Master of Arts in Art (Art History & Visual Culture)


As a graduate student in our Art History and Visual Culture program, you have the opportunity to explore visual art through an interdisciplinary perspective, developing knowledge and skills in Multicultural Women's and Gender Studies and/or Studio Art, you will analyze the visual world through historical, social, and cultural lenses.  Our program will prepare you for engagement in a contemporary arts world through our focus on critical and creative inquiry, learn-by-doing approach, effective written and oral communication skills, and social justice-based perspectives.  You will also benefit from our smaller program size, which fosters one-on-one interaction and mentorship with faculty.

Marketable Skills

Defined by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board's 60x30 Strategic Plan as, "Those skills valued by employers that can be applied in a variety of work settings, including interpersonal, cognitive, and applied skills areas. These skills can be either primary or complementary to a major and are acquired by students through education, including curricular, co-curricular, and extracurricular activities."

  1. Oral Expression: Ability to speak clearly and to communicate information and ideas effectively.
  2. Written Comprehension: Ability to critically read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  3. Sociocultural-Informed Perspective: Knowledge and critical understanding of the social and cultural dynamics that impact the global art world.
  4. Writing: Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of professional and scholarly visual art audiences.
  5. Research: Analyzing primary and secondary research documents and evidence to deduce historically-significant conclusions on visual art subjects.


All students must meet the University requirements as outlined in the Admission to the TWU Graduate School section of the catalog.

The academic program may have additional admission criteria that must also be completed as outlined on the program's website.

Degree Requirements

Total Semester Credit Hours Required

30 semester credit hours (SCH).

Art History and Visual Culture
ART 5063Theories of Art3
Choose three (3) of the following9
Art and Social Movements
Art and Decoloniality
Reshaping the Art History Canon
Special Topics (may only be used if the subject matter is about Art History and/or Visual Culture)
Secondary area of ART concentration (in consultation with advisor)6
Multicultural Women's and Gender Studies
Studio Art (interdisciplinary)
Can be taken outside division with advisor permission.
Required Courses
ART 5943Art-Based Research Writing (cannot be taken simultaneously with Thesis; must be taken the semester prior except with Division Head permission)3
or ART 5843 Art-Based Research Writing
ART 5993Thesis (must be taken in the final semester)3
Total SCHs30


First-Year Review (after at least 18 SCH and at least 1 year in the program) to include submission of written examples of research completed as part of the program and an oral presentation to the faculty about that research.

Possible results include Pass (sufficient progress), and Probation (inconsistent progress) with the chance for Re-review during the next semester. Those who do not pass the Re-review will be dismissed from the program. After the First-Year Review, a committee of faculty members is formed to provide mentorship and guidance, and students must attend at least two meetings per each long semester with that committee.

Final Examination

An oral examination consists of a presentation and defense of the Thesis for the M.A. to the Graduate Committee. Committee's response to the oral examination also takes into account the quality of the Thesis document. The oral exam may be repeated twice.