Art History FAQ

How do I learn more about student life at AU?
Visit the campus life Web page for detailed information on student activities, housing, dining, parking, local attractions in DC, and much more.

FAQ for Undergraduate Students

Is it possible to minor in art history?

Yes, students majoring in a diverse array of subjects choose art history as a minor. For example, students majoring in International Service often minor in art history to strengthen their critical thinking skills and support their interest in world cultures. Visit the minor requirements Web page for more detailed information.

When is the best time to visit AU and tour the Katzen Arts Center?

Although you are welcome to visit campus at any time, there are special campus days for prospective students. Visit the admissions events page for a list of upcoming events.

How do I get an information packet?

Visit the admissions request information page to obtain an information packet.

FAQ for Graduate Students

How do I get the admissions process started?

Simply visit the graduate admissions Web site for more information. To obtain an information packet, click on "Request Information" in the right-hand column.

When should I visit campus and meet with faculty?

Each semester there is a Prospective Student Day for campus visits, tours, and meet-and-greets with faculty and the AU administration. Visit the graduate admissions event page for a list of upcoming events.

What are the basic requirements for the graduate program?

Visit the MA requirements page for detailed information.

How long does it take to earn an MA?

Although the MA is a two-year program and can be completed in that time, it is not unusual for students to take 2 ½ to 3 years to complete their comprehensive exams and theses.

Does AU offer a PhD in Art History?

No, the MA is the most advanced degree offered in Art History at AU. However, many of our alums go on to doctoral programs at other very worthy institutions after receiving the AU master's degree. In the past several years, our students have gone on PhD programs at the Institute of Fine Arts (NYU), Bryn Mawr, Rutgers, Princeton, Washington University (St. Louis), Penn State, and Florida State University, among others.

Are AU alums able to find careers in the museum field?

Yes! Our alums are working in all aspects of the museum field--curatorial, development, public education, registrar, special events, and many other departments. AU alums hold positions at many major museums including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Whitney Museum in New York, National Museum of Women in the Arts, Smithsonian American Art Museum, the National Gallery of Art, the Addison Gallery, Hillwood Museum and Gardens (D.C.), and others. In fact, our alums form a busy network of professionals who are shaping the museums of tomorrow.

Are there internships available for graduate students?

One of the most exciting things about working on an MA in Art History at American University is the opportunity to become directly involved with the art world. Internships allow participants to gain experience in varied facets of museum and gallery work, including exhibition research, curatorial activities public education, exhibition production, and program development projects.

Can graduates students serve as teaching assistants?

Professors teaching introductory courses for the General Education program may request funding for a General Education Faculty Assistant, usually a second-year graduate student. Teaching Assistants (TAs) may be expected to sit in on the course, take careful notes in case students require tutoring assistance, present review sessions before exams, counsel individual students on coursework or papers, and assist with in-class discussions. Being a TA is an excellent experience for MA students interested in pursuing a career in college teaching or museum education.

Are there conference opportunities for graduate students?

There are many opportunities for presenting papers at conferences. A few examples are the American University/George Washington University Graduate Symposium in Art History (fall semester), Mid-Atlantic Symposium in the History of Art sponsored by the National Gallery of Art (every other spring semester), and the College of Arts and Sciences Student Research Conference (spring semester).

Is there a place on campus to study and meet fellow grad students?

The Visual Resources Center (VRC), Art History Suite 142 in the Katzen Arts Center, is a digital imaging lab and workspace where visual resources for the art department are developed and maintained. But the VRC also serves as a space for students to meet. Graduate student mailboxes, computers to check email, and the Kassalaw Collection graduate study library can be found within the suite.

Can grad students get involved in student government?

The Graduate Student Council (GSC) at AU encourages students to become involved in issues relating to the university. Two art history graduate students represent the program on the Council. The GSC distributes funds to each program during the academic year. Whether it is through funding for travel to conferences, purchasing books for the Kassalow Collection Graduate Study Library, or obtaining a printer for grad student use, the GSC has provided excellent support for our graduate students and the art history program.