Master of Arts in Art History (MA)
The MA in Art History is designed to instruct students in methods to research and present scholarly materials, while providing grounding in a broadly based and methodologically diverse art history. The program offers advanced study of art history in areas of Asian art, European and North American art, and the Indigenous arts of the Americas.
The MA in Art History is a stand-alone program providing an intensive two years of coursework during which students will gain an understanding of the centrality of art historical study in comprehending the contemporary world and the history of ideas that are embedded in the subject. In their first year students are exposed to both the most current thinking in the field and to art history's disciplinary archive through the Department's required Methodologies seminar. Through their coursework and research students are encouraged to explore and engage with the art historical discourse and supplement their understanding of art and its cultural context. Students also augment their skills by completing a language requirement and by presenting their research to peers, faculty, and the public during Roundtable presentations.
Contact the program
Admission Information & Requirements
1) Check Eligibility
Minimum Academic Requirements
The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies establishes the minimum admission requirements common to all applicants, usually a minimum overall average in the B+ range (76% at UBC). The graduate program that you are applying to may have additional requirements. Please review the specific requirements for applicants with credentials from institutions in:
Each program may set higher academic minimum requirements. Please review the program website carefully to understand the program requirements. Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission as it is a competitive process.
English Language Test
Applicants from a university outside Canada in which English is not the primary language of instruction must provide results of an English language proficiency examination as part of their application. Tests must have been taken within the last 24 months at the time of submission of your application.
Minimum requirements for the two most common English language proficiency tests to apply to this program are listed below:
TOEFL: Test of English as a Foreign Language - internet-based
Overall score requirement: 100
IELTS: International English Language Testing System
Overall score requirement: 7.0
Other Test Scores
Some programs require additional test scores such as the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Graduate Management Test (GMAT). The requirements for this program are:
The GRE is not required.
Prior degree, course and other requirements
Prior Degree Requirements
Applicants for the MA in art history normally are required to have had preparation in the discipline equivalent to the undergraduate major in art history at UBC: a minimum of ten courses (equaling 30 credits) in art history at the third and fourth-year levels. It is recommended that these courses represent a significant range of historical periods and/or geographical areas. An A grade must have been earned in at least 12 credits, with a high B standing in the remainder, for an overall average of not less than B+.
2) Meet Deadlines
September 2023 Intake
Application Open Date15 October 2022
3) Prepare Application
All applicants have to submit transcripts from all past post-secondary study. Document submission requirements depend on whether your institution of study is within Canada or outside of Canada.
Letters of Reference
A minimum of three references are required for application to graduate programs at UBC. References should be requested from individuals who are prepared to provide a report on your academic ability and qualifications.
Statement of Interest
Many programs require a statement of interest, sometimes called a "statement of intent", "description of research interests" or something similar.
Students in research-based programs usually require a faculty member to function as their supervisor. Please follow the instructions provided by each program whether applicants should contact faculty members.
Instructions regarding supervisor contact for Master of Arts in Art History (MA)
Permanent Residents of Canada must provide a clear photocopy of both sides of the Permanent Resident card.
4) Apply Online
All applicants must complete an online application form and pay the application fee to be considered for admission to UBC.
Tuition & Financial Support
|Fees||Canadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / Diplomat||International|
|Installments per year||3||3|
|Tuition per installment||$1,732.53||$3,043.77|
|Tuition per year|
(plus annual increase, usually 2%-5%)
|Int. Tuition Award (ITA) per year (if eligible)||$3,200.00 (-)|
|Other Fees and Costs|
|Student Fees (yearly)||$1,052.34 (approx.)|
|Costs of living (yearly)||starting at $17,126.20 (check cost calculator)|
All fees for the year are subject to adjustment and UBC reserves the right to change any fees without notice at any time, including tuition and student fees. Tuition fees are reviewed annually by the UBC Board of Governors. In recent years, tuition increases have been 2% for continuing domestic students and between 2% and 5% for continuing international students. New students may see higher increases in tuition. Admitted students who defer their admission are subject to the potentially higher tuition fees for incoming students effective at the later program start date. In case of a discrepancy between this webpage and the UBC Calendar, the UBC Calendar entry will be held to be correct.
Applicants to UBC have access to a variety of funding options, including merit-based (i.e. based on your academic performance) and need-based (i.e. based on your financial situation) opportunities.
Scholarships & awards (merit-based funding)
All applicants are encouraged to review the awards listing to identify potential opportunities to fund their graduate education. The database lists merit-based scholarships and awards and allows for filtering by various criteria, such as domestic vs. international or degree level.
Teaching Assistantships (GTA)
Graduate programs may have Teaching Assistantships available for registered full-time graduate students. Full teaching assistantships involve 12 hours work per week in preparation, lecturing, or laboratory instruction although many graduate programs offer partial TA appointments at less than 12 hours per week. Teaching assistantship rates are set by collective bargaining between the University and the Teaching Assistants' Union.
