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Art History

Degrees Offered: Ph.D., M.A., M.A. (Critical and Curatorial Studies)



D. Claxton, X. Gu, J. Monteyne, A. Shelton.

Professor Emeriti

M. S. Cohodas, S. Guilbaut, K. F. Hacker, C. Knicely, J. O'Brian, R. Prince, M. P. Ryan, C. Soussloff, C. Townsend-Gault, S. Watson, R. Windsor-Liscombe, B. Zeigler.

Associate Professors

I. Adriasola, G. James, J. Mansoor, M. Piña, N. Porto, M. Roy, S. Salgirli, T. Smith., A. Thauberger.

Assistant Professors

N. Georgopulos, G. Makris, J. Orell, A. Peck, E. Silver, D. Starling.

Program Overview

The Department of Art History, Visual Art, and Theory (AHVA) offers advanced study of art history in the major periods of European and North American art, in certain areas of Asian art, and in the indigenous arts of the Americas, leading to the Master of Arts (M.A.) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.).

AHVA also offers the Critical and Curatorial Studies (CCST) graduate program, leading to the Master of Arts (M.A.) in Art History, Critical and Curatorial Studies. CCST addresses the growing need for curators and critics who have theoretical knowledge and practical experience in analyzing institutions, preparing displays, and communicating about contemporary art.

For information on the Master of Fine Arts, Visual Arts, please see Fine Arts or AHVA.

Doctor of Philosophy

Admission Requirements

The Ph.D. in Art History encourages high scholastic achievement, original research, and firm theoretical grounding. Normally, admission to the Ph.D. requires the completion of an M.A. in Art History, including reading knowledge of one language other than English. Students with master's degrees in related fields may be required to complete additional art history courses for their Ph.D. program.

Program Requirements

The program involves coursework, a language requirement, a comprehensive examination, a dissertation proposal, a round table presentation, a doctoral dissertation, and oral defense. Students are required to take course-work at the 500-level, including ARTH_V 571, the Methodology Seminar, unless it has been taken within the previous five (5) years. The Comprehensive Exam requires students to complete both a written and oral component, in order to qualify them for both doctoral thesis research and university teaching. Reading knowledge of a second language, other than English (the first language having been required for the M.A.), relevant to the field of study, is also required. Students are admitted to candidacy once they have completed the residency period, all required coursework, the language requirement, and passed the comprehensive examinations.

Master of Arts

The M.A. in Art History is a 2-year program with thesis, designed to instruct students in methods of research and presentation of scholarly materials. It qualifies them for professional work in the discipline.

Admission Requirements

Applicants for the M.A. Program in Art History should have preparation in the discipline equivalent to the undergraduate major at UBC. Applicants must meet the minimum admission requirements of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.

Program Requirements

The M.A. degree requires 30 credits; at least 24 credits must be in courses numbered 500 or higher. These will include the Methodology Seminar (ARTH_V 571, 6 credits) and the Master's Thesis (ARTH_V 599, 6 credits). Reading knowledge of one language other than English and relevant to the field of study is required.

Master of Arts, Critical and Curatorial Studies

Admissions Requirements

Students admitted to the M.A. degree program must normally have preparation in the discipline equivalent to the undergraduate major in Art History at UBC, and must meet the general admission requirements for master's degree programs set by the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. Students wishing to apply for this concentration must specify Critical and Curatorial Studies in a written application to the Department of Art History, Visual Art, and Theory.

Program Requirements

The program requires the completion of 30 credits, comprised of:

Required Courses (21 credits):

  • ARTH_V 571: The Methodology of Art History (6 credits)
  • CCST_V 500: Seminar in Interdisciplinary Frameworks in Museum and Curatorial Studies (3 credits)
  • CCST_V 503: Graduate Practicum and Major Paper in Curatorial Studies (9 credits)
  •    One of    
    • CCST_V 501: Seminar in Contemporary Contextual Issues for Museums and Curatorial Practice (3 credits)
    • CCST_V 502: Case Studies in Museum and Gallery Exhibitions and Institutions (3 credits)

Electives (9 credits)

  • 6 credits selected from 500-level courses in the Department of Art History, Visual Art, and Theory (ARTH_V, CCST_V, or VISA_V)
  • 3 credits of any pre-approved 500-level1 graduate level seminar, inside or outside of our department

1Students may choose to complete a maximum of 3 credits of 400-level study. This course must be pre-approved by their Graduate Advisor prior to course registration.

Contact Information

Department of Art History, Visual Art, and Theory
Graduate Program Coordinator, Bryn Dharmaratne
403-6333 Memorial Road
Vancouver, BC, Canada V6T 1Z2
Tel: 604.822.4340
Fax: 604.822.9003

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