MA in Art History

Gain a broad knowledge of art history research methods through our Master of Arts (MA) program in Art History (ARTH) at UBC, Vancouver.

The MA in Art History offers you an advanced study of the history and theory of art from Africa, Asia, Europe, the Americas, and Indigenous cultures.

Program Structure

The MA in Art History is a two-year intensive program that combines coursework and a final thesis. Students will understand the centrality of art historical study by comprehending the contemporary world and the history of ideas embedded in the subject.

  • In the first year, students are exposed to both the most current thinking in the field and art history’s disciplinary archive through our required methodologies seminar.
  • Through coursework and research, students are encouraged to explore and engage with art historical discourse and supplement their understanding of art and its cultural context.
  • Art history students augment their skills by presenting their research to peers and faculty.
  • By the end of the MA in Art History, students must complete a language requirement.
  • The MA degree culminates in a thesis designed to train students in scholarly research and analysis, providing the opportunity to contribute to a significant and relevant global discourse.

  • Full-time residency requirement: Two years (30 credits)
  • Average number of years for residency: Two years
  • Foreign language requirement: One foreign language*
  • MA paper/thesis required: Yes (6 credits)
  • Minimum number of courses: Eight (24 credits)
  • Number of courses required outside of the major area/hemisphere: No requirement, but six credits out of 30 allowed outside the department
  • Minimum number of art history seminars: Six seminars (18 credits)
  • Minor area of concentrations required: No
  • Qualifying exams required: No

*Courses taken to fulfill the language requirement are not counted toward the MA degree's required credits.

  • ARTH 531 (3/6) Early Medieval Art
  • ARTH 533 (3/6) Medieval Art
  • ARTH 535 (3/6) Early Modern: Renaissance
  • ARTH 537 (3/6) Early Modern: 17th Century
  • ARTH 539 (3/6) 19th-Century Art
  • ARTH 540 (3/6) 20th-Century Art
  • ARTH 543 (3/6) Canadian Art
  • ARTH 548 (3/6) Architecture
  • ARTH 550 (3) Art in the Islamic World
  • ARTH 551 (3/6) Chinese Art
  • ARTH 553 (3/6) Japanese Art
  • ARTH 555 (3/6) South and Southeast Asian Art
  • ARTH 561 (3/6) Indigenous Arts of the Americas
  • ARTH 571 (6) Methodology of Art History
  • CCST 500 (3) Seminar in Interdisciplinary Frameworks in Museum and Curatorial Studies
  • CCST 501 (3) Seminar in Contemporary Contextual Issues for Museums and Curatorial Practice
  • CCST 502 (3) Case Studies in Museum and Gallery Exhibitions

Note: we do not offer all courses every year.

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