Graduate Studies

Master of Arts degree in Art with Concentration in Art History

The Art History graduate program prepares students with the research skills and experiences necessary to study at the doctoral level, or to enter such professional fields as teaching, museum work, arts consultancy and management, and art writing. It also provides advanced analytical and communication skills broadly applicable to various careers. 

Our faculty train graduate students in the following areas: Ancient Mediterranean Art and Archaeology; Asian Art/20th Century Asian Art and Architecture; Contemporary Art; Latin American Art and Architecture; Medieval Art and Architecture; Museum and Curatorial Studies; Renaissance and Baroque Art and Architecture; 18th and 19th Century Art and Architecture of Europe and the United States; and 20th Century Art. Additional areas of strength across disciplines include gender and sexuality studies, critical theory, colonial and post-colonial studies, critical race theory, materiality, empirical and archival research, reception theory, global art studies, the history of emotions, and Marxist and post-Marxist methodologies.

Master of Arts degree in Art with Concentration in Art History (current catalog, after fall 2016)

36 units of approved graduate and upper-division units to include:

  • AH 546 Art History Methodologies and Writing (3)
  • AH 547 Historiography of Art History (3)
  • Approved graduate or upper-division Art or Art History Coursework (6)
  • AH 694: Directed Research in Thesis Topic (3)
  • AH 698 Thesis as culminating experience within degree program (6)

In addition to the MA Core requirements, each MA Art History student takes 15 additional approved units according to the discipline-based tracks into which students are admitted:

Art History Track

  • AH 597 Seminar in Art History (6)
  • Approved graduate-level Art History in area of specialization (9)

Museum Studies Track*

  • AH 545A Museum and Gallery Practices (3)
  • AH 545B Museum and Gallery Practices (3)
  • AH 530 Introduction to Curatorial Practices (3)
  • AH 531 History of Museums, Collections and Exhibitions (3)
  • AH 542 Internship in Museum Studies (3)

Average Duration: Graduate degree program duration is contingent upon the number of units completed per semester, and time taken to complete the thesis. The MA degree usually is completed in 4 to 8 semesters.

Advancement to Candidacy is contingent upon satisfactory completion of an approved qualifying paper, satisfying foreign language proficiency requirements, as well as meeting any additional requirements of a conditional acceptance. At least 26 units, or 70% of the 36 required units must be in 500/600 levels, taken at CSULB. The student’s thesis committee may also approve graduate-level or upper-division courses in other CSULB departments to be used towards the degree. Transfer units are allowed on a case-by-case basis.

A thesis paper (60-90 pages) comprising original research in the student's area of specialty must also be approved by the student's committee and accepted by the CSULB Thesis and Dissertation Office.

Additional information, expectations, recommendations and guidelines for each track are included in the "School of Art Graduate Guidelines" given to each student accepted into the MA Art History Concentration.

*The School of Art is not currently accepting applications for the Museum Studies Certificate or the Museum Studies Track. However, Museum Studies courses continue to be available through, and applicable toward, the MA in Art History.