Master of Arts (MA) in Art History

Our Graduate Degrees

Program Overview

Department of Art

The Art History graduate program is organized into two major areas of concentration, each of which integrates several fields of specialization—Art of the Americas and a general concentration in Art History.

Art of the Americas brings together the arts of pre and post- conquest cultures. Along with the study of the acknowledged discontinuities in form and series brought about by European conquest, this concentration promotes the equally important study of architecture. The goal is to promote a clearer understanding of the Art of the Americas within the larger unity now perceived for American art traditions.

We also offer a degree in Art History. Students may pursue a specialization within either of the preceding major areas of concentration. While focusing on a specialized field in preparation for their M.A. thesis, students must also familiarize themselves with their general area of concentration. Students are also encouraged to select courses in other graduate units within the University.

MA and PhD Art History Admission Requirements
The deadline for all graduate applications to the Art History program for Fall admission is the preceeding December 15th. We do not do spring admissions. All application materials must be received in the Department *by the deadline*. Late items are the responsibility of the applicant, and may disqualify your file from consideration.

Application Procedure

Eligibility: Applicants for admission the MA program should preferably have an undergraduate major in art history with a minimum of 24 semester hours as well as advanced courses in history, literature, and philosophy. Any deficiencies in this required preparation must be removed during the first year of coursework for the degree. Graduate credit will not be given for courses taken to remove a deficiency, but graduate study courses may be taken concurrently. Candidates for the MA degree will be required to demonstrate a general knowledge of the history of art.

In making application for admission to the doctoral program, the potential candidate is urged to state aims clearly and to specify the field of art history to be investigated. A candidate will not be accepted unless these aims can be realized. Fieldwork and travel will inevitably be necessary in support of research at the doctoral level.

Applicants for admission to the Ph.D. program should have an MA in art history, or exceptional circumstances as approved by the admitting faculty, in such cognate disciplines as history, anthropology, archeology, or American Studies. Admission to the Ph.D. program without an M.A. in Art History is very rare. Those admitted to the Ph.D. program without the MA in art history may be required to take additional graduate courses beyond the minimum Ph.D. requirement of 48 hours of coursework. Any deficiencies in the required preparation must be removed during the first year of coursework for the degree.

To apply for the MA or PhD in Art History, you need to submit:

  • Online application, $50 fee, pay with credit card.
  • Letter of intent
  • CV or Resume
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Official transcripts from every college or university you have attended, whether you earned a degree there or not. (Unofficial transcripts can be uploaded during application; official transcripts must be mailed to the Admissions Office.)
  • A writing sample, demonstrating your best academic writing. This should be a 7-10 page Art Historical research paper.

Note: The Art Studio programs in Printmaking, Experimental Art + Technology, and Art & Ecology, and the Art History programs in Art of the Americas and Art of the Modern World (both MA and Ph.D.) are recognized by the Western Interstate Commission on Higher Education (WICHE) for inclusion in their Out-Of-State Programs at In-State Tuition. Qualified residents of the 15 participating states in the commission may enroll at reduced tuition rates in these three programs.

Special Note for Fulbright and Project 1000 applicants: if you are applying through an outside agency such as Project 1000 or Fulbright, it is your responsibility to ensure that all materials are sent to the Department of Art and Art History, not to the Admissions office. The Department is not responsible for materials that are not received before the January 18th deadline. We strongly advise sending a duplicate copy of all materials directly to the department, and not relying on the Admissions office to provide them.

International applicants: Please see to complete the international application in addition to the departmental application. International applicants go through the same process as domestic applicants, with a few additional steps, including English language exam scores, certified translations of transcripts, and financial paperwork related to applying for a United States student visa.

Art Graduate Programs Coordinator
Carla Nielsen
(505) 277-6672

The deadline for graduate applications to the Department of Art for Fall 2018 is January 15th, 2018. We do not do a Spring admissions process.

How to Apply

• All students must be admitted to the University, whether as an incoming freshman, transfer student, or non-degree student. Apply online through the Admissions Department at UNM

•After meeting all CFA admission requirements, students must apply to become a declared major.

Academic Advisement

The College of Fine Arts Student Success & Advisement Center is committed to serve the UNM community with compassion, guidance, and respect as we promote academic excellence.

To speak with a CFA advisor, please call (505) 277-4817.