Art History MA
A Bachelor of Fine Arts or a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in Art History or approved equivalent with at least a B+ average in the major area is required. Applicants with deficiencies in their undergraduate preparation may be required to take a qualifying program prior to formal entry into the program. Qualified applicants lacking prerequisite courses may be required to take up to 12 undergraduate credits in addition to and as part of the regular graduate program.
Proficiency in English. Applicants whose primary language is not English must demonstrate that their knowledge of English is sufficient to pursue graduate studies in their chosen field. Please refer to the Graduate Admission page for further information on the Language Proficiency requirements and exemptions.
Requirements for the Degree
- Credits. A fully-qualified candidate is required to complete a minimum of 45 credits, including 21 credits of coursework and a 24-credit thesis.
- Language Requirement. Reading knowledge of English and French is mandatory. Students are required to pass an examination in their second language, either French or English, prior to graduation.
- Courses. The program includes two required courses: ARTH 655 Thesis Seminar (3 credits, pass/fail) and ARTH 654 Annotated Review of Sources and Documents (3 credits). The remaining five seminars are chosen from the Department's yearly seminar offerings. Exceptionally, and with the approval of the graduate program director, students may register for one of the following options: a graduate seminar (3 credits) in another discipline or at another Quebec university; an internship; or an independent study. The graduate program director or the student’s supervisor assists the student in choosing seminars.
- Thesis. Each student submits a thesis of 13,000 – 15,000 words (excluding notes, bibliography and other supporting materials), prepared under the supervision of a tenured or tenure-track professor in the Department of Art History who examines the thesis along with two other scholars..
- Academic Standing. Please refer to the Academic Standing section of the Calendar for a detailed review of the Academic Regulations.
- Residency. The minimum residency requirement is three terms of full-time study, or the equivalent in part-time study.
- Time Limit. Please refer to the Academic Regulation page for further details regarding the Time Limit requirements. Students are encouraged to complete the degree within 6 terms (2 years).
- Graduation Requirement. In order to graduate, students must have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.70.
Each year the Department of Art History will offer a selection of courses from those listed below. A list of those courses, as well as information as to the specific content of seminar offerings, is available on the Department of Art History website
ARTH 610 Selected Issues in North American Art and Architectural History (3 credits)
An examination of selected issues in the production of or writing about the visual arts in North America.
ARTH 611 Industrialization and the Built Environment (3 credits)
An examination of selected aspects of the built environment when considered as more than a physical accumulation of structures.
ARTH 612 Contextualizing North American Sculpture: Topics in History, Theory and Practice (3 credits)
An examination of selected topics in the production of or writing about sculpture in North America.
ARTH 613 Special Topics in Indigenous Art and Art History (3 credits)
Selected topics pertaining to the evolving arts practices of Indigenous peoples, considering such themes as collection and exhibition, commodity, continuity, and power relationships.
ARTH 614 Issues and Topics in Craft Studies (3 credits)
Selected topics pertaining to the theory and practice of craft within a North American context.
ARTH 615 Issues in Postcolonial Theory in Art and Art History (3 credits)
Selected aspects of post-colonial and diasporic theory as they relate to North American art and art history.
ARTH 621 Collecting and Patronage in Canada (3 credits)
Investigations related to how and for whom Canadian art has been commissioned and collected.
ARTH 626 Nationhood and Identity in Canadian Art (3 credits)
ARTH 627 Feminism, Art, Art History (3 credits)
Aspects of feminism in relation to the production of art and writing about art in North America.
ARTH 633 Creative and Critical Literature in Art History (3 credits)
Aspects of the relationship between art and text, such as artists’ books, the impact of critical writing on art practice, etc.
ARTH 635 Topics in Canadian Painting (3 credits)
Selected topics pertaining to the practice of painting in Canada.
ARTH 636 Seminar in Canadian Architecture (3 credits)
Selected topics pertaining to the practice of architecture in Canada.
ARTH 638 Topics in Canadian Photography (3 credits)
Selected topics pertaining to the practice of photography in Canada.
ARTH 639 Issues in North American Architectural History (3 credits)
Selected issues pertaining to the production of or writing about architecture in North America.
ARTH 640 Issues in North American Photographic History (3 credits)
Selected issues pertaining to the production of or writing about photography in North America.
ARTH 641 Issues in Visual and Material Culture (3 credits)
Selected issues pertaining to the integration into art history of visual image/phenomena and material objects not traditionally considered to have fallen within definitions of the “fine arts”.
ARTH 642 Aspects of Media and New Media (3 credits)
Aspects of the historical development, thematic content and conceptual strategies of practices involving media and “new technologies.
ARTH 643 Topics in Art and Globalization (3 credits)
An examination of selected topics pertaining to the manner in which art has negotiated and continues to negotiate globalization.
ARTH 647 Independent Studies in North American Art History (3 credits)
ARTH 648 Aspects of Museum and Curatorial Studies: Theory (3 credits)
Aspects of the theoretical underpinnings of museum and curatorial practices.
ARTH 649 Aspects of Curatorial Practice (3 credits)
The development and application of curatorial knowledge, skills and practices as fostered through the organization of an exhibition and related events.
ARTH 650 Supervised Internship (3 credits)
Students undertake an internship at an arts organization and perform concrete tasks designed to enhance their learning through practical experience (e.g. curating an exhibition, writing a catalogue essay, editing a publication, organizing a speakers' series) and also reflect on that experience. Students have an academic supervisor as well as on-site supervision. The internship involves 150 hours of work and is approved by the academic supervisor and the graduate program director, who ensure that the tasks, learning objectives and assessments are consistent with the objectives of the MA program.
ARTH 654 Annotated Review of Sources and Documents (3 credits)
Students take this individualized study course with their supervisor, normally in the summer term following the first year of study. This course must be completed before students begin writing their thesis. Supervisor and students meet to determine the list of scholarly texts and/or archival materials to be addessed in order to strengthen the students' foundational knowledge of their designated research field and prepare them for writing the thesis.The students are responsible for a series of annotations, together with an essay that synthesizes the annotated material (total word count approximately 6000 words).
ARTH 655 Thesis Seminar (3 credits)
Prerequisite: ARTH 654.
This course is designed to introduce students to the intellectual and professional aspects of graduate school and academia, such as writing a thesis, conducting research, engaging with art historical theory and methodologies, giving a conference paper, applying for grants. Credit for this pass/fail seminar is accorded once the students have delivered their thesis presentation during the second year of the program.
ARTH 656 Thesis (24 credits)