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MA Art History

We accept about ten students per year into this select graduate program, in which Faculty and students work closely together. Full time study should result in completion after two years, but part-time students are also accepted. This degree is also available with a Museum Studies Concentration. Graduate admissions questions should be directed to Dr. Annabeth Headrick the Admissions Coordinator. On-campus visits are also encouraged, and these may be arranged by contacting Dr. Headrick.

Current students should direct their questions to Dr. Annabeth Headrick the Graduate Advisor for students in the M.A. in Art History. 

Non-Course Requirements

Qualifying Exam

A qualifying examination is used by the art history faculty to determine a student's strengths and weaknesses and to help with program planning. It must be taken before the first week of classes.


The student must demonstrate reading ability in a second language at the level of the 4th semester or 6th quarter of college study. An exam may be taken in DU's Center for World Languages and Cultures, or proof of a grade of B+ or better in the final quarter or semester of language may be submitted. French or German are common for students considering further study for the Ph. D., but other languages may be appropriate given your area of concentration. All students must provide a written plan to the Graduate Advisor for completion of this requirement at the beginning of their MA program.

Advancement to Candidacy

Upon completion of qualifying exam and language, the student should contact the Art History Records Coordinator to ensure that advancement to candidacy forms have been completed.

Comprehensive Exam

Upon completion of course work the student takes an exam written by the faculty specifically for that individual. It combines course work in broad essay questions.

Masters Research Paper

An expanded, publishable paper is the final requirement. Download Guidelines

Course Requirements

32 hours Art History Coursework: (ARTH 3000 & 4000 level).
20 hours Art History Seminars: including: ARTH 4301- Seminar in Art History Methods, ARTH 4302- Research Practicum, and 12 hours at 4000 level
4 hours Master’s Research Paper: ARTH 4995 Thesis
56 total hours of credit to complete the degree

Students need to take at least one non-western and one pre-1600 lecture and/or seminar class.

Please see the handbook for current course listings.

Financial Aid

Students can apply for two types of financial aid: departmental financial aid — primarily merit-based aid, such as graduate 
dean’s tuition scholarships and graduate teaching assistantships, and federal financial aid — including federal student 
loans and work study. To be considered for need-based and federal financial aid, you must complete and submit the Free 
Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online at by the priority deadline of March 1. For more 
information about federal financial aid, please go to the Office of Financial Aid’s Web site: 
International students are not eligible to apply for federal financial aid and do not need to file a FAFSA

Students seeking departmental scholarship or grant aid must complete this form. The form can be uploaded with your 
application to the School of Art and Art History. Instructions on how to upload the Application for Graduate Financial 
Assistance can be found at the end of this form.


Application and Admission Information

Before applying, we recommend at least 5 undergraduate art history courses and 2 years of college-level language. Some nonwestern art history is encouraged and 2 studio art classes are preferred. Submit an application, 3 letters of recommendation, a research paper, GRE scores, transcripts, and a letter outlining your reasons for graduate study and your professional goals. If you would like more information click here. The application deadline is January 31. We recommend that international applicants send their application materials 6 weeks before the January 31 deadline to allow for the extra time necessary to review these materials. Applicants will be notified of the decision by March 15. Late applications will be considered on a space available basis. To arrange a campus visit or further discuss the program and its requirements, please contact Dr. Annabeth Headrick, 303-871-3574 (local calls), 1- 800-876-3323 (toll free)