Research Assistantships (GRA)
Many professors are able to provide Research Assistantships (GRA) from their research grants to support full-time graduate students studying under their direction. The duties usually constitute part of the student's graduate degree requirements. A Graduate Research Assistantship is a form of financial support for a period of graduate study and is, therefore, not covered by a collective agreement. Unlike other forms of fellowship support for graduate students, the amount of a GRA is neither fixed nor subject to a university-wide formula. The stipend amounts vary widely, and are dependent on the field of study and the type of research grant from which the assistantship is being funded. Some research projects also require targeted research assistance and thus hire graduate students on an hourly basis.
Financial aid (need-based funding)
Canadian and US applicants may qualify for governmental loans to finance their studies. Please review eligibility and types of loans.
All students may be able to access private sector or bank loans.
Foreign government scholarships
Many foreign governments provide support to their citizens in pursuing education abroad. International applicants should check the various governmental resources in their home country, such as the Department of Education, for available scholarships.
Working while studying
The possibility to pursue work to supplement income may depend on the demands the program has on students. It should be carefully weighed if work leads to prolonged program durations or whether work placements can be meaningfully embedded into a program.
Tax credits and RRSP withdrawals
Canadian residents with RRSP accounts may be able to use the Lifelong Learning Plan (LLP) which allows students to withdraw amounts from their registered retirement savings plan (RRSPs) to finance full-time training or education for themselves or their partner.
Please review Filing taxes in Canada on the student services website for more information.
Applicants have access to the cost calculator to develop a financial plan that takes into account various income sources and expenses.
Enrolment, Duration & Other Stats
These statistics show data for the Master of Arts in Art History (MA). Data are separated for each degree program combination. You may view data for other degree options in the respective program profile.
Completion Rates & Times
This list shows faculty members with full supervisory privileges who are affiliated with this program. It is not a comprehensive list of all potential supervisors as faculty from other programs or faculty members without full supervisory privileges can request approvals to supervise graduate students in this program.
Adriasola Munoz, Ignacio Alberto (investigates responses by artists and intellectuals to the crisis of aesthetic and political representation triggered by the failed protests against the US-Japan Security Treaty of 1960, and in particular their reliance on depictions of the sexual and geographical margins in their articulation of an aesthetics of political disaffection.)
Claxton, Dana (film, video, photography, single- and multi-channel video installation, and performance art)
Frei Njootli, Jeneen (Indigenous sovereignty; decolonization; Production, dissemination and embodiment of images)
Gu, Xiong (Fine Art. Transcultural identity and hybridity. Through the critical angle of visual art, my work encompasses other elements such as sociology, geography, economics, politics, literature; and finally, the dynamics of globalisation, local culture and individual identity shifts. These shifts do not merely constitute a simple amalgamation of two original subjects, but instead, seek to create an entirely new space., Installation, painting, drawing, photography, contemporary art theory)
James, Gareth (histories of iconoclasm in which the social divisions and inequities that mark and delimit artistic practice are registered most emphatically)
Makris, Georgios (Arts of Byzantium; Material culture and archaeology of monasticism; Dissemination and usage of portable objects across the eastern Mediterranean; Medieval monastic culture)
Mansoor, Jaleh (Art history and theory; Curatorial and related studies; Visual arts and media arts; Cultural Industries; Formalism; Marxism and Critical Theory; Marxist Feminism; Modernism; Twentieth Century European Art)
Monteyne, Joseph (Art history and theory; Curatorial and related studies; Visual arts and media arts; Arts and Technologies; Renaissance/early modern art and print culture)
Orell, Julia (History of Chinese Art; Landscape painting of the Song and Yuan dynasties; Construction of place, site, region, and empire in painting and other visual media; Art and the production of knowledge; Cultural and historical geography; History of cartography)
Pina Baldoquin, Manuel (Images)
Roy, Marina (Intersection between materials, history, language, and ideology)
Salgirli, Saygin (architecture of fourteenth-century Bursa, the first Ottoman capital)
Shelton, Anthony (Mexican and Andean visual culture, critical museology, development of folk art, aesthetics)
Silver, Erin (Art history and theory; Curatorial and related studies; Visual arts and media arts; Activism and visual culture; Artist or Author Social Identity; Artistic and Literary Marginality; Artistic and Literary Movements, Schools and Styles; Canadian contemporary art; Feminist art histories; Movement culture; Performance studies; Queer art; social movements)
Smith, Tai (Art history and theory; Cinema studies; Curatorial and related studies; Film, television and digital media; Visual arts and media arts; Arts and Technologies; Economical Contexts; Gender; media theory; Modern and Contemporary Art and Design; Politics of Media and Mediation; Textiles)
Thauberger, Althea (Photographic history/theory; Media philosophy; Biopolitics and institutional critique/reform; Settler decolonization, and site-based art and activism)
Watson, Donald Scott (Contemporary Canadian art, art issues and art theory)
Sample Thesis Submissions
Art History offers advanced study in the major periods of European and North American art, in certain areas of Asian art, and in the indigenous arts of the Americas.