In our increasingly interconnected world, where the skills of visual literacy and the critical analysis and stewardship of our environment become ever more important, the Master of Arts degree program in Art and Architectural History offers a dynamic curriculum focusing on the communicative power of the arts and architecture and a celebration of the local and the global creative achievements of humankind. This program allows students to pursue critical integrative studies of art and architecture spanning the globe and throughout time. Uniquely situated in the School of Architecture, Art and Historic Preservation, the faculty with expertise in regional, national and international subject areas, bring together visual culture, studio arts, history, architecture and historic preservation into an integrated humanist learning environment. This program-based experience is enriched by the larger context of the University’s fine and performing arts, with connections to related academic fields and dynamic area studies on the University’s Bristol campus and abroad. And the rich cultural resources of the New England region coupled with the University’s global engagement and robust world-wide partnerships encourages connections between near and far, across commonalities and differences.
Students achieve an advanced ability to understand, explain, interpret, and teach the meaning and communicative power of art, architecture and other fields of visual culture. They pursue classroom study, travel, and practical internships as integral facets of the program. They have the opportunity to complete their studies in two years, in an accelerated time-frame or on a part-time basis. Students enrolling with an earned Bachelor’s degree from another institution enroll in the two-year program.
The Master’s degree in Art and Architectural History prepares students for two primary career paths. One is advanced scholarship. Upon completion of the M.A., students interested in a life of scholarship will be able to enroll in Ph.D. programs to pursue academic careers. A second career path is professional and would enable M.A. recipients to pursue curatorial positions in museums, art galleries, and private collections, as well as provide expertise in institutions such as art auction houses, architectural and design agencies and historic sites.
The Master of Arts in Art and Architectural History is comprised of a minimum of 36 graduate credits including four required foundational three-credit classes, eight three-credit seminars and one non-credit internship. (13 courses/36 credits, language proficiency, internship) At least 30 credits must be taken at RWU.
Students complete the following required courses:
|AAH||500||The Study and Practice of Art and Architectural History|
|AAH||505||Art and Architectural History Theory and Methods Seminar|
|AAH||569||Art and Architectural History Internship||(0 credits)|
Art and Architectural History Electives
In consultation with their advisor, students select eight graduate level electives from the following:
(All courses are three credits unless otherwise indicated)
|AAH||520||Themes in World Arts and Architecture||(3 CR.)|
|AAH||521||Issues in Contemporary Art||(3 CR.)|
|AAH||522||Sacred Spaces||(3 CR.)|
|AAH||523||Nature and Art||(3 CR.)|
|AAH||530||Special Topics/Travel Course: Arts and Architecture of Time and Place||(3 CR.)|
|AAH||531||Topics in Art and Architecture of the Classical World||(3 CR.)|
|AAH||532||Topics in Art and Architecture of the Medieval World||(3 CR.)|
|AAH||533||Topics in Renaissance and Baroque Art and Architecture||(3 CR.)|
|AAH||534||Topics in Modern Art and Architecture||(3 CR.)|
|AAH||535||Topics in Art and Architecture of the Americas||(3 CR.)|
|AAH||536||Topics in Art and Architecture of Africa||(3 CR.)|
|AAH||537||Topics in Art and Architecture of Asia||(3 CR.)|
|AAH||538||Topics in Art and Architecture of the Islamic World||(3 CR.)|
|AAH||560||The Newport Seminar||(3 CR.)|
|ARCH||573||Modernism in the Non-Western World||(3 CR.)|
|ARCH||576||Theoretical Origins of Modernism||(3 CR.)|
|ARCH||577||The American Skyscraper||(3 CR.)|
Students may elect to include in their program one or two winter or intersession seminars by enrolling in AAH 530 Arts and Architecture of Time and Place, a travel-based course designed to study arts and architecture on-site (examples of planned travel courses have included Egypt and Turkey with future possible locations in China and India).
The thesis represents the culminating intellectual experience in the Master’s program. This written essay of publishable quality is produced over two semesters of seminar work in the Research Methods and Thesis courses with an advisor in the area of the student’s research interest. The end product will be evaluated by at least two Graduate Faculty members. Detailed guidelines for this research paper will be provided. Master’s papers are presented at an end-of year, day-long public seminar and are accessioned by the University library to form an archive of collected student scholarly resources.
In addition to the required introductory seminar (AAH 500), the theory and methods seminar (AAH 505), the internship (AAH 569), the research methods seminar (AAH 605) and the thesis (AAH 650), all students must fulfill a distribution requirement. At least one course must be taken in four of the following eight areas of study with a minimum of one of the four in a region beyond Europe and the Americas:
Concentration in Art History or Architectural History
Students may wish to concentrate in either Art or Architectural History. For such a concentration students must complete six of their twelve graduate courses in either Architectural History or Art History. The core course and thesis requirements are the same as the MA in the more integrated Master of Arts degree in Arts and Architecture.
With permission, up to two undergraduate courses at the 300 or 400 level may be taken for graduate credit, with the understanding that all assignments and research papers submitted in such courses would be expected to meet a standard commensurate with graduate status.
With the approval of their advisor, students may take courses in the culture, literature, history, and philosophy of their areas of interest. These courses, as well as language courses and studio art courses do not count towards the degree. In the second year of full-time study, or final year of part-time study, students must register for one research methods thesis course and one thesis seminar in which they work under the close supervision of a faculty advisor, thus completing the 36 credit requirement.
In addition to completing the required course work, every student must achieve reading proficiency in one foreign language related to their research interests.
Student Internship and Employment
Through the graduate program every student is required to complete the Internship course AAH 569 which provides students with a supervised practical environment in which to practice professional skills at a governmental office or agency, nonprofit museum or gallery or private arts institution. This experience may lead to future positions in the field.
Graduate Course Grading, GPA and Graduation Requirements
The minimum passing grade in graduate-level courses is a B- (2.67). The minimum GPA for M.A. in Art and Architectural History graduate students is 3.0.
Duration of Study
Full-time students are expected to complete all requirements for the M.A. degree in two years. Part-time completion of the M.A. is also possible; part-time students typically complete the degree in three to five years. With careful planning undergraduate students or incoming graduate students with advanced standing, and in consultation with their advisor, can complete the degree requirements in an accelerated timeframe. For example, courses may be taken in winter sessions or as the program develops, in summer mini-mesters, or summer sessions. The program for all M.A. candidates is determined in discussion with the student’s advisor and is a mix of seminar and lecture courses.
After the M.A.
On graduation some students may choose to spend a further year or two in museum internship positions or seek curatorial or other professional positions in cultural institutions. Others will be well positioned to enter doctoral programs in Art and Architectural History.