M.A. in Art History, Main Campus Program
The M.A. in art history requires 30 graduate credits (500 level or above), taken over four semesters, during which students plan individualized programs of study under the guidance of the faculty. Courses offered in art history cover a broad range of subject areas, providing opportunities for both breadth and specialization. Funding opportunities include Teaching Assistantships, which provide full tuition and a stipend, and full and partial tuition scholarships.
Students are required to fulfill a chronological distribution requirement by taking one course in each of the following periods: Ancient/Medieval (pre-1300), Early Modern (1300-1750), and Modern/Contemporary (post-1750). Each course can only count toward one of these chronological periods. Students are also required to fulfill a cultural distribution requirement by taking one course in Global Perspectives and/or Intercultural Perspectives (across or between cultures). These courses can also satisfy a chronological distribution requirement. No course can count for more than two requirements.
Also required are HOA 655 -Proseminar in Graduate Research Methods and Scholarly Writing and HOA 656 -The Literature of Art Criticism. Colloquia and special lectures augment formal courses. With permission, a limited number of credits (up to 6) may be taken outside the department, in such disciplines as history, literature, aesthetics, museum studies, and art librarianship, when relevant to a student’s program of study. Courses in studio art do not count towards the degree program.
During the first semester of graduate study, students take an art history proficiency exam, which tests knowledge of major monuments and disciplinary vocabulary. The art history exam must be passed before students are allowed to enroll in their second semester of study. Students also take a language exam to assess reading proficiency in a second language. The language exam must be passed by the beginning of their second year of study. In their last semester, students participate in a seminar (HOA 757 ), for which they prepare a capstone research paper and present their findings at a public symposium.
Faculty specializations in the history of Byzantine, medieval and early modern European, 18th-21st century, South Asian and Indigenous art and architecture are reflected in SU Libraries holdings that include extensive online databases and a comprehensive collection of print resources. The Syracuse University Art Museum and the nearby Everson Museum of Art have notable collections of paintings, photographs, prints, ceramics, and sculpture.
M.A. in Art History, Florence Program in Renaissance Art
This specialized M.A. degree program devoted to the study of Italian Renaissance art requires 30 graduate credits (500 level and above), taken over three semesters. Successful applicants typically have pursued undergraduate studies in cultural history with an emphasis on the visual arts and ideally have a working knowledge of the Italian language. Funding opportunities include Florence Fellowships, which provide full tuition and a stipend, and Kress-Florence Legacy Fellowships, which provide partial tuition and a stipend. Additional tuition scholarships are available.
Students enrolled in this program must meet departmental art history and Italian language proficiency requirements during their first semester of study. Students begin their coursework in the fall semester at the University’s main campus in Syracuse. If necessary, at this time they audit Italian language classes to reach proficiency sufficient to conduct scholarly work. In addition to SU Libraries’ extensive print and online resources, in Florence students have access to some of the finest libraries in the world for the study of Italian Renaissance art and history.
Upon successful completion of the first semester, students register for two semesters of coursework at Syracuse University Florence. In addition to taking a variety of graduate seminars, during their year in Florence, students enroll in HOA 622, for which they complete capstone research projects and present the results of their research at a public symposium.
The deadline for application to M.A. programs in art history is January 15.
Learning Objectives for MA Programs in Art History
1. Observe and interpret key formal aspects of works of art in historical contexts.
2. Recognize and explain the relationship of artists and art to broad cultural, intellectual, and historical developments.
3. Analyze central issues and thoughtfully apply current scholarly methodologies in the field.
4. Conduct art-historical research at a professional level.
5. Construct rigorous arguments about art and communicate them clearly and persuasively in written and oral presentations.
6. Develop the writing skills necessary for a variety of professions in the field of art history.
7. Demonstrate proficiency in a second language relevant to research subfield.
8. Gain direct hands-on experience working with art objects and archives.