Art History

Master's Degree Program

Graduate opportunities

Art historians enhance our understanding of art and its place within society through their research. By studying the art and architecture of diverse world cultures and periods, they examine the historical, social and cultural significance art holds for its creators and users.

In the Department of Art Education and Art History, our Master of Arts degree in Art History is a gateway to careers in museums and galleries or future graduate study en route to an academic career. You can choose course work that focuses on:

  • Visual and material culture of the late antique and medieval periods in Europe, the Islamic world and South Asia
  • Visual and material culture in the Middle East, Europe and the Americas from the 16th to the 21st centuries
  • Historiography, methodology and theory of art and visual and material culture since 1900

Within these areas, you’ll work with faculty members whose interests and expertise intersect on colonialism, postcolonialism, geography, ritual and spatial analysis, race, gender and sexuality.

Gain new perspectives

Our faculty members have distinguished themselves through quality teaching, research and numerous publications and presentations. They have been Fulbright scholars and received fellowships from the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, Newberry Library and Terra Foundation for American Art, among others. Their specializations include:

  • Art of the Americas
  • European art
  • Islamic and Middle Eastern art
  • Modern and contemporary art
  • South Asian art

Faculty members are also affiliated with other areas across the university, including Women’s Studies, the Medieval Renaissance Consortium, Middle Eastern Studies, and the Contemporary Arab and Muslim Cultural Studies Institute.

In addition to outstanding faculty, the program offers:

  • Intensive study of global artistic productions and their impact on developments in history and visual culture
  • Advanced seminars and independent research projects with nationally and internationally recognized faculty members
  • Opportunities to present papers at conferences or to engage in fieldwork abroad
  • Exposure to guest lectures as part of the Art History Lecture Series and programs with distinguished scholars, such as the annual Medieval Graduate Student Symposium
  • Certification in art museum education or arts leadership

The college

The College of Visual Arts and Design is one of the nation’s most comprehensive visual arts schools and considered one of the best in the Southwest. We have state-of-the-art facilities that include:

  • The Visual Resources Center, which contains 65,000 digital images and more than 1,000 films
  • Computer labs with new technology and cutting-edge hardware and software
  • The Cora Stafford Gallery, providing 2,200 square feet of exhibition space
  • 150,000 square feet of specialized classrooms, studios and galleries
  • The UNT Art Gallery, which offers 2,500 square feet of exhibition space and a permanent collection of 182 works with a lending collection of 974

Other educational resources include the North Texas Institute for Educators on the Visual Arts, the Print Research Institute of North Texas with more than 100 signed editions and monoprints in its collection, and the Texas Fashion Collection.

Many cultural and career options are available in the Dallas-Fort Worth region. UNT is in close proximity to the African American Museum, Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Trammell and Margaret Crow Collection of Asian Art, Dallas Museum of Art, Kimbell Art Museum, Meadows Museum and Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth.

Attending UNT

Admission requirements

You will need to meet the admission requirements for the Toulouse Graduate School® and submit the following items to the College of Visual Arts and Design:

  • 500- to 750-word statement of purpose indicating your reasons for enrolling in graduate school
  • Recent term paper or professional writing sample
  • Two letters of recommendation from people familiar with your academic record
  • Professional résumé (optional)

If you don’t have the proper background in the field you intend to study, you can be accepted on a conditional basis. Undergraduate art or art history course work will need to be completed before beginning any graduate-level work.

For graduate school requirements and possible exceptions, visit the Graduate School website.

Degree requirements

Master of Arts

  • 15 credit hours of art history course work
  • 6 credit hours in art history or an optional minor
  • 3 credit hours in research methods
  • 6-credit hour scholarly research project
  • Competency in a foreign language (prior to undertaking the research project)


Art Museum Education or Arts Leadership

The art museum education certificate provides theoretical grounding and practical experience in the field. Utilizing the rich museum resources of the Dallas- Fort Worth region, you’ll explore and interact with a vibrant and forward-thinking landscape of museum education.

The program consists of 18 credit hours, including a 6-credit hour internship in an art museum. The certificate complements the graduate degree by giving you a strong grasp of the role of education in museums. Working with other disciplines in the college will help you understand how art history is essential to the way museums communicate with patrons.

The arts leadership certificate provides special preparation in arts leadership. Completion of the certificate requires four courses in new media, politics and advocacy, and music administration, in addition to a 6-credit hour internship with an arts organization.

Financial assistance

We offer teaching assistantships and fellowships and area assistantships on a competitive basis. Approximately 60 teaching assistantships and fellowships and 20 area assistantships are available each fall and spring semester. Levels of appointment and positions vary from semester to semester. Students awarded half-time appointments receive state-paid health insurance, a reduced rate on insurance for spouses and children, and out-of-state tuition waivers.

The Donahue Scholarship supports one new or continuing graduate student each year in art history, and the Arabic Heritage Society Scholarship is awarded each year to a student studying Islamic or Middle Eastern art.

Many other scholarships are offered annually through the college to all graduate art majors. Scholarship information is available on our website. Visit the Financial Aid site for information about other financial assistance programs.