Art History MA


About the Program

The Tyler School of Art and Architecture at Temple University offers a gateway to the best PhD programs in the discipline for students seeking careers in higher education or research. Alternately, it is a stand-alone option for students seeking positions in museums, galleries, nonprofits and other institutions.

The MA in Art History offers an optional concentration in Arts Management, which provides a specialized degree pathway for students seeking to advance artists, art and audiences by becoming cultural organizers and leaders. Students learn to engage the forces that shape the visual arts landscape by aligning their operations and programs with their mission and values. In addition to Art History requirements, core courses in the Arts Management track build professional practice skills, awareness of the history of the field, and perspectives on its future across a range of institutional models.

A number of resources are available at Temple to Art History MA students:

  • The Loretta C. Duckworth Scholars Studio (formerly the Digital Scholarship Center) in Charles Library offers opportunities for research in the digital humanities with high-end computing and visualization resources, a virtual reality studio, collaboration spaces, and 3-D printing and media-capture capabilities.
  • Temple Contemporary, Tyler’s innovative exhibitions and public programs space, offers opportunities to learn curatorial practice.
  • Expansive, world-class art and architecture buildings provide direct access to all aspects of the creative process via fellow students and faculty artists and designers.
  • State-of-the-art digital resources include 8,000 digital images and access to millions more via Tyler’s Artstor Digital Library membership.
  • Tyler’s art history community is enriched by a steady stream of compelling lectures by leading scholars and practitioners.

Tyler graduate students in Art History may participate in Temple University’s Teaching in Higher Education certificate program to gain advanced training for a career in higher education or in the Cultural Analytics graduate certificate program offered by Duckworth Scholars Studio.

Time Limit for Degree Completion: 3 years, although the degree is designed to be completed full-time in two years

Campus Location: Main

Full-Time/Part-Time Status: The degree program can be completed on a full- or part-time basis.

Study Abroad: Many Tyler Art History graduate students take advantage of research opportunities at Temple University Rome and Temple’s Japan Campus in Tokyo, both among the oldest and largest facilities of their type. Other opportunities exist elsewhere around the globe as guided by faculty members' extensive connections.

Accreditation: This degree program is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD).

Non-Matriculated Student Policy: Non-matriculated students must contact the Graduate Director for information.

Financing Opportunities: In keeping with Temple University’s commitment to access and affordability, Tyler’s graduate programs offer a competitive level of tuition with some opportunities for financial support. Rates are set annually and are affected by many factors, including in-state or out-of-state residency. For more information, contact the Graduate Director or the Associate Graduate Director for Arts Management, as applicable, and explore Temple’s graduate student financial information page. Eligible graduate students are encouraged to apply for work study.

Admission Requirements and Deadlines

Application Deadline:

Fall: December 15
Spring: November 1

Students wishing to be considered for awards are strongly encouraged to apply by December 15.

APPLY ONLINE to this graduate program.

Letters of Reference:
Number Required: 3

From Whom: Letters of recommendation should be obtained from college/university faculty members, gallery directors and/or curators familiar with the applicant's academic and artistic competence. The letters should be submitted by the referee at the time of application at

Coursework Required for Admission Consideration: Five courses in Art History are desired for admissions consideration: two general surveys and one upper-level course in each of three periods, in any geographical area: ancient art (to circa 1400), art produced circa 1400-1800, and Modern/Contemporary art. Official transcripts from all universities/colleges attended, whether or not a degree was awarded and whether the courses were taken as an undergraduate or a graduate student, must be sent as part of the online application.

Bachelor's Degree in Discipline/Related Discipline: A baccalaureate degree is required, but it need not be in Art History. Official transcripts from all universities/colleges attended, whether or not a degree was awarded, must be sent as part of the online application.

Statement of Goals: In approximately 500 to 1,000 words, describe your interest in Temple's program, your research goals, your future career goals, your academic and research achievements, and how you will contribute to the Tyler School of Art and Architecture mission. Submit at

Standardized Test Scores:
GRE: Due to testing limitations related to COVID-19, the Tyler School of Art and Architecture is temporarily waiving submission of GRE scores for applicants to the MA and PhD Art History programs. Applicants may still voluntarily submit GRE test scores, but scores will only be used as a supplement to required application materials. All other admission requirements, including submission of scores for a standardized test of English, if applicable, still need to be met. In some circumstances, the Graduate Admissions Committee may request additional supplemental application materials or an interview as part of the admissions process.

