Requirements for the M.A. Degree in Art History and Criticism

A. Course Requirements
The student will be required to complete successfully 36 credits of graduate work, as outlined in the list of courses below. A student must achieve a 3.0 overall grade point average to receive a degree from Stony Brook.

1. Required Courses (6 credits)

ARH 540 Methodologies of Art History (3 credits)

ARH 592 Teaching Practicum (3 credits)

2. Art History and Criticism Electives (15-21 credits)

ARH 501 Theory and Criticism: From Antiquity through the Renaissance (3 credits)

ARH 502 History of 19th Century Art Criticism and Theory (3 credits)

ARH 503 History of 20th Century Art Criticism and Theory (3 credits)

ARH 541 Topics in Ancient Art (3 credits)

ARH 542 Topics in Medieval Art (3 credits)

ARH 543 Topics in Renaissance Art (3 credits)

ARH 544 Topics in Early Modern Art (3 credits)

ARH 545 Topics in 19th-Century Art (3 credits)

ARH 546 Topics in 20th-Century Art (3 credits)

ARH 547 Topics in Global, Colonial and Diasporic Art (3 credits)

ARH 548 Museum Studies Seminar (3 credits)

ARH 549 Topics in American Visual Culture (3 credits)

ARH 550 Inquiries into Art Criticism and Theory (3 credits)

ARH 551 Topics in Performance (3 credits)

ARH 552 Topics in Contemporary Art (3 credits)

ARH 554 Topics in Visual Culture (3 credits)

ARH 570 Issues in Architectural History and Criticism (3 credits)

ARH 591 Practicum in the Writing of Art Criticism (3 credits)

3. Humanities and Social Sciences Electives (3-9 credits)

Two or three courses in the humanities and/or social sciences, to be chosen in consultation with a faculty advisor and with the approval of the Director of Graduate Studies. These courses may be in literary studies or criticism, history, musicology, dramaturgy, sociology, anthropology, etc., but cannot be in studio art.

4. Other (0-12 credits)

Students can take optional thesis credits, for example ARH 598 Thesis (3-6 credits), as well as up to 3 credits in Directed Readings, Internship, or a Studio seminar.

B. Comprehensive Examination
This test of basic competency is designed to assess the student’s knowledge of individual artists and works of art, and of particular periods and dates in the history of art. It will include slide identifications and definitions of terms relevant to the history of art and art criticism. The student must take this examination before the end of the third semester of study in order to continue in the program. An extension will be allowed to part-time students.

C. Foreign Language
A reading knowledge of French or German must be acquired before graduation. Students planning to advance to doctoral work will be encouraged to master both of these languages.

D. Teaching Requirement
All graduate students will be expected to assist in teaching a minimum of one semester, usually during their second year of residency. The course in which the student will assist shall ordinarily be an introductory-level undergraduate course. Competency in teaching will be judged through teacher evaluation questionnaires and classroom visits by the course’s faculty supervisor.

E. Thesis
At the beginning of the third semester, the student, together with his or her directing committee, which shall consist of the student’s advisor and one or two other faculty members, will jointly agree on a thesis topic. The student must at that time submit a prospectus outlining the nature and aims of the thesis. The thesis shall be a significant original work in the form of one or more essays relevant to the examination of art history, criticism, and theory.


Requirements for the Ph.D. Degree in Art History and Criticism

A. Course Requirements
The student will be required to complete successfully 60 credits of graduate work, as outlined in the list of categories and courses below. A student must achieve a 3.0 overall grade point average to receive a degree from Stony Brook.

1. Required Courses (6 -9 credits)

ARH 540 Methodologies in Art History (3 credits)

ARH 602 Practicum in Teaching (3-6 credits)

2. ARH Electives (24-36 credits)

Students are required to take at least one course from each of the following three categories: Art History; Modern and Contemporary Visual Culture; and Art Criticism and Theory

Art History

ARH 541 Topics in Ancient Art (3 credits)

ARH 542 Topics in Medieval Art (3 credits)

ARH 543 Topics in Renaissance Art (3 credits)

ARH 544 Topics in Early Modern Art (3 credits)

ARH 547 Topics in Global, Colonial and Diasporic Art (3 credits)

ARH 549 Topics in American Visual Culture (3 credits)

ARH 690 Directed Readings (3 credits)

Modern and Contemporary Visual Culture

ARH 544 Topics in Early Modern Art (3 credits)

ARH 545 Topics in 19th Century Art (3 credits)

ARH 546 Topics in 20th Century Art (3 credits)

ARH 547 Topics in Global, Colonial and Diasporic Art (3 credits)

ARH 549 Topics in American Visual Culture (3 credits)

ARH 551 Topics in Performance (3 credits)

ARH 552 Topics in Contemporary Art (3 credits)

ARH 554 Topics in Visual Culture (3 credits)

ARH 690 Directed Readings (3 credits)

ARS 580 Visual Arts Seminar (3 credits)

Criticism and Theory

ARH 501 Theory and Criticism: From Antiquity through the Renaissance (3 credits)

ARH 502 History of 19th Century Art Criticism and Theory (3 credits)

ARH 503 History of 20th Century Art Criticism and Theory (3 credits)

ARH 550 Inquiry in Art Criticism and Theory (3 credits)

ARH 551 Topics in Performance (3 credits)

ARH 552 Topics in Contemporary Art (3 credits)

ARH 554 Topics in Visual Culture (3 credits)

ARH 570 Issues in Architectural History and Criticism (3 credits)

ARH 591 Practicum in the Writing of Art Criticism (3 credits)

ARH 690 Directed Readings (3 credits)

3. Humanities and Social Science Electives (6-12 credits)

These courses may be in history, comparative studies, musicology, sociology, anthropology, etc., but cannot be in studio art.

