Graduate Study in the History of Art & Architecture

The Department of History of Art & Architecture offers programs of study leading to the Master of Arts (MA) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degrees. We also offer a Certificate in Museum Studies, which is usually completed in conjunction with the MA. These programs are designed to prepare students for careers in teaching, museum curatorship, administration, and related fields. Faculty offer graduate courses in most areas of art history, including African, American, Asian, European, Islamic, and Latin American art. Some departmental courses are conducted at local galleries and area museums. Cross-registration agreements exist with Boston College, Brandeis University, and Tufts University. All courses taken outside Boston University must be approved by the Director of Graduate Studies and must be taken for a letter grade.

Graduate study in the Department of History of Art & Architecture at Boston University exposes the student not only to the faculty and facilities of the University itself, but also to the curators and faculty of the many universities, colleges, museums, and historical agencies in Boston and New England. Graduate students may enroll in four types of courses: seminars, colloquia, practica, and directed studies. Graduate seminars investigate specific topics or problems in depth and from various stand points. The graduate colloquium, though a course in its own right, runs in conjunction with a related undergraduate lecture course. Students are introduced to the bibliographical and methodological tools of the subject so that they may deal with it on a professional level. The practicum is an internship designed to enhance the student’s overall development and provide direct experience with art historical work in a professional setting. Directed studies may be undertaken as reading courses in areas for which no seminars or colloquia are offered, or to work on research projects usually (but not necessarily) related to the PhD dissertation.

Graduate Student Handbook

MA Papers



Boston University’s Department of History of Art & Architecture has close ties with the American and New England Studies Program and the Historic Preservation Program, both within the University. The Department has developed internships with area museums, including the Museum of Fine Arts, the Photographic Resource Center, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, the Addison Gallery of American Art in Andover, Historic New England, the Harvard University Art Museums, and the Institute of Contemporary Art.

Student Organizations

The Graduate Student History of Art & Architecture Association is an organization for graduate history of art & architecture concentrators as well as interested students from other departments. Activities include guest lectures, museum visits, and outings.