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You are here: Home Academics Academic Pages Graduate Masters of Arts in Critical and Curatorial Studies Track M.A. Critical & Curatorial Studies Track

M.A. Critical & Curatorial Studies Track

Core Curriculum

       - 3 hours: Art History 541, Modern Perspectives in the Visual Arts (to be taken the first year; offered Fall only).

       - 3 hours: 500 or 600 level elective in Art History.

       - 3 hours: 500 or 600 level elective outside the Department of Fine Arts.

       - 3 hours: 500 or 600 level Fine Arts elective outside the chosen track ('Outside the chosen track' means outside the track of concentration, i.e.: Curatorial Studies Majors must take a course in Art History or Studio Art.)

       - 3 hours: Thesis Guidance (A final grade for Thesis Guidance  is given upon completion of the thesis and its submission to the Graduate School.)

       - 1 hour: Graduate Seminar


Beyond the core curriculum, the concentration in Critical and Curatorial Studies requires 15 hours. [Note: A minimum of 12 hours (exclusive of Thesis Guidance) must be at the 600-level.]

       - 3 hours: Art History 542, Special Topics (content determined with advisor)

       - 3 hours: Art History 547/647, Museum Methods I

       - 3 hours: Art History 648, Curatorial Methods

       - 3 hours: 600-level Public Administration Arts Management Course (PADM 600, 603, 609 or 612)

       - 3 hours: Art History 649, Curatorial Internship

       - Thesis with exhibition or curatorial project


The thesis for Critical and Curatorial Studies is a demonstration of the student's abilities to plan, research, develop, administer, implement and document a professional curatorial project.  As such, the thesis is a combination of both the scholarly and the applied and, therefore, it can take a variety of forms - from an exhibition to other kinds of curatorial projects developed to meet the particular student's interests, abilities and experience.  This activity can be done in cooperation with the university's galleries, the Speed Art Museum or other appropriate institutions authorized by the department, and should be a culminating experience occurring in the final year of study.

Thesis Advisor

Each student will work with a primary professor who serves as mentor and thesis advisor.  This advisor will guide and assist the M.A. candidate in the completion of the program.

Thesis Guidance

In the first year of the program, the student should be exploring possible thesis topics.  By the beginning of the second year, the student, with the assistance of the faculty advisor, should identify a thesis project and formulate a proposal to fulfill the thesis requirement.  He/she should enroll in ART or ARTH 645 (Thesis Guidance) at this time since the project will require planning and development in order to be ready for presentation in the final semester.

Once the thesis project idea has been formulated, the student will submit a written prospectus or project proposal to the faculty advisor for approval by the full faculty.  The project proposal should demonstrate the student's understanding of critical theory and professional practice, show knowledge and skill in analysis, interpretation and presentation, and include proof of the ability to organize, administer and document an intelligent and professional project.

Thesis Project

The thesis exhibition or project should include several components, including an critical essay explaining the project; written materials to implement the project, including correspondence, timeline or schedules and other planning documents such as budgets necessary to organize and administer the project; exhibition or other publication, such as brochures, catalogs, label or other explanatory text to present the project to the public or other targeted audiences; and image (either slide or digital) and written documentation of the project (i.e. reviews, surveys and other responses generated in reaction to the project).  This documentation must be submitted in conformity with the regulations governing the form and presentation required by the Graduate School, the guidelines for which are printed in the Graduate Catalog.

After the project has been approved, the student will select a thesis committee consisting of the faculty advisor, and two members of the graduate faculty, including someone from outside the department.  There will be an oral defense during the time of the exhibition, or at an appropriate evaluation point if the project is another kind of curatorial project.  This exhibition and oral defense should occur in plenty of time for the student to finish and submit the project documentation and application for graduation to the Graduate School.







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