priority application deadlines to be considered for scholarships, fellowships and assistantships are Feb. 1 and Oct. 1.

Applying to a program in the College of Visual Arts and Design is a two-part process. An applicant must apply to both the Toulouse School of Graduate Studies and to 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.
  • Submit your GRE scores. (Requirement is suspended during this application cycle due to COVID-19.)
  • 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. Required application materials are listed on the UNT Art History – M.A. web page.
  2. At least two letters of recommendation. The letters should come from faculty members who are able to speak to your potential for success in a graduate-level art history program. They must be on letterhead and must be submitted directly to the department by the recommender as an email attachment to the CVAD Department of Art History's email address: There is no specific recommendation form required.

Program Manual

The following program manual is a summary of the Master of Arts, Art History Program. We intend that you use the procedures as outlined here to plan and fulfill all requirements for the M.A. degree in Art History.

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. 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 Marketing Skills for the M.A. Degree in Art History

The marketable skills goals 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



Note: Should you need a reasonable accommodation due to a disability to fully participate in a CVAD event, please contact the CVAD Dean's Office,, 940-565-4001. For voice access, dial 1-800-RELAYTX (735-2989). Please make the request as soon as possible to allow sufficient time to arrange the accommodation.

UNT is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design, 11250 Roger Bacon Drive, Suite 21, Reston, VA 20190-5248, phone: (703) 437-0700; fax: (703) 437-6312;, email. In 2020, UNT achieved designation from the Department of Education as a Title III & Title V Minority-Serving Institution and as a Hispanic Serving Institution.