4. Other (0-12 credits)

If students are admitted without a prior MA and they decide to take write the thesis instead of the qualifying paper they have the option of taking up to 6 MA thesis credits. A PhD student can also take 3 credits for an Internship, or 3 credits for a graduate Studio seminar. Students can also take up to 6 credits of Directed Readings in preparation for the Qualifying Exams. Once the exams are completed and the student is advanced to doctoral candidacy they register in the following:

ARH 699 Dissertation Research on Campus
ARH 700 Dissertation Research off Campus (domestic)
ARH 701 Dissertation Research off Campus (international)
Credits for thesis preparation and research may be used to complete the total of 60 credits for the Ph.D.

B. Teaching Requirement
All Ph.D. students are expected to assist in teaching a minimum of two semesters. The first course in which the student will assist will ordinarily be an introductory level undergraduate course. An advanced doctoral student may also be assigned to assist in an upper-level undergraduate course. Competency in teaching is judged through teacher evaluation questionnaires and classroom visits by the course’s supervising faculty member.

C. Comprehensive Examination
Information about the required comprehensive examination is found above under degree requirements for the M.A. Degree in Art History and Criticism. All Ph.D. students who enter the program without a master’s degree in art history must take this examination before the end of the third semester of study in order to continue in the program. Ph.D. students who enter the program with an M.A. degree in art history will be exempted from taking the comprehensive examination.

D. M.A. Qualifying Paper
The M.A. qualifying paper is a paper completed in a graduate level course, and emended by the student in light of the suggestions or corrections of the faculty member to whom the paper was submitted. After the paper is revised, it will be read by another faculty member chosen by the student and the first reader (the advisor). The second reader will approve or disapprove the paper. If the second reader disapproves, the graduate program director will select a third reader to judge the paper, and the opinion of the two readers will determine the approval or disapproval of the paper. This requirement is waived for Ph.D. students who enter the program with an M.A. degree in art history. Students may also opt to complete a full Master’s thesis and receive the M.A. degree prior to continuing on in the Ph.D. program.

E. Foreign Language Requirement
A reading knowledge of German and French is required for advancement to candidacy. In consultation with the candidate’s advisor, the student may petition the Director of Graduate Studies to replace one of these two languages with a different language more suitable for the student’s projected area of research. Mastery of a third language may also be recommended if it is deemed necessary for the student’s research.

F. Qualifying (Preliminary) Examination
The Qualifying Examination should be taken no later than the end of the third year of coursework (second year for those entering with a prior master’s degree) and prior to the beginning of dissertation research. It will be a written exam covering a major and minor, chosen from the following fields:

Contemporary Art and Criticism

Photography and the Moving Image

Modern European Art and Criticism

American Art and Material Culture

Early Modern Art and Visual Culture

Global, Colonial and Diasporic Art

Medieval and Renaissance Art

Ancient Civilizations

The content of the exam will vary according to the student’s interests and their choice of major and minor fields, but exam preparation should ideally begin during the student’s second year of coursework. The student will be expected to select two faculty members to serve as major and minor advisors, and to seek guidance from them on appropriate focus and bibliography in preparation for the exams. The Qualifying Exam committee consists of three members of the department faculty (including major and minor advisors), and is appointed by the Dean of the Graduate School upon the recommendation of the Graduate Studies Director. The format of the exam shall be five questions for the major, from which the student shall choose three; and three questions for the minor, from which the student shall choose two to answer. Responses are in essay form.

G. Advancement to Candidacy
To be advanced to Ph.D. candidacy, the student must have:

1. Completed at least 54 graduate credits and all other degree requirements (see A-F listed above), other than the dissertation and dissertation research credits.

2. Submitted and defended a proposal outlining the nature and aims of the dissertation. The proposal must be approved by a faculty dissertation committee and by the Director of Graduate Studies (see below). When all of these requirements have been completed satisfactorily, the Director of Graduate Studies will submit a request to the Dean of the Graduate School to advance the candidate to candidacy.

H. Dissertation
No later than the beginning of the seventh semester, (fifth semester for those entering with a prior master’s degree), but preferably by the beginning of the sixth semester, the student will prepare a written prospectus, outlining the scope, method, and aims of the dissertation. The student will submit the proposal to the dissertation advisor and two other members of the department who will serve as readers, one of whom (but not the advisor) will serve as Chair of the dissertation defense. After the student’s advisor has conferred with the other departmental committee members and the departmental committee has approved the proposal, the advisor will submit the proposal and names of the committee members to the Director of Graduate Studies for approval. (The student may be advanced to candidacy at this point.) At least six months before the dissertation defense, the Graduate Studies Director, in consultation with student and the student’s dissertation committee, will name a reader from outside the department who has specialized in related areas. The Graduate Director must then request the Graduate School for approval of the committee.

At least ten weeks before the Graduate School’s deadline for submitting the completed dissertation, the student will submit to the readers what is intended to be the final draft of the dissertation. No more than four weeks after that, if the readers have agreed that the dissertation is ready to be defended, the dissertation committee chairperson will schedule the defense, an oral examination open to interested faculty and graduate students. The date of the defense must be approved by the Graduate School. All four readers on the dissertation committee must recommend acceptance of the dissertation before it can be approved by the Graduate School. 

I. Time Limit
All requirements for the Ph.D. degree must be completed within seven years after completing 24 hours of graduate courses in the department. In rare instances, the dean of the Graduate School will entertain a petition to extend this time limit, provided it bears the endorsement of the department chairperson.