The Department of Art History offers a fast-track degree program that results in an undergraduate degree in Art History and a graduate degree in Art History with a concentration in Curatorial Studies. This is a cost-effective way of pursuing a professional avenue in Art History in a reduced time frame.

Art History majors may apply to this program during the Fall semester of their Junior year through the Graduate School application portal.  Upon their acceptance, they begin to take graduate-level courses towards the Curatorial Studies MA track in the Spring semester of their Junior year in addition to the credits required to complete their B.A.

The MA in Art History with a concentration in Curatorial Studies is conferred upon completion of all five-year program requirements.

Program Requirements

Student should have completed a minimum of 75 credits by the end of the Fall semester in their Junior year and demonstrated an ability to complete their major in Art History and a minor in a timely manner. Once admitted, students must become familiar and complete all requirements for the traditional M.A. Concentration. This requires the completion of 30 graduate level course credits.

The breakdown of the requirements for the Art History with a concentration in Curatorial Studies are as follows:

Mandatory Core Course Courses - 9 credits

  • 082:563 Curatorial Training Seminar (3 credits)
  • 082:698 Exhibition Seminar (3 credits)
  • 082:688 Topics in Contemporaneity (3 credits)

Elective Courses - 15 credits

Students must take five additional 3-credit courses as electives. Any course from Art History will count for the elective, but there is a 12-credit limit on the number of 300 or 400 level courses that will count towards the M.A. Credit-bearing internships may be taken to satisfy up to two of these requirements Interdisciplinarity is also encouraged. Students are permitted to take upper-level courses in other disciplines in the humanities and the humanistic social sciences in consultation with the graduate director.

Thesis - 6 credits of Research in Art History

All students in the Curatorial Studies M.A. track are required to complete an M.A. thesis. Prior to registering for the thesis, students should propose an initial topic and get it approved by a faculty adviser. Students must submit their approved proposal, along with the signed Thesis Proposal form to the Director of Curatorial Studies by a designated deadline. The topic and adviser are approved only when a faculty member signs the form. Students must enroll in six credits of Research Credits for the thesis during their final year. are expected to work independently, scheduling regular meetings with their faculty adviser. Options for the thesis are varied and may include a written text, a thesis exhibition, or a detailed exhibition proposal. All students are required to present their work in a departmental symposium in the spring and deposit their final approved thesis to the department by a designated date.

Recommended Sequence of Study

During their first, second, and third years, undergraduate students complete requirement towards the Rutgers core curriculum (42 credits) and Art History major (33 credits). Student should have completed a minimum of 75 credits by the end of their Fall semester in the Junior year and demonstrated an ability to complete their major in Art History in a timely manner. Once conditional admission to the M.A. Curatorial Studies track has been granted, students have some flexibility in how they choose to distribute their credits.  Our recommended sequence is as follows:

  • Third (Junior) year: 3 graduate level credits, consisting of one course in the Spring (if offered, students are encouraged to register either for Curatorial Training or Exhibition Seminar)
  • Fourth (Senior) year: 6 graduate credits, consisting of one graduate level course in each semester (it is recommended that students take at least two of the mandatory core courses by the fourth year). 
  • Summer after Third and/or Fourth Year: 6 graduate level credits, consisting of one upper-level course or credit-bearing internship
  • Fifth (M.A.) Year: 15 credits, consisting of three graduate level courses, and 6 credits of Research in Art Hsitory research directed at the completion of the MA thesis.


Applicants must complete and submit the online application form available on the School of Graduate Studies' website; and if accepted, will be granted conditional admission by December 1st. They are formally admitted to the M.A. program once they have successfully completed all the requirements for their undergraduate degree.

Students are required to prepare their application in conversation with the Undergraduate and Graduate Program Directors in Art History. The personal statement in their application must include an explanation on how they plan to complete their undergraduate requirements with a detailed explanation, discussed and approved by the Undergraduate and Graduate Directors of Art History, of the projected completion of their BA and MA credits.

Deadline for Spring Admission: November 1st.