Thirty credits are required for graduation, of which 3 credits are usually earned for the completion of the MA thesis. The program encourages students to take a wide range of courses, by requiring that they take the Research Methods course; an additional course in either historiography or theory; and one course in at least three of the following areas: (1) Ancient or Medieval Art, (2) Renaissance, Baroque, or 18th Century Art, (3) Modern Art (19th, 20th, 21stCentury); American Art; Latin American Art (4) Non-Western Art (Islamic, Far-Eastern, South East Asian, or African Art). With the permission of the Graduate Advisor, students may take up to 6 credits in studio art or in other disciplines related to their academic interests.
Research Methods is a required course, and students are advised to take it within their first year. It is an intensive introduction to core issues in the field of Art History including some or all of the following: study of historiography, theory, and methodological issues, practice in Research Methods (primary and secondary, provenance work, archival, etc), and intensive work in writing, argumentation, and presentation skills. The course is one of the hardest in the program and is taught by senior faculty on a rotational basis.
The Limit for Completing Degree Requirements
Students have a maximum of four years to complete the degree. Under special circumstances the student may be granted a leave of absence or an extension to complete the work.
Transfer Credits and Credits Taken on Permit
Subject to the Graduate Advisor’s written approval, up to 9 credits in Art History or a related area (minimum grade B) may be transferred from another accredited school. These credits, however, must not have been previously used to obtain another degree. Students already in the MA program may complete up to 9 credits of coursework at another institution, for example the CUNY Graduate Center, as long as they receive the written approval of the Graduate Advisor prior to taking the courses.
Foreign Language Proficiency
The program also requires that each student demonstrate proficiency in one of the major languages of art historical research: German, Italian, Spanish, or French. This exam consists of approximately 500 words of an art-historical text, which students have one hour to translate. This exam may be completed with the aid of a dictionary. The exam is given in the Fall and Spring semesters. Typically, students take this exam in the first or second semester of enrollment.
Each student’s progress is reviewed at the completion of 15 credits, by which time the student must have passed the comprehensive and language exams and maintained a B average. The mid-program review is intended to encourage students to complete the requirements for their degree in a timely fashion, so that they will enter the second half of the program with the necessary academic skills, and to determine whether they are sufficiently prepared to complete the remaining courses and complete the MA thesis.
The Hunter MA is a large program with many students—as many as 125 at any given time. Additionally, many of our students study part time and are not frequently on campus, working full-time during the day. Nevertheless, the program prides itself on giving our students support and direction through advising, contact with faculty, and opportunities to learn from their fellow students.
Essential! Be sure the department always has your up-to-date email!
There is a primary graduate advisor. At this time, the advisor is Professor Maria Antonella Pelizzari. She holds regular weekly office hours and an appointment can be made by calling the department or writing email@example.com. Students should feel free to ask the advisor any questions, but queries, especially about procedure, can often be answered by Laura Frantz, Sarah Hollars, or Zac Hale in the Art & Art History office on the 11th floor of Hunter North (212)-772-5052.
There are a number of other kinds of opportunities to learn about the program. Once admitted, students are invited to the once a semester Mixer at which faculty discuss their courses for the upcoming semester. Before that mixer, the graduate advisor does a brief orientation for new students, but of course, continuing students can also attend and ask questions.
The graduate advisor also does an orientation for new students in the evening before they register for classes the first time on registration day (date and time will be emailed to all students).
It should be remembered that an important part of advising will be done by individual faculty in the context of thesis writing. Students should not hesitate to contact faculty with whom they hope to work and ask questions about expectations and the process of thesis writing.
Finally, students will find that their classmates are very supportive and full of useful information. At their programs throughout the year, MASO, the student association, supplies sessions on exams and thesis writing, as well as offering fellowship and food.
Although we do run a placement service for internships or jobs, we get many requests from employers about such opportunities and, as a student at Hunter, you will receive notices via your email about these.