Since its inception in 1952, our free-standing Master’s Program in Art History has offered rigorous training in the history, production, and theory of art, making maximum use of the extraordinary exhibition and research facilities of New York City. Hunter hosts the largest and most comprehensive art curriculum in the CUNY system, and prides itself in maintaining tuition affordability and a flexible schedule for working professionals. Due to the high number of applicants and the reputation of the program, admissions are highly selective.

Students view photos at the Magnum archive as part of a curatorial practicum.

The department’s continuing commitment to excellence is reflected in its faculty, which over its long history has included pioneering art historians such as Rosalind Krauss, Linda Nochlin, Leo Steinberg, Wayne Dynes, and William Agee. The current roster of award-winning professors are frequently published and are actively engaged in the New York art world. 

Recent faculty publications.


The art history program’s close proximity to Hunter’s esteemed studio art department offers MA students a chance to study alongside artists. The exchange of ideas between MA and MFA students profoundly enriches the academic experience of our student body, which is diverse in interests, nationalities, ages, and backgrounds.

Studio art and art history students inside a sound sculpture in Mexico City, as part of a class trip. Photo by Lynda Klich.


MA students have the possibility of specializing in a wide range of art historical periods and cultures, from antiquity to the present. All courses take advantage of New York’s vibrant cultural scene and frequently incorporate off-site and visiting specialists. Some classes are taught outside the classroom in collaboration with partnering institutions, which in the past have included the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the New York Public Library, the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, the Hans Hofmann Trust, among others.

Students present research at the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation. Photo by Michael Lobel.

Beyond the art history courses offered by the department, students can gain valuable practical experience through collaborations with the Hunter College Art Galleries, which consist of four independent spaces across Manhattan. Additionally, the department offers an Advanced Certificate in Curatorial Studies, intended to formalize and recognize the high level of curatorial training already being provided to graduate students (both MA and MFA) in Hunter’s Department of Art & Art History, and to intensify and amplify that training through the rigor of an official curriculum.

Exhibition “Acts of Art and Rebuttal in 1971,” organized by Howard Singerman and Sarah Watson with Agnes Gund Curatorial Fellows Clara Chapin, Marie Coneys, Miles Debas, Jazmine Hayes, and Tess Thackara.


All courses are given in the late afternoon or in the evening, which enables students to work or hold internships while they are obtaining their degrees. Many of the program’s students and alumni hold positions in prominent  museums, galleries, art organizations, and publishing houses, and many of the program’s graduates subsequently enter doctoral programs at a wide range of universities, within and outside of New York City.


More information is available here