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Art History, Theory, and Criticism: Dual Degree: MA in Arts Administration & Policy & MA in Modern and Contemporary Art History

SAIC's graduate dual degree option in Modern and Contemporary Art History, Theory, and Criticism and Arts Administration and Policy provides students with a means to earn two synergistic degrees as efficiently as possible while maintaining the integrity and high standards of each degree.

Application Deadline: January 15

If you are ready to apply to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s (SAIC) dual degree program for the Master of Arts in Modern and Contemporary Art History and Master of Arts in Arts Administration and Policy, you will need to build two portfolios, gather all of your application materials, and complete the electronic application by January 15 for the fall semester (spring admissions are not accepted).

Completed Online Application

SAIC requires applicants to apply online. Filing an online application requires a valid credit card and a current email address. You may apply to up to three programs with one application and fee. If you are applying to either the MFA in Studio or the Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Studio you may select up to three departments of entry. Applications must be submitted prior to 11:00 p.m. (CST) on the appropriate deadline.

Start your application here: Graduate Online Application.

Questions? Contact the Office of Admissions at gradmiss@saic.edu or 800.232.7242.

Nonrefundable Application Fee

When you click the "submit" button on your online application, you will be prompted to enter credit card information to pay the application fee. Your application is not fully submitted until you have entered your credit card information. Under no circumstances will an application fee be waived or refunded.

Domestic application fee: $80
International application fee: $100

Application fees will be discounted by 50 percent through December 1.

Official College Transcripts

Submit one official transcript from each college you have attended. If transcripts are issued directly to you, forward them to SAIC with the seal unbroken and the registrar's signature intact. A transcript request form is available for download from the online application, but is not required. If you are in possession of unofficial copies of your transcripts you are welcome to upload them to the Attachments section of your ePortfolio, but you are not required to do so.

If you are in the process of completing a bachelor's degree when you apply, a transcript showing your first three years of study is acceptable. If admitted to SAIC, you must submit a final, official transcript verifying the completion and award of your degree directly to SAIC's admissions office prior to your matriculation.

Address transcripts to:
SAIC Graduate Admissions
36 S. Wabash Ave., suite 1201
Chicago, IL 60603

Students admitted to a graduate program who have not received a high school diploma, GED or equivalent are not eligible for federal Title IV financial aid funds.

Statement of Purpose

To apply for the dual-degree program, please submit a statement for BOTH the Master of Arts in Arts Administration and Policy and the Master of Arts in Modern and Contemporary Art History.

For each department, write a 500- to 750-word statement of purpose that describes you work or research. Discuss how you came to focus on the medium, body of work, or academic area that you wish to pursue at the graduate level. Also, discuss future directions or goals for your work and describe how each program is suited to your professional goals.

Upload these statements to your the Attachments section of your ePortfolio. Please be sure to indicate which statement is for which program.

Letters of Recommendation

You are responsible for securing three letters of recommendation from persons who are qualified to write about your potential for success at SAIC. If you are currently a student or are a recent graduate, we recommend you request letters of reference from current or former instructors.

Letters of recommendation should be submitted electronically via SAIC's ePortfolio. When completing the References section in your ePortfolio, you will be asked to provide the names and other information associated with each of your references. Once you click "send request," an email will be sent to each of your references with instructions on how to submit their recommendations through the ePortfolio.

If your recommenders prefer, they may submit recommendations by mail. Be sure to supply your recommenders with addressed, stamped envelopes and ask them to sign across the seal.

Address recommendations to:
SAIC Graduate Admissions
36 S. Wabash Ave., suite 1201  
Chicago, IL 60603

ePortfolio

The Admissions Committee reviews portfolios for clear direction and potential for development. Applicants are required to submit an ePortfolio. You must submit a separate ePortfolio for each program or studio department to which you apply. Instructions for submitting ePortfolios will be sent either to the email address associated with your SAIC application, or to the email address associated with your ePortfolio account, if you already have one. You will receive the link to your ePortfolio 24 to 48 hours after you save the first page of the online application.

For the Master of Arts in Arts Administration and Policy program, submit a sample of your critical writing, up to 2,000 words in length. This can be either an essay assignment from a previous course of study, an excerpt from a longer research paper, or a recently published article.

For the Master of Arts in Modern and Contemporary Art History program, submit a 15- to 25-page critical writing sample that demonstrates knowledge of the field, ability in research, and clarity of argumentation. Submissions should be written on a topic in modern or contemporary art history from the 19th century to the present, but papers dealing with earlier historical eras will be accepted if they are in dialogue with current debates and methods. Additionally, topics dealing with relevant theories and philosophies, visual studies, and film studies will be considered.

  • Images: .jpg, .gif, .pdf (up to 5 MB each)
  • Text documents: MUST be in .pdf format (up to 10 MB each)

Direct all inquiries regarding the ePortfolio to admiss_portfolio@saic.edu, 800.232.7242, or 312.629.6100.