Applicants who earned their baccalaureate degree from an institution where the language of instruction was other than English, with the exception of those who subsequently earned a master’s degree at a U.S. institution, must report scores for a standardized test of English that meet these minimums:

  • TOEFL iBT: 79
  • IELTS Academic: 6.5
  • PTE Academic: 53

Resume: Current curriculum vitae required. Submit at

Writing Sample: The writing sample should demonstrate your ability to research and write a scholarly paper on a topic in Art History. The paper or excerpt submitted should be no more than 10 pages in length and fully referenced according to a professional, scholarly style manual. Submit at

Transfer Credit: The Graduate School allows the transfer of a maximum of 6 credits taken within a five-year period before matriculation for credit toward the master’s degree. These credits must be in Art History, at the graduate level, with at least a final grade of "B," and must not have been used as part of the fulfillment of requirements for another degree awarded to the student.

Program Requirements

General Program Requirements:
Number of Credits Required Beyond the Baccalaureate: 30, or 36 if the optional concentration in Arts Management is pursued

Required Courses:

MA with a Focus on Research

Core Course
ARTH 5601Historiography of Art History 13
Electives 212
Art History Distribution Courses
In at least three distribution areas, select a total of four courses from the following:12
Earliest to 1400
Topics in Ancient Art
Topics in Medieval Art
Archeological Program
Problems in Ancient Art
Problems in Medieval Art
Problems in Ancient Art II
Archaeological Program
Topics in Renaissance Art
Topics in Baroque Art
Topics in Renaissance Art II
Topics in Baroque Art II
Problems in Renaissance Art
Problems in Northern Renaissance Art
Problems in Baroque Art
Problems in Renaissance Art II
Problems in Baroque Art II
Graduate Design: Graduate Design Theory
Topics in Arts Administration
Introduction to Arts Management Practice: Mission, Values and Community
Topics in Contemporary Art
History of Modern Crafts and Design I
History of Modern Crafts and Design II
History of Photography
International Cinema
Topics in 20th-Century Art
Picasso and Modern Masters
Topics in 19th-Century Art
Topics in 20th-Century Art
Topics in 19th Century Art II
Topics in 20th Century Art II
Modern and Contemporary Art in Latin America
Topics in Contemporary Art
Text + Image: Framing the Modern Illustrated Book
Introduction to Critical Thinking and Practice
Seminar in Contemporary Art
Seminar in Modern Art
Seminar in 19th-Century Art
Seminar in Early Modern Art
Topics in Arts Management
Seminar in Contemporary Art II
Seminar in Modern Art II
Problems in 19th-Century Art
Problems in 20th-Century Art
Problems in 21st Century Art
Problems in 19th-Century Art II
Problems in 20th-Century Art II
Arts Management Capstone
The History of Printmaking and Print Culture
Topics in Asian Art
Research Course
ARTH 9995Research for Qualifying Paper3
Total Credit Hours30

OR MA with Optional Concentration in Arts Management

Core Courses
ARTH 5351Introduction to Arts Management Practice: Mission, Values and Community3
ARTH 5601Historiography of Art History 13
Art History Electives9
Open Electives12
Culminating Courses
ARTH 8872Arts Management Capstone3
ARTH 9585Internship Seminar3
ARTH 9586Internship Seminar3
Total Credit Hours36

Language Examination: All MA students must demonstrate a reading knowledge of one foreign language.

Culminating Events:
Qualifying Paper:
For the research-focused master's degree, students enroll in ARTH 9995. The qualifying paper engages the student in acquiring an understanding of how to conduct research using primary and secondary sources; a knowledge of art history that is rooted in historical, cultural, stylistic and ethical analysis; and the skills to write critical evaluations of artwork in their historical, cultural and stylistic contexts.

Selection of the research project requires the approval of the student’s primary advisor, who is chosen by the end of a student's first year of study. The primary advisor guides the student in writing the qualifying paper, which is to be 25-30 pages in length. The qualifying paper entails rethinking, elaboration and expansion of a research project already composed for a class, with the addition of concentrated research time and/or a different methodological framework to extend the scope of the paper, producing a product that contains original work. The qualifying paper requires the approval of two readers.

The Arts Management concentration requires 6 credits of internship supervised by the Arts Management Concentration Advisor. Three of these credits are taken in the second academic term of study, and three credits are taken in the last academic term concurrent with the required capstone class.


Program Web Address:

Admissions Information:

Tyler School of Art and Architecture

Graduate Admissions Office

2001 N. 13th Street

Philadelphia, PA 19122-6016


Mailing Address for Official Transcripts:

Tyler School of Art and Architecture

Graduate Admissions Office

2001 N. 13th Street

Philadelphia, PA 19122-6016

Submission Address for All Other Application Materials:

Department Contacts:

Associate Graduate Director for Arts Management:

Linda Earle


Graduate Director:

Ashley West


Department Chairperson:

Jane DeRose Evans