Graduate SAIC Days offer prospective students the opportunity to get portfolio feedback from faculty from individual departments during one-on-one meetings, plus learn more about all SAIC's graduate degree offerings, tour campus, and learn more about financial aid.
Art History Graduate Overview
SAIC has long been distinguished by its innovative and extensive curriculum in modern and contemporary topics. Our Art History MA programs draw on the institution's setting in Chicago with its wealth of historic architecture, public sculpture, museums, libraries, cultural facilities, and lively gallery scene.
Art History Master's Degree Programs
Master of Arts in Modern and Contemporary Art History (MAAH)
Students in SAIC’s Master of Arts in Modern and Contemporary Art History program pursue research in a prestigious fine art school connected with a major American art museum. Art History students work with a large department of full-time faculty specializing in modern and contemporary art and design with a global focus, and challenge, debate and interpret the field.
Dual Degree: Master of Arts in Modern and Contemporary Art History and Arts Administration and Policy (MAAAP)
The 3-year, 63 credit Dual Degree is a unique program designed to immerse students in both the history of art and arts administration, competitively positioning graduates for work in the areas they choose, from academia to curatorial positions and work in nonprofit organizations.
The programs' curricula incorporates historical, theoretical, and critical perspectives on art, design, and contemporary visual cultures. Fifteen full-time faculty teach modern and contemporary art history from diverse scholarly perspectives in a global context. Graduate students in our Art History master's degree programs join a vibrant art/design school community engaged with contemporary visual practices. Our graduate students have gone on to be curators, professors, writers, critics, publishers, gallerists, arts administrators, and activists.
The department supports an active research culture with frequent lectures by visiting scholars, critics, and curators. Most important of these is the annual Lifton Memorial Lecture and seminar that brings a significant figure engaged with modern and contemporary art to campus. Recent speakers have included Ming Tiampo, Adrienne Brown and Rashad Shabazz, Saloni Mathur, Hannah B Higgins and Deborah Willis. In addition, graduate students annually select an Art History End-of-Year Lecturer to speak every spring and have recently invited Amanda Boetzkes, Jessica L. Horton and Luis Castañeda, among many others. Across SAIC, contemporary artists give talks every week through studio departments and the Visiting Artists Program.
Each year, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago celebrates the culmination and closure of students' studies at the masters level. In studio areas, the celebration takes place in the form of the thesis exhibitions. The academic areas complement this with the publication of students' theses. The SAIC Thesis Repository contains theses for the MA in Modern and Contemporary Art History and the Dual Degree submitted since November 2013.
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Graduate Priority Application Deadline: 12/1
SAIC's Graduate Programs offer a priority deadline and reduced application fee before December 1. APPLY