GRE

Applications are required to submit scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test. The Institution Code for SAIC is 1713. For more details, visit the GRE site

Interviews

A small number of applicants will be invited to participate in an interview. This will normally be conducted by telephone. Candidates may elect to use Skype, or may attend a meeting in person at SAIC.

Alternative arrangements can be made if you are unable to arrange for access.

Résumé

A current résumé is required. Upload your résumé to the Attachments section of your ePortfolio.​

International Students

Students whose native language is not English, or who do not have a degree conferred by a U.S.-accredited university, are required to submit evidence of English language proficiency. Submit Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) results with your application. The Institution Code for SAIC is 1713.

Minimum Required Scores

TOEFL: 100
IELTS: 7.0
For more information about the TOEFL, please visit here.
For more information about the IELTS, please visit here.

Academic Records

Transcripts are records of your studies that list the courses you completed, the grades received, and provide evidence of degree conferral. They may include grade sheets, exam results, final diplomas, degrees, or graduation certificates. Official copies are issued in the original language directly by your university. Copies must bear the official stamp or seal of the institution, as well as the signature of the appropriate official such as the dean, rector, registrar, controller of examinations, or office of teaching affairs. Photos, notarized copies, facsimiles, or email transmissions are not acceptable.

Official translations are expected for all educational documents issued in a language other than English. A translation agency or university language department should issue official translations typed on official stationary and the translator must attest proficiency in the original language and indicate their translations are accurate word-for-word.

Prerequisites

A conferred four-year baccalaureate degree or its equivalent is required for admission to all graduate programs at SAIC. 

All applications are evaluated on a case-by-case basis and are encouraged from those candidates who have completed substantial coursework in art history and the humanities.

 

 

Students must qualify and be accepted by both the Modern and Contemporary Art History and the Arts Administration and Policy programs before admission can be granted to the Dual Degree program. Admission to either of the degree programs does not guarantee admission to the other. Applicants to the dual degree program must fulfill the application requirements for each program. The following requirements are in effect from academic year 2014–15.

Area of Study Credit Hours
Critical and Cultural Policy Studies 15
  • ARTSAD 5005 Arts Organizations in Society (3)
  • ARTSAD 5100 ProSeminar 1: Foundation (3)
  • Global Issues seminar (5000 level) that focuses on art worlds outside of Europe and North America or focuses on Global Art Theory. A list of courses that satisfies this requirement is available from the department every semester.
  • Narratives/Presentation, see note (3)
  • Select one of the following:
    -ARTHI 5007History of Art History(3)
    -ARTHI 5008History of Art Criticism(3)
    -ARTHI 5011History of Art and Design(3)
 
Management and Leadership Studies 12
  • ARTSAD 5054 Management Studio (3)
  • ARTSAD 5055 Management Studio II (3)
  • ARTSAD 5056 Management Studio III (3)
  • ARTSAD 5017 Financial Management (3)
 
Research and Professional Practice 9
  • ARTSAD 5200 ProSeminar 2: Research (3)
  • ARTHI 5999 or ARTSAD 6085Thesis I (3)
  • ARTHI 6999 or ARTSAD 6095 Thesis II (3)
 
Art Historical Studies 24
  • 5000-level Graduate seminars in Art History, Theory, and Criticism (12)
  • Additional courses or seminars in Art History, Theory, and Criticism at the 4000-6000 level (12)
 
Interdisciplinary electives at the 4000–6000 level or additional courses or seminars in Art History, Theory, and Criticism 6
  • Completion of the thesis
 
Participation in four Graduate Critiques  
Total Credit Hours 66

* Consult advisor for appropriate courses.

