The program is a five semester MA in Art History and Visual Culture for students with a four-year undergraduate honours degree in the arts or social sciences. The MA program has a 2.0 credit course requirement, as well as a thesis for the completion of the program. The thesis, which each degree candidate is also required to complete, consists of an extensive piece of research and an oral examination (defense).
Each degree candidate is required to complete the course work, colloquium oral presentation, and a thesis, which consists of an extended piece of research, and an oral examination. The three components represent a significant body of research and production, and demonstrate a thoroughly engaged investigation into the historical and conceptual considerations of the thesis topic. The thesis topic is subject to the approval of the MA Examination Committee, which includes an external examiner from the profession. The Thesis is a project of publishable quality. In essay form, it discusses the critical, historical, and theoretical aspects of the student's subject of research. Students are expected to present and defend their work orally in a manner appropriate to a professional art historian's public presentation.
A total of 2.0 credits are required for the completion of this program. In addition to individually oriented Critical Methods I and II courses, students are required to complete two MA seminars. A maximum of one course outside Art History may be substituted for courses in Art History and Visual Culture graduate offerings. The courses selected must be acceptable to the school and the Board of Graduate Studies for graduate credit. There are 4 substantive courses that comprise the candidate's prescribed studies, and in which the student must obtain an overall average grade of at least 'B-' standing.
Students are required to complete four MA Graduate courses, each worth 0.5 credits. All of the graduate courses require individual research into selected topics and encourage debate and critical discourse among the graduate students. Assuming a more theoretical and academic emphasis, the courses in Critical Methods I and II cultivate a substantial understanding of contemporary art theory and critical writing. By examining the relationship between critical thinking and the artwork as an historical object, selected topics in art and cultural theory are investigated for their particular relevance to art history and/or visual and material culture.
In each of the graduate courses, students must demonstrate their research, organizational and analytical skills through scholarly papers, presentations, and critical discussion and debate. We aim to increase students' abilities to conceptualize research, assimilate, analyze, and articulate information, thereby equipping them with the knowledge and practical skills that are essential requirements to succeed as art historians and arts professionals.
Students will take a minimum of four semester courses, each worth 0.5 credit, including:
- three core courses:
- Proseminar in Critical Methods I
- Proseminar in Critical Methods II
- Special Topics in Art and Visual Culture
- one of of the following:
- Directed Reading
- Practicum: Art Institutions
- one approved Graduate course from another discipline. Student must seek approval from both a course instructor and the Art History Graduate Advisor.
After the students have completed the first semester, the student chooses a Supervisor and one additional faculty is assigned to the student's committee.
Thesis Evaluation Procedures
The Thesis consists of an extended piece of research. During the oral defence, the student is expected to present and defend the work orally, at a level acceptable for a professional art historian. The oral examination takes place once the thesis has been submitted and is attended by an external examiner. The external examiner is expected to attend the Master's examination and to assist in evaluating all aspects of the candidate's performance.
The submission of the Thesis is expected within 5 semesters of the minimum duration of residence (five semesters with a normal maximum of six semesters). Typically, students will graduate within two years of elapsed time, with an average of five semesters registered in the program.
By the time of graduation, students must have attained proficiency in one of: French, German, Italian or Spanish, to be demonstrated in a special oral and written exam set and marked by a member of the graduate faculty fluent in the language. The exam will be waived for students with equivalent skills, subject to program approval. Options available to undergraduate students for the improvement of his/her second-language skills (courses, Media Centre, etc.) will be extended to Art and Visual Culture graduate students who need them to prepare for this exam.
Before they may be admitted, students are required to provide evidence that they meet standard levels of proficiency in English as established by the University Graduate calendar.
Residence Regulations: To complete the M.A. program, a minimum of two regular semesters (Fall and Winter) or its equivalent in accumulated part-time study is required. During this period, it is stipulated the candidate undertake full-time study at the university for at least the initial common semester.
The program is designed to be taken full-time, and all students are initially admitted with full-time status. Following the completion of the first semester, however, the program can be continued on a part-time basis as long as degree requirements are completed within five years of the successful fulfillment of the introductory term. Part-time students are encouraged to plan their studies in consultation with the M.A. program coordinator to ensure that this objective is met.