Master of Arts in Art History

Prepare for careers in museums, galleries, non-profits, archives, libraries and other organizations with the Master of Arts in Art History at Temple University's Tyler School of Art and Architecture. This two-year, Arts Management-track or Research-track program serves as a gateway to the best doctoral art history programs for students seeking careers in academia or research. Both the 36-credit Arts Management track program and the 30-credit Research-track program equip students with the skills needed for a wide range of careers in a world where visual literacy and cultural production play a vital role in shaping society.

Conduct thorough studies in the visual arts and broader art forms, studying their cultural, historical and stylistic context over time. Learn to employ critical theories in order to understand the history of the arts, to develop original research and to organize a sustained project while working collaboratively with artists, administrators, educators, students and the public. Arts management track students develop practical knowledge while working with cultural practitioners, artists, creative entrepreneurs, community organizations, and government agencies.

Tyler's highly accomplished faculty offer a broad range of research expertise, including

  • new and emergent digital technologies,
  • modern and contemporary art, especially in North and Latin America,
  • Renaissance and Baroque Italy, Spain, Germany and the Netherlands,
  • the ancient Mediterranean,
  • the Islamic world,
  • the art of the African diaspora in the Caribbean, and
  • the history of prints, photography and media theory.

The Art History MA program is committed to one-on-one mentorship and empowers each student to select a faculty mentor in their first year of study.

As a Tyler graduate student, you have access to the resources of a world-class art and architecture school; a large, public research university; and a robust city rich with opportunities for primary-source research, professional advancement and personal enrichment. You will also join a strong network of Tyler alumni across the region and the country. 


You can focus on Art History or you can take one of the following concentrations.

  • Arts Management

Arts Management Track

The Arts Management track provides a specialized degree pathway for students seeking to advance cultural practice, the production and presentation of art, and community-building by becoming arts professionals, cultural organizers and leaders. Students learn about both historical and current forces that shape arts institutions, including subject areas of institutional missions, art economics, strategic planning, governance and ethics. Course work prepares students for leadership and management roles to align operation and program decisions with mission and social values.

In addition to graduate classes in Art History theory, core courses in the Arts Management track build professional practice skills, discuss social and pollical theory embodied within cultural organizations and examine past, current and future models within the field. Course selection is tailored to each student as they develop an understanding of leadership, local environments for the arts in non-profit and commercial sectors, and the artistic, ethical and legal issues that challenge arts workers. Experiential credit and /or internships are required under this program track.

Research Track

The Research track provides a grounding in the history of art, architecture and material culture through a broad range of methods, facilitated by a diverse faculty and innovative course offerings and methodologies. The global reach of the curriculum provides a foundation for careers in research at arts-related organizations or as a strong basis for further study at the PhD level. This track supports both a breadth of art historical knowledge and opportunity to develop a special area focus or subfield. Students work closely with a primary advisor selected during the first year of study to help map out a suitable curriculum and ultimately develop an in-depth qualifying paper.

Classes & Curriculum

Both tracks of the Art History MA program can be completed on a part- or full-time basis. Upon admission to the MA Art History program, students complete a three-credit historiography course that studies the key months and critical approaches of art history in their first fall semester. This course also introduces students to some of the resources and arts institutions in the city. Students enhance their research and communication capabilities by passing a reading examination in one foreign language before the end of coursework.

In addition to internships or fieldwork, students in the Arts Management track complete a three-credit Introduction to Arts Management Practices course and complete their degree with an individualized capstone class. These students can take a broad range of courses, including in Tyler's Architecture or Art Education departments, or in Temple’s College of Education, Fox School of Business, or Klein College of Media and Communication.

Students in the Research track take 27 credits of graduate-level art history courses (up to six credits may be taken outside of the art history department), with at least two courses covering periods up to 1750 and at least two from 1750-present; and at least four geographic or subject areas covered. The program culminates in the writing of an original qualifying paper during their final semester, working closely with their chosen primary advisor.

A few courses you may take include the following.

  • Art and Environment in American Culture
  • History and Theory of Printmaking
  • Modern and Contemporary Art in Latin America
  • Seminar on Contemporary Art: Research Entanglements: Artistic Practice, Curatorial Work and Theory
  • Topics in Arts Management: Art, Access and Civic Life
  • Topics in Global Art: Introduction to Caribbean Art

Learn more about the coursework for the Art History MA.

Related Graduate Certificates 

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Tuition & Fees

In keeping with Temple’s commitment to access and affordability, this Master of Arts offers a competitive level of tuition with multiple opportunities for financial support.

Tuition rates are set annually by the university and are affected by multiple factors, including program degree level (undergraduate or graduate), course load (full- or part-time), in-state or out-of-state residency, and more. These tuition costs apply to the 2023–2024 academic year.

Pennsylvania resident: $1,053.00 per credit
Out-of-state: $1,449.00 per credit

Learn more about our tuition and fees.


Additional Program Information