Dual Degree requirements and specifications

  1. Completion schedule: Students have a maximum of five years from entry into the program to complete coursework and submit a final, approved thesis. This includes time off for leaves-of-absence. Credit for ARTHI 5999 Thesis I and ARTHI 6999 Thesis II is granted only after the thesis is approved and final copies are submitted to the Department. Thesis in Progress: Students who have not submitted a finished thesis for review and approval by the end of the final semester of enrollment are given a Thesis in Progress grade (IP). All students with a Thesis in Progress grade (IP) will be charged the Thesis in Progress Fee in each subsequent full semester in order to retain active status until the thesis is completed and approved, and the grade changed to Credit (CR). If the statute of limitations is reached without an approved thesis, the grade will be changed to No Credit (NCR).
  2. Critical and Policy Studies courses: Each semester, a list of courses that satisfy the requirements for "Narratives/Presentation" is available from the administrative office of Arts Administration and Policy, and a list for "Global" is available from the administrative office of the Art History, Theory, and Criticism department.
  3. Art History Distribution Requirements: Within the 24 credits of Art History Studies that include Graduate Seminars and additional courses in Art History, at least one three-credit hour course must be designated nineteenth-century art history, and at least one three-credit hour course designated early-twentieth-century art history. A list of courses that satisfies this requirement is available from the Department of Art History, Theory, and Criticism each semester.
  4. ProSeminars and Thesis: Taken in the first two semesters, ProSeminars are a two-course sequence designed to support students' progress through the degree by providing exposure to a wide variety of professional practices and instruction in research and practice methodologies. The thesis courses are completed in the final year of study.
  5. Internships: Students without solid professional experience are strongly encouraged to do internship placements, whether for credit or not. AAP Department faculty are available to advise and assist in identifying and securing placements.
  6. Completion schedule: Students have a maximum of five years from entry into the program to complete coursework and submit a final, approved thesis (this includes time off for leaves-of-absence). If the thesis remains incomplete after the end of Thesis II, the student must pay a continuation fee each subsequent semester in order to retain active status.
  7. Full-Time Status Minimum Requirement: 9 credit hours

 

 

Application Deadline: January 15

If you are ready to apply to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s (SAIC) dual degree program for the Master of Arts in Modern and Contemporary Art History and Master of Arts in Arts Administration and Policy, you will need to build two portfolios, gather all of your application materials, and complete the electronic application by January 15 for the fall semester (spring admissions are not accepted).

Completed Online Application

SAIC requires applicants to apply online. Filing an online application requires a valid credit card and a current email address. You may apply to up to three programs with one application and fee. If you are applying to either the MFA in Studio or the Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Studio you may select up to three departments of entry. Applications must be submitted prior to 11:00 p.m. (CST) on the appropriate deadline.

Start your application here: Graduate Online Application.

Questions? Contact the Office of Admissions at gradmiss@saic.edu or 800.232.7242.

Nonrefundable Application Fee

When you click the "submit" button on your online application, you will be prompted to enter credit card information to pay the application fee. Your application is not fully submitted until you have entered your credit card information. Under no circumstances will an application fee be waived or refunded.

Domestic application fee: $80
International application fee: $100

Application fees will be discounted by 50 percent through December 1.

Official College Transcripts

Submit one official transcript from each college you have attended. If transcripts are issued directly to you, forward them to SAIC with the seal unbroken and the registrar's signature intact. A transcript request form is available for download from the online application, but is not required. If you are in possession of unofficial copies of your transcripts you are welcome to upload them to the Attachments section of your ePortfolio, but you are not required to do so.

If you are in the process of completing a bachelor's degree when you apply, a transcript showing your first three years of study is acceptable. If admitted to SAIC, you must submit a final, official transcript verifying the completion and award of your degree directly to SAIC's admissions office prior to your matriculation.

Address transcripts to:
SAIC Graduate Admissions
36 S. Wabash Ave., suite 1201 
Chicago, IL 60603

Students admitted to a graduate program who have not received a high school diploma, GED or equivalent are not eligible for federal Title IV financial aid funds.

Statement of Purpose

To apply for the dual-degree program, please submit a statement for BOTH the Master of Arts in Arts Administration and Policy and the Master of Arts in Modern and Contemporary Art History.

For each department, write a 500- to 750-word statement of purpose that describes you work or research. Discuss how you came to focus on the medium, body of work, or academic area that you wish to pursue at the graduate level. Also discuss future directions or goals for your work and describe how each program is suited to your professional goals.

Upload these statements to your the Attachments section of your ePortfolio. Please be sure to indicate which statement is for which program.

Letters of Recommendation

You are responsible for securing three letters of recommendation from persons who are qualified to write about your potential for success at SAIC. If you are currently a student or are a recent graduate, we recommend you request letters of reference from current or former instructors. 

Letters of recommendation should be submitted electronically via SAIC's ePortfolio. When completing the References section in your ePortfolio, you will be asked to provide the names and other information associated with each of your references. Once you click "send request," an email will be sent to each of your references with instructions on how to submit their recommendations through the ePortfolio.

If your recommenders prefer, they may submit recommendations by mail. Be sure to supply your recommenders with addressed, stamped envelopes and ask them to sign across the seal.

Address recommendations to:
SAIC Graduate Admissions
36 S. Wabash Ave., suite 1201  
Chicago, IL 60603

ePortfolio

The Admissions Committee reviews portfolios for clear direction and potential for development. Applicants are required to submit an ePortfolio. You must submit a separate ePortfolio for each program or studio department to which you apply. Instructions for submitting ePortfolios will be sent either to the email address associated with your SAIC application, or to the email address associated with your ePortfolio account, if you already have one. You will receive the link to your ePortfolio 24 to 48 hours after you save the first page of the online application.

