Jul 05, 2020  
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog 
    
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog

Art, Art History Track, M.A.


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Master of Arts in Art


The Master of Arts in Art program offers two concentrations: art history, and visual art. For detailed information about the programs, visit the M.A. in Art website. The program is housed in the Department of Art and Design, which is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design.

Art history is designed for persons interested in professional, academic, museum studies, or arts management careers and prepares students for doctoral study. It offers a broad-based study of the history of visual expression and opportunities for advanced research projects. Art historians analyze and articulate the meaning and form of human experience as embodied in works of art. The field encompasses the world of art and architecture as it exists today and has been understood visually and verbally in the past.

Visual art offers concentration areas in intermedia, drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture, ceramics, furniture design & woodworking, metalsmithing & jewelry, graphic design, illustration, or photography. Students from a wide range of creative backgrounds will be given the opportunity to study the materials and techniques that lead to their unique artistic expression. Working together, students will participate in peer review throughout the program and develop a cohort that will strengthen their artwork, creative practice, and professional network.

Admission Requirements

Prospective applicants are encouraged to schedule an interview with the program coordinator before applying, although this is not required. All application materials are due by April 1 for the fall semester and November 1 for the spring semester.

Official transcripts, GRE scores (if used), and letters of recommendation should be sent to the UALR Graduate School. Other requirements should be sent to the program coordinator in the Department of Art and Design.

Admission requirements are as follows:

  • Baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 (4.0 scale). A B.A. or B.F.A. in art is preferable but other experiences will be considered.
  • Two letters of recommendation (optional for students who have taken art courses at UALR during the three years previous to the application)
  • Statement of objectives and goals (500-1,000 words)
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) score is optional and may be submitted to bolster the application. (Application forms for some financial aid offered through UALR require information about the GRE score.)

Art History Additional Requirements:

  • Undergraduate research paper. (preferably treating an art historical problem but may be in a related area such as literature, history, cultural or intellectual history, anthropology, or aesthetics)
  • 18 undergraduate art history hours.

Visual Art Additional Requirements:

  • Digital Portfolio of 20 high-quality images (detailing a minimum of 10 artworks) with the majority of the works in the medium of concentration. 
  • 24 undergraduate art hours, including 9 in art history are preferable but other experiences will be considered. 

*To be considered for admittance, the portfolio must show proficient skills indicating the ability to conduct self-directed work in the intended area of focus. The applicant may choose to include work from additional mediums. The portfolio should be of an overall high quality in every medium shown.

**Admittance requires 9 hours of art history. Students that do not have the prerequisite hours will be required to complete these prior to enrolling in the seminar. Remedial hours cannot be counted as credit hours toward the M.A. degree.

Conditional Admission Requirements for the M.A. in Art/Visual Art

Applicants with a GPA between 2.7 and 2.9 may petition the M.A. admission committee for conditional admission.

Applicants with a GPA between 2.0 and 2.6 may petition the M.A. admission committee for special consideration. 

Applicants must discuss ad provide evidence regarding two or more of the following criteria as part of their petition:

  • GPA in previous art courses
  • Amount of time elapsed since the previous degree (5+ years recommended)
  • Professional experience in studio art
  • Professional accomplishments that demonstrate the applicant’s abilities with respect to time management or focused, intensive study
  • Explanation of special circumstances related to low GPA

Conditionally admitted students must maintain a GPA or 3.0 in their first 9 hours of coursework in order to remain in the program. Conditionally admitted students may also be subject to other conditions for enrollment, such as required courses in the first nine hours of study specified by the admission committee. Conditionally admitted students completing their MA coursework with a GPA 3.0 or higher after their first nine credit hours will become regularly admitted students. 

Transfer Credit

Up to six graduate hours with grades of B or greater earned in the past five years may be transferred from another accredited institution.

Special Students

Students admitted to the Graduate School as a special student, but not the art program, may enroll in courses only with the coordinator’s and instructor’s permission. If later admitted to the art program, the student may not apply more than six hours (with grades of B or greater) toward program requirements.

Graduate Assistantships

A limited number of graduate assistantships are available. Contact the program coordinator for information.

Program Requirements

All students must maintain at least a 3.0 GPA. Only twelve hours at the 5000 level may count toward the degree; all remaining hours must be 7000-level. Grades of “incomplete” are discouraged, and students with one or more “incompletes” may be restricted in the number of hours they may take in a subsequent semester. An Advancement to Candidacy Examination or Critique is required. Students are also expected to participate regularly in special seminars and workshops and to attend lectures and gallery openings organized by the department.

Art History (ARHA)


The art history concentration requires 30 graduate credit hours, including 5300 Studies in the History of Art; 9 additional 5000-level art history lecture hours; 3 hours each in Renaissance and Baroque, 18th- and 19th-century, and 20th-century art; 6 approved elective hours; and a thesis with oral defense.

The thesis topic must be selected before completing 21 hours and must be approved by the thesis advisor and program coordinator before it is submitted to the Graduate School dean. The thesis must demonstrate the candidate’s capacity for high-level, independent research. In addition, it must conform to the deadlines, requirements, and standards of the Department of Art and Graduate School. Thesis regulations are available from the program coordinator. Students who intend to complete degree requirements during the summer must anticipate professional absences for at least part of the summer.

Language Requirement

In addition, students must demonstrate proficiency in a foreign language. A reading knowledge of French or German is normally expected. Proficiency may be demonstrated by successful completion of an undergraduate intermediate level course, or showing that level of proficiency on an examination approved by the Department of International and Second Language Studies. This should be done as early as possible in the course of study.

The Advancement to Candidacy Exam must be taken when the student has successfully completed between 9 and 15 program hours. It includes slide identifications of major monuments from all periods and several essays covering material from various periods. Upon completion of the exam, the faculty may advise the student to continue in the program or repeat earlier course work, or the student may be dismissed from the program.

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