The program is two years of full-time study or three years of part-time study for those with established professional careers who wish to continue working while attending the Institute. For part-time study, each student devises a course of study together with the Director of Masters Studies; a typical course load for part-time students would be two courses per semester for the first two years, and one course per semester in the final year of study.
A total of 10 courses (40 points) is required for the M.A. Degree in the History of Art and Archaeology. There are two required courses, Foundations I, FINH-GA 2046 and one course meeting the Foundations II requirement (regarding a technical studies of works of art through the Conservation Center). In addition to the two required courses, students will take seven courses in lectures, seminars, and colloquia. Of these seven, four courses must be in four different distribution areas as defined below. Two courses must be classroom seminars in two different major areas. (1) Pre-modern Asia; (2) Pre-modern Africa and the Middle East; (3) The Ancient Mediterranean and Middle East, including Egypt; (4) Pre-modern Europe and the Americas; (5) Post-1750 Global; (6) Museum and Curatorial Studies; (7) Material Studies of Works of Art; (8) Architectural History
Students are required to pass a language examination in French, German, or Italian. Other languages will be considered on a case-by-case basis with the Academic Office. The examination can be taken in the beginning and end of the Fall semester as well as at the end of the Spring semester. Full-time students must pass the examination by the end of their third semester; part-time MA students and Conservation Program students must pass the examination by the end of their fourth semester.
A Master’s Thesis is required. The thesis will be of substantial length (9,000 words) and should provide a comprehensive treatment of a problem in scholarship, competently written, and may be of publishable quality. The topic may be developed from papers written for a lecture course, seminar or colloquium, or from independent research. Students in the conservation program are encouraged to include technical studies in the Master’s Thesis, provided the paper retains its focus on art history or archaeology. The Master’s Thesis must be read and approved by two faculty members. Readers are normally members of the permanent faculty.