For the Master of Arts in Arts Administration and Policy program, submit a sample of your critical writing, up to 2,000 words in length. This can be either an essay assignment from a previous course of study, an excerpt from a longer research paper, or a recently published article.

For the Master of Arts in Modern and Contemporary Art History program, submit a 15- to 25-page critical writing sample that demonstrates knowledge of the field, ability in research, and clarity of argumentation. Submissions should be written on a topic in modern or contemporary art history from the 19th century to the present, but papers dealing with earlier historical eras will be accepted if they are in dialogue with current debates and methods. Additionally, topics dealing with relevant theories and philosophies, visual studies, and film studies will be considered.

  • Images: .jpg, .gif, .pdf (up to 5 MB each)
  • Text documents: MUST be in .pdf format (up to 10 MB each)

Direct all inquiries regarding the ePortfolio to admiss_portfolio@saic.edu, 800.232.7242, or 312.629.6100.

GRE

Applicants are required to submit scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test. The Institution Code for SAIC is 1713. For more details, visit here.

Interviews

A small number of applicants will be invited to participate in an interview. This will normally be conducted by telephone. Candidates may elect to use Skype, or may attend a meeting in person at SAIC.

Alternative arrangements can be made if you are unable to arrange for access.

Résumé

A current résumé is required. Upload your résumé to the Attachments section of your ePortfolio.

International students

Students whose native language is not English, or who do not have a degree conferred by a U.S.-accredited university, are required to submit evidence of English language proficiency. Submit Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) results with your application. The Institution Code for SAIC is 1713.

Minimum Required Scores

TOEFL: 100
IELTS: 7.0
For more information about the TOEFL, please visit here.
For more information about the IELTS, please visit here.

Academic Records

Transcripts are records of your studies that list the courses you completed, the grades received, and provide evidence of degree conferral. They may include grade sheets, exam results, final diplomas, degrees, or graduation certificates. Official copies are issued in the original language directly by your university. Copies must bear the official stamp or seal of the institution, as well as the signature of the appropriate official such as the dean, rector, registrar, controller of examinations, or office of teaching affairs. Photos, notarized copies, facsimiles, or email transmissions are not acceptable.

Official translations are expected for all educational documents issued in a language other than English. A translation agency or university language department should issue official translations typed on official stationary and the translator must attest proficiency in the original language and indicate their translations are accurate word-for-word.

Prerequisites

A conferred four-year baccalaureate degree or its equivalent is required for admission to all graduate programs at SAIC. 

All applications are evaluated on a case-by-case basis and are encouraged from those candidates who have completed substantial coursework in art history and the humanities.

The Dual Masters of Arts in Modern and Contemporary Art History and Arts Administration and Policy is a three-year, 66-credit degree that provides students the ability to earn two synergistic degrees while maintaining the integrity and high standards of each degree. 

The curriculum is tailored to combine graduate studies in the history of modern and contemporary art, theory, and criticism, business administration, cultural policy, and curatorial practice. The two resulting degrees, a Master of Arts in Modern and Contemporary Art History (MAAH) and a Master of Arts in Arts Administration and Policy (MAAAP), prepare graduates for positions in museum administration and curating, work in nonprofit organizations, gallery management, academia, and foundation and cultural policy advocacy. Over the course of the curriculum, students have the opportunity for in-depth research with faculty and take advantage of the range of both departments' course offerings. 

World-Class Resources

SAIC students have special access to incomparable resources including the Art Institute of Chicago and its Modern Wing, SAIC’s Flaxman libraries, numerous on- and off-campus collections, and public programs.

Students also have at their disposal a diverse array of arts, cultural and community organizations in Chicago, and have the opportunity to work in partnership with them on a variety of projects sponsored and led by the department’s Management Studio. 

On-Campus Opportunities

Students engage directly with current trends in the fields of art history through numerous events and lectures hosted by the Art History department. The Visiting Artists Program has brought in such distinguished artists as Graham Pullin, Arlene Shechet, Anab Jain, Lewis Hyde, Irene Hofmann, Xaviera Simmons, Kendell Geers, Ron Athey, Beatriz Milhazes, and Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle.

Each year, as part of the Lifton Lecture, a prominent scholar presents a public lecture on a topic related to modern and contemporary art history. A theme over the years has been an emphasis on women art historians and their contributions to the field. Students in their final year present their thesis before the department’s faculty and students.

Dual degree students participate in the production of E-merge: journal of arts administration and policy. E-merge is an online journal produced by graduate students in the School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s Master of Arts Administration and Policy and Dual degree programs, featuring collaborations with guest editors from the SAIC Community. The journal is dedicated to fostering creative discussions amongst leading professionals, academics, and students, and provides dual degree candidates with valuable publication and journal-management experience.

Interested in learning more about how you can apply?

Visit the graduate admissions website, contact the graduate admissions office at 800.232.7242 or gradmiss@saic.edu.