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MA in Art History University of Wisconsin - Madison



Course info


The Department of Art History offers programs leading to the master of arts and the doctor of philosophy in art history with emphasis on African and African Diaspora art, American material culture and vernacular architecture, ancient art and archaeology of the Mediterranean world, Chinese art and archaeology, Japanese art, medieval European art, Byzantine and Islamic art and architecture, early modern European art 19th-century art and print culture, modern and contemporary European and American art and visual culture. The department encourages the study of the global history of art, and material and visual culture while investigating works in all media from a wide range of periods and a variety of world cultures.

Students enjoy close interaction with their mentors and profit from superb resources for interdisciplinary research. Faculty members have international reputations in their specialties, regularly receive prestigious awards, lecture widely, and serve on major professional boards. Graduates of the department teach at the postsecondary level or pursue careers in museum and curatorial professions, private galleries and auction houses, library or archival work, architecture and historical preservation, and conservation.

The department is housed in the Conrad A. Elvehjem Building with the Chazen Museum of Art, which has a broad historical collection with several areas of particular strength, an active acquisitions program, and facilities to host major traveling exhibitions and exhibition courses. Graduate students use these collections for research and publishing projects. They may also have the opportunity to work on exhibitions in special classes or as project assistants. The building is also home to the Kohler Art Library, which contains an excellent collection of published materials and full range of periodicals.

Learning outcomes

  • Mastery of techniques for visual analysis (examining features such as materials, proportion, light, color, form and narrative structure) of single images and for comparative analysis of multiple images and objects.
  • Advanced proficiency in interpreting images/objects in ways that take into account the historical contexts in which they were produced and received.
  • In-depth knowledge across a range of time and geography to reach an understanding of the ways in which art and its meaning are rooted in culture.
  • Advanced ability to locate and enlist research resources in both print and digital form and assess the strengths and weaknesses of various types of resources.
  • Advanced knowledge and skills necessary to interpret images/objects in ways that consider a variety of theoretical perspectives.
  • Ability to assess and critique complex scholarly arguments and evaluate the strength of the visual and textual evidence presented.

Professional Conduct

  • Advanced skills in effective and impactful communication in both written and oral form in ways that acknowledge diverse audiences in an increasingly global society.
  • Skills in public engagement such that our students are able to effectively communicate complex ideas to a lay public in written, oral, and digital form in keeping with the Wisconsin Idea.

Course options

Here are the different ways in which you can study MA in Art History.

Full Time (Minimum of 30 credit hours)

Tuition fees

$25,506.00 (18,69,574) per year


21 Jan, 02 Sep


College of Letters and Science

South Hall, 1055 Bascom Mall,

University of Wisconsin–Madison,



53706, United States

Entry requirement for international students

International applicants must have a degree comparable to a regionally accredited U.S. bachelor’s degree.

English Language Requirement

Minimum TOEFL requirement: 92 internet (iBT); 580 paper-based test (PBT)

Minimum IELTS requirement: 7.0

* Please check with your chosen school for the exact entry requirements for your programme.

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