MA in Art History

MA in Art History

Kathrine G. McGovern College of the Arts at the University of Houston

November 19, 2021
MA in Art History

Priority application deadline: January 15, 2022
University of Houston School of Art
3700 Cullen Blvd
Houston, Texas 77204-4039
United States
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Advanced art history foundation in a vibrant global arts city.

The MA in Art History program at the University of Houston equips students, whatever their undergraduate major, with a strong foundation in the discipline of art history—all within the context of a Tier-1 research university that affords close contact with the collections of major arts institutions. The degree provides an ideal foundation for curatorial work or further academic study in the field. Alongside their coursework, our graduate students are deeply engaged in the city of Houston, a gateway to the international art world and dynamic cultural center that represents the United States’ demographic future. The degree program includes a significant number of electives, which allow students to craft an educational experience best suited to their individual needs and interests. It also enables them to take advantage of many funded internship opportunities that propel forward their career ambitions.

The MA in Art History program is housed in the UH School of Art, where program participants develop their expertise in conversation with a peer group of MFA students working across the fields of painting, sculpture, photography, digital media, design, and experimental, interdisciplinary practices. Our students have access to dedicated curatorial spaces for course or MA thesis-related projects, including space in our brand-new Elgin Street Studios facility, as well as a dedicated award to fund their curatorial projects.

Faculty and coursework
MA in Art History program faculty are dedicated to a close mentoring process in art historical research and writing. We have research specializations in Modern and Contemporary Art and Design of Europe and the Americas, Latino American Art and Urbanism, Art of the Ancient Americas, Northern European and Italian Medieval and Renaissance Art, 17th-Century Northern European Art, Museum Studies, Art Criticism, Critical Theory, and the History of Photography. Graduate students are introduced to art historical methodologies and historiography in small, graduate-only seminars, and frequent guest speakers give our students access to the best scholars, critics, and curators of our time. Learning abroad opportunities in Mexico City along with special object-based learning courses taught in situ with collections at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and The Menil Collection further enrich regular course offerings. 

Current faculty: Natilee Harren, Rex Koontz, H. Rodney Nevitt Jr., Judith Steinhoff, Roberto Tejada, Luisa Orto, Sandra Zalman.
Recent guest speakers: Éric Alliez, George Baker, Claire Bishop, Charlene Villaseñor Black, Julia Bryan-Wilson, Connie Butler, Susan Cahan, C. Ondine Chavoya, Thomas Crow, Aruna D’Souza, Leah Dickerman, Darby English, Ciarán Finlayson, Julia Guernsey, Atreyee Gupta, Suzanne Hudson, Caroline A. Jones, David Joselit, Bryan Just, Jongwoo Jeremy Kim, Christopher Y. Lew, Mia Locks, Anna Lovatt, Jaleh Mansoor, Peggy Phelan, Katy Siegel, Jacob Stewart-Halevy, Gloria Sutton, Mari Carmen Ramírez, Alvia Wardlaw.

Professional opportunities and financial support
The MA in Art History program values applied art historical work as an integral part of the graduate experience and has strong relationships with Houston’s world-class arts institutions. Funded graduate assistantships are awarded each year at the Museum of Fine Arts, HoustonThe Menil CollectionBlaffer Art MuseumPublic Art of the University of Houston System, and Gulf Coast journal. The program provides additional opportunities for financial support, including salaried Instructional Assistant and Graduate Writing Fellow positions, and travel awards that support field work and conference presentations. Supplemental scholarships provide non-local and international students with in-state tuition rates.

Celebrating ten years of careers in the arts
Since its founding a decade ago, the MA in Art History program has empowered students to pursue an exciting array of career options. Our graduates have gone on to complete PhDs and secure tenure-track professorships. Others have used the MA as a capstone professional degree to qualify for curatorial, education, and director positions in public museums and private galleries, or to pursue careers in arts publishing, education, librarianship, and management.

Visit the MA in Art History program website for more information.

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Kathrine G. McGovern College of the Arts at the University of Houston
November 19, 2021

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