Master’s Degree Learning Goals and Assessment

                                       The Graduate Program in Art History

                              Master’s Degree Learning Goals and Assessment

                                                Adopted September 2011


The Graduate Program in Art History at Rutgers trains M.A. students at an advanced level in the history and theory of the world’s art, architecture and visual culture.  Students are trained as generalists, but explore one field in depth for their Master’s essay. We also provide students with the opportunity to earn professional certificates in Curatorial Studies and in Cultural Heritage and Preservation Studies (CHAPS).  Students can apply to earn either an M.A. in Art History, or an M.A. in CHAPS, although course requirements overlap.  For students interested in pursuing a future Ph.D., we prepare them to apply to top graduate programs.  The Rutgers M.A. is the foundation for museum positions as a curator, educator, administrator, or archivist, and also for positions within the growing field of Cultural Heritage.

Learning Goal One for Students:

*Master the skills of art historical research and writing necessary to work effectively in a variety of museum and academic settings.  Develop critical thinking, ability to do visual analysis, incorporate historical material and identify and use relevant theoretical frameworks.

Assessment of student achievement in Goal One.

*Review graduate course grades and narrative evaluations by faculty. Perform thorough   evaluations of all first year students through a rotating committee of three faculty members, who report on student progress to the graduate director.

*Evaluate students’ completion of requirements: a methods course, coursework in at least three different fields, and four courses with term papers

*Review student progress with close faculty advising and mentoring

*Design a comprehensive written examination assessing the depth and breadth of students’ knowledge of the field of art history.

* Guide student in preparation and completion of the Master’s essay—ordinarily an expansion of a substantial seminar paper.  Two faculty readers will evaluate the essay.

*Roles of the Program in helping students to achieve Goal One

*Provide close advising to ensure that students are being prepared in a coherent and academically rigorous way

*Supply effective, regular monitoring of student progress, with annual reports of student’s progress—from both the student and faculty advisors.

*Conduct a regular review of the curriculum by faculty—its suitability and effectiveness for preparing students for future responsibilities in museums, academia and institutions concerned with cultural heritage preservation. 

*Advise interested students about applying to a competitive PhD program outside Rutgers

*Learning Goal Two for Students:

*Engage in rigorous, original research




*Assessment of graduate student achievement of Goal 2:

*Identification of a topic appropriate for a Master’s essay, with the advice of two faculty readers.

*Production of a Master’s essay, done under the guidance of one faculty advisor, and a second reader

*Present conference papers and outline future articles for publication

*Role of the Graduate program in helping students achieve Goal Two.

*Provide early introduction to research methods and opportunities for research, not only in consultation with one’s potential advisors, but through a Methods course taught for new students every year. 

*Advise on and provide opportunities for presenting research in progress and receiving feedback.

*Provide comprehensive advising and assist in the identification of mentors.

*Learning Goal Three for Students

*Prepare to be professionals in careers that require training at advanced levels for administrative, educational and curatorial positions; positions within the field of preservation studies and cultural heritage; and related fields in which an Art History M.A. is a great advantage: publishing, non-profit foundations, auction houses, and commercial galleries. 

Assessment of graduate student achievement of Goal Three:

*Review evidence of papers written for courses and presented at conferences, exhibition proposals crafted, and/or manuscripts submitted for publication.

*Roles of the program in helping to develop Goal 3:

*Mentor M.A. students in securing internship opportunities

*Offer an exhibition seminar at least every other year, to train students to manage curatorial and educational responsibilities within a museum setting.

*Supervise publication of the Rutgers Art Review, fully staffed by a rotating editorial board of graduate students.

*Host a series of lectures by established scholars and serve as advisors to students on their own lecture series. Advise them on securing funding for the series.

*Survey Alumni and follow up regularly to maintain professional ties.


Susan Sidlauskas, Chairperson

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Tamara Sears, Graduate Program Director

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