History of Art, MA

The History of Art Department offers a Master of Arts degree for students wishing to deepen their knowledge of art and the critical methods employed in the study of art. 

Upon receiving their M.A., Penn graduates have gone on to hold curatorial positions in national and local museums, auction houses, and galleries.  Students have also used their M.A. as a stepping stone to Ph.D. programs, receiving admission to many prestigious Ph.D. departments in the US and overseas.  Faculty closely mentor and work with M.A. students to achieve the students’ goals and to prepare them for their desired career path.

The M.A. Program is a terminal degree program lasting two years. Students admitted for the M.A. do not automatically receive admission after the M.A. into the Ph.D. program; students wishing to continue must apply to the Ph.D. program.  Students admitted for the M.A. normally do not receive University Fellowships, although they may apply for outside awards to support their graduate study.

View the University’s Academic Rules for Research Master's Programs.


The total course units required for graduation is 10.

Required Courses
Select 10 course units including:10
At least two 5000- or 7000- level seminars each semester
Colloquium (first year)
Competency in two research languages
Research Paper

The degree and major requirements displayed are intended as a guide for students entering in the Fall of 2024 and later. Students should consult with their academic program regarding final certifications and requirements for graduation.