A master’s in art history is perfect for students who wish to cultivate a deep understanding of the ways in which art and aesthetics develop and affect individuals and societies. Students have the option of pursuing a museum studies concentration within the program. You'll work closely with professors and internationally recognized visiting artists, curators and scholars. You'll also take part in scholarly research on your topic of choice. A wealth of class options will allow you the flexibility necessary to find what moves you, whether that means delving into the connections between art and technology or focusing on a specific cultural sphere or movement.

While we offer courses in most areas of world art, the program has a special emphasis on the arts of Europe and the Americas as well as Islamic art. Through official partnerships with the Denver Art Museum, the Clyfford Still Museum and the Western Center for Fine Art Conservation, you'll have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience as an art historian. Our graduate community also works with emerging and established artists through the University of Denver's Vicki Myhren Gallery and the Madden Museum of Fine Art.

Many MA students go on to complete PhDs at universities such as Cornell University, University of California-Berkeley and University of Delaware.

Museum Studies Concentration

Students in our art history graduate program may also choose a museum studies concentration. In addition to earning a master’s degree in art history, you will take courses with curators and conservators from the region’s art institutions. During your studies you can gain experience handling art, hanging exhibitions and curating exhibits in our Vicki Myhren Gallery and Madden Museum. Classes taught on-site in Denver’s museums allow you to meet professionals from museum directors to collections managers and find a museum career that suits your skills and interests. Students in the museum studies concentration also conduct an individually-tailored internship in a regional or national art institution giving you hands-on experience and networking opportunities.

Alumni now hold positions at distinguished venues as curators, consultants, arts managers, registrars, collection managers and museum educators.

Annual Art History Student Symposium

The Student Art History Symposium takes place every spring. Eight to ten students are selected to present their research papers to an audience of peers and faculty. Past research has been on topics such as 1960s poster art, a Haida totem pole from Alaska and Moche ceramics.

This event serves as an opportunity to have your work recognized and critiqued by a wider audience. Each year, one graduate student is chosen to represent the department at the regional symposium to renowned art historians from the Front Range.

 

 

Why Study Art History at DU?

  • application icon

    Art history master's candidates enjoy small class sizes in a fast-paced, two-year program.

  • community icon

    Museum studies students engage in local and national internships, enabling them to gain the experience needed to secure employment after graduation.

  • artwork icon

    Our official partnerships with the Denver Art Museum, the Clyfford Still Museum and the Western Center for Fine Art Conservation give students opportunities for hands-on experiences that supplement their classroom learning.

  • building icon

    We introduce students to internationally renowned visiting artists, curators and scholars to expand their professional network. 

Degree Requirements

Master's in Art History

  • The master's in art history consists of at least 56 credits. Students often complete the credits over the course of two years.
  • Non-coursework requirements include a qualifying examination, language requirement, a comprehensive examination and master's research paper. 
  • MA degree students are required to write a research paper of publishable quality.

See the DU Graduate Bulletin for full program requirements.

Museum Studies Concentration

  • The master's in art history with a museum studies concentration consists of at least 56 credit hours, including 16 credits of museum studies courses. 
  • Non-coursework requirements include a qualifying examination, language requirement, a comprehensive examination and a master's research paper. 
  • MA degree students are required to write a research paper of publishable quality.

See the DU Graduate Bulletin for full program requirements.

Are you ready to take the next step in your study of Art History?

We'll help you work towards your career goals.

Request Information

Featured Faculty

  • Gwen Chanzit

    Gwen Chanzit

    Director of Museum Studies and Full Professor of the Practice, Museum Studies/Art History, School of Art and Art History; Curator of Modern Art and the Herbert Bayer Collection and Archive, Denver Art Museum 

    View Profile

  • Annabeth Headrick

    Annabeth Headrick

    Associate Professor, Mesoamerican, Native North American and Andean Art; Graduate Art History Advisor

    View Profile

  • Scott Montgomery

    Scott Montgomery

    Associate Professor, Medieval and Renaissance Art; Undergraduate Art History Advisor 

    View Profile

  • Bilha Moor

    Bilha Moor

    Assistant Professor, Islamic Art History

    View Profile

  • Annette Stott

    Annette Stott

    Professor, American Art and Women’s Studies; Pre-Art Conservation Advisor; 
    Director, DU/Iliff Joint Doctoral Program in Religion

Application Information