VCU Bulletins

Art History, Master of Arts (M.A.) with a concentration in architectural history

Graduate program director
Margaret A. Lindauer, Ph.D.
Associate professor and chair, Department of Art History
(804) 828-2784

Program website:

Refer to the program search function of the online VCU Bulletins for a complete listing of all programs, concentrations and related curricular options.

Art History, Master of Arts (M.A.) with a concentration in historical studies
Art History, Master of Arts (M.A.) with a concentration in museum studies

Apply online at

Admission requirements

Art History, Master of Arts (M.A.) with a concentration in architectural history
Semester(s) of entry:
Fall only
Deadline dates:

Jan 15
Test requirements:
Special requirements:
Writing sample

Students with a bachelor’s degree in art history or in a related field (e.g., history, anthropology, literary studies, religious studies or philosophy) are invited to apply to VCU Department of Art History graduate programs. Applicants who have completed at least 18 undergraduate semester credit hours in art history are preferred.

In addition to the general admission requirements of the VCU Graduate School, applicants to the Master of Arts in Art History must meet the following requirements:

  1. A statement of purpose, 750-1000 words in length, that briefly recounts applicant’s academic background, describes an avenue of inquiry that the applicant expects to explore, notes applicant’s professional goals beyond graduate study and explains why VCU art history is suited to applicant’s interests
  2. A research/writing sample that has a clearly articulated thesis statement, identifies and interprets primary and/or secondary sources in support of a well-argued thesis, and offers a coherent, cohesive narrative
  3. Three letters of recommendation, at least two of which are from faculty members who can assess the applicant’s preparation and promise for graduate work (Some applicants may choose to solicit the third letter from a museum professional who has supervised the applicant’s professional work in a museum setting.)
  4. Official transcripts from schools where applicant completed course work applied toward the baccalaureate degree
  5. An official report of GRE scores

Applications are reviewed by full-time faculty members who assess an applicant’s overall package of materials, with particular attention to the statement of interest and writing sample.

See for specific information regarding the online application process.

VCU Graduate Bulletin, VCU Graduate School and general academic policies and regulations for all graduate students in all graduate programs

The VCU Graduate Bulletin website documents the official admission and academic rules and regulations that govern graduate education for all graduate programs at the university.  These policies are established by the graduate faculty of the university through their elected representatives to the University Graduate Council.

It is the responsibility of all graduate students, both on- and off-campus, to be familiar with the VCU Graduate Bulletin as well as the Graduate School website and academic regulations in individual school and department publications and on program websites. However, in all cases, the official policies and procedures of the University Graduate Council, as published on the VCU Graduate Bulletin and Graduate School websites, take precedence over individual program policies and guidelines.

General academic regulations for
all graduate students in all graduate programs at VCU

Program goal

The mission of the graduate program in art history is to equip students with requisite knowledge, skills and theoretical foundation to embark on successful careers in academia and/or museums.
The M.A. curriculum concentrations provide students with a general background in the research methods and teachings of art history in preparation for careers in museums, collections care or arts organizations. It also prepares students for the more rigorous research demands of the Ph.D., which is the required degree for academic and curatorial careers.

Student learning outcomes

  1. Students apply critical and analytical concepts, frameworks and methods.
  2. Students contextualize scholarship in relationship to existing art historical/museological knowledge, discourse and/or debate.
  3. Students write effectively for audiences of scholarly and non-specialist readers.
  4. Students speak effectively to scholarly and non-specialist audiences.
  5. Students demonstrate ability to translate art historical scholarship written in a language or languages relevant to their research.
  6. Students conduct scholarly inquiry that makes a scholarly professional contribution.

Degree requirements

In addition to general VCU Graduate School graduation requirements students must complete 30 credit hours of course work, variously distributed according to the curriculum concentration.

Curriculum requirements

Courses Credit hours
ARTH 621 Historical Preservation and Architectural History 3
ARTH 622 Studies in Architectural History 9
ARTH 690 Historiography and Methodology of Art History 3
ARTH 694 Art History and Pedagogy 3
ARTH 695 Writing Seminar I 3
ARTH 771 Writing Seminar II 3
Two art history seminars with a period/region focus (ARTH 720-729) 6
Total graduate credit hours required (minimum) 30

Degree candidacy requirements

A graduate student admitted to a program or concentration requiring a final research project, work of art, thesis or dissertation, must qualify for continuing master’s or doctoral status according to the degree candidacy requirements of the student’s graduate program. Admission to degree candidacy, if applicable, is a formal statement by the graduate student’s faculty regarding the student’s academic achievements and the student’s readiness to proceed to the final research phase of the degree program.

Graduate students and program directors should refer to the following degree candidacy policy as published in the VCU Graduate Bulletin for complete information and instructions.

Degree candidacy requirements

Graduation requirements

As graduate students approach the end of their academic programs and the final semester of matriculation, they must make formal application to graduate. No degrees will be conferred until the application to graduate has been finalized.

Graduate students and program directors should refer to the following graduation requirements as published in the Graduate Bulletin for a complete list of instructions and a graduation checklist.

Graduation requirements



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Last update: 11/11/2014

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