Jan 21, 2021  
Graduate Record 2006-2007 
Graduate Record 2006-2007 [ARCHIVED RECORD]

Master of Arts in the History of Art and Architecture

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McIntire Department of Art
Fayerweather Hall
University of Virginia 
P.O. Box 400130 
Charlottesville, VA  22901-4130 
(434) 924-6123


Degree Requirements

In addition to the entrance requirements of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, admission to graduate study in the history of art normally requires an average of B+ or better in an undergraduate major in the field and a command of either French, Italian or German.  Outstanding students who have majored in another field may be considered but, if admitted, should expect to take a certain number of basic undergraduate courses for which no degree credit will be granted.

Master of Arts

Candidates for the degree of Master of Arts in the History of Art and Architecture are required to pass a minimum of 36 credits of courses at the 500 level or above, and they are expected to develop a more detailed understanding of one major field and two minor fields within the history of art and architecture.  Students are also required to write a master’s thesis and pass an oral defense of it. Normally this program can be completed in four semesters.

Three courses are required of all students: ARTH 501 Library Methodology; ARTH 801 Theory and Interpretation; and the two-semester sequence, ARTH 804-805 Master’s Thesis Research and Writing. Students are expected to take at least three courses in the art and architecture of their major field of study.  They are also expected to take at least two courses in each of their minor fields.  One minor field should be removed in time and/or place from the major field.  The remaining courses may be spread among their fields or taken in other fields as students and their advisors deem useful.  Students may receive permission from the Director of Graduate Studies to include in their programs courses in other departments.

For students of Western art, reading knowledge of one foreign language is required for the MA.  The language is selected in consultation with the graduate advisor and the Director of Graduate Studies.  Language requirements for students of Asian art are determined in consultation with the student’s faculty advisor and the Graduate Director.  Proficiency in a language must be demonstrated during the first semester of study and no later than the end of the first year.  Students satisfy the language requirement by passing a test administered by the graduate program or by one of the language departments at the University and consisting of the translation with the aid of a dictionary of a prose passage.  Admission to the Ph.D. program will be contingent on demonstrating reading ability in a second language.

Doctor of Philosophy

To enter the doctoral program in the History of Art and Architecture, enrolled students must obtain the permission of the faculty. Students who wish to continue apply to the Graduate Committee as they complete their work for the M.A., usually in the second semester of the second year. Doctoral candidates are required to complete successfully a minimum of 18 credits of courses at the 500-level or above, beyond those required for the master’s degree. They must also pass an oral examination in the major field and two minor fields, write a dissertation, and, after the dissertation has been accepted, defend it in an oral examination.

Each student’s program is to be approved by the Departmental Director of Graduate Studies.  Students prepare a dissertation proposal outlining the subject and scope of the dissertation and a research plan. When the dissertation director and the Graduate Committee have approved the proposal, it will be circulated among the faculty, who may offer comments or suggestions. In addition to the languages required for the M.A. degree, students may be required to have a reading knowledge of other languages necessary for work in their major field.


Program in Classical Art and Archaeology

In addition to its regular degree programs, the Department of Art sponsors an interdisciplinary program in classical art and archaeology, leading to the degrees of M.A. and Ph.D. The program encourages the student to acquire a broad understanding of ancient culture. Reading knowledge of Greek and Latin is encouraged; credit is given for courses in ancient studies offered by other departments. Course work outside the Department of Art may lead to the choice of a special field in ancient history, religion, philosophy, or literature. In order that the student be acquainted with the survival and transformation of ancient art in the post-Classical period, course work in early medieval art is also required. At an appropriate stage in their graduate study, students in the program are encouraged to do field work in archaeology at an ancient site.

Although the program is flexible, a course in theory and methodology, such as ARTH 801, is required. The curriculum is determined by students’ preparation, interests, and needs, with about two-thirds of the ten courses needed for the M.A. concentrated in ancient study. Students prepare for the Comprehensive Examination in the two fields of ancient and early medieval art. Language requirements in French and German are met before students take the Comprehensive Examination.

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