History of Art Graduate Department of Art

Program Info

Master of Arts

Art Gallery of Ontario © 2014. Bequest of Frank P. Wood, 1955

Art Gallery of Ontario © 2014. Bequest of Frank P. Wood, 1955

The MA program is a course-based and research-intensive degree designed to prepare students for curatorial work, art consultation, heritage programs, cultural journalism, secondary school teaching, and doctoral research. Students will take six seminars (or three full course equivalent [3.0 FCE]). Full-time students should be able to complete the program within one year (or two terms) by taking three seminars (1.5 FCE) in each of the two terms. For a three term year, please discuss with the Director of Graduate Studies. Course work should be chosen from at least three of the four areas designated as Ancient, Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque, and Modern. Students must also take coursework in at least two geographical areas (Western, East Asian, South Asian, African, or pre-approval from the Director of Graduate Studies).  Up to one credit (two half year courses or 1.0 FCE) may be taken in another graduate department upon approval from the Director of Graduate Studies.

The MA degree requires demonstrated reading knowledge of one foreign language for graduation. All MA candidates must have taken academic courses (or equivalent) in one language other than English (normally French, German, or Italian) before entering the program. Students must then pass a proficiency exam in this language during the first month of the MA program. These exams are administered by the Department and consist solely of a two-hour translation exercise of two art history passages from two areas of study; only hard copy print dictionaries may be used.

We have a limited number of places for students who wish to complete the MA part-time.  Part-time students have 6 years to complete the degree. A Balance of Degree Fee is calculated at the end of the part-time studies to equal the cost of the full-time MA. If you wish to apply for the part-time MA, you must indicate this on the application form.

  • Admission Requirements: Candidates are admitted under the general regulations listed by the School of Graduate Studies. Applicants should have a strong overall grade average in the history of art and closely related subjects, with at least a B+ average in recent senior art history and/or humanities courses. The Department also welcomes applications from outstanding candidates with a background other than art history (with at least 5 art history courses in their academic background). In addition to transcripts, a CV and three letters of reference, applicants must include a statement of intent and a sample research paper. Details on the “How To Apply” page.

Doctor of Philosophy

The PhD program is designed to prepare students for college and university teaching, museum curatorships and other research positions. Students admitted to the PhD program with a MA will be guaranteed minimum five-years of funding (see section on Fellowships) and will be given teaching experience as a teaching assistant and/or as a course instructor.

  • Admission Requirements: Candidates are admitted under the general regulations listed by the School of Graduate Studies. Applicants should have an exceptionally strong academic record with a grade average in the history of art and closely related subjects of at least an A- average in recent senior art history and/or humanities courses. Those applying with a MA in art history should have at least an A- average in their graduate courses. The Department also welcomes applications from outstanding candidates with a background other than art history (with at least 5 art history courses in their academic background). In addition to transcripts, a CV and three letters of reference, applicants must include a statement of intent and a sample research paper.  Acceptance is limited to students who propose theses corresponding to research expertise of faculty.  See faculty research profiles at http://www.art.utoronto.ca/people

PhD Program Entering with an MA

The basic requirements include a minimum of four seminars, two language exams (unless already completed with the MA), a comprehensive and dissertation-area exam, a colloquium presentation and a dissertation. You will be expected to maintain an A- average in your course work and complete your language exams in a timely fashion and before sitting the comprehensive exams; in addition, your progress will be reviewed annually to assure that you have met expectations. Students who fail to make satisfactory progress during the first two years may have their registration terminated. Here is a typical itinerary through the PhD program for a fully-funded student (as we expect all PhD students to be):

  • Year 1: course work; complete all language requirements; study for comprehensive exams.
  • Year 2: complete comprehensive exams during fall term; submit dissertation proposal; start dissertation research.
  • Years 3, 4 and 5: dissertation research, writing and a colloquium.

Direct Entry PhD Program

This seven-year program is designed for students who have graduated with a B.A. in art history or a related humanities major. The basic requirements include a minimum of nine seminars (4.5 Full Course Equivalents [FCE]), two language exams, a comprehensive and dissertation-area exam, a colloquium presentation, and a dissertation. You will be expected to maintain an A- average in your course work and complete your language exams in a timely fashion and before the comprehensive exams. Your progress will be reviewed annually to assure that you have met expectations. Students who fail to make satisfactory progress during the first three years may have their registration terminated or transferred to the MA program. Here is a typical itinerary through the Direct Entry PhD program:

  • Year 1: course work, completing either 2.5 or 3.0 FCEs; pass the first language exam.
  • Year 2: complete course work to a total of 4.5 FCEs; pass the second language exam.
  • Year 3: study for comprehensive exams; submit dissertation proposal; start dissertation research.
  • Years 4 to 7: dissertation research, writing and a colloquium.

Course Requirements:

  1. Distribution. All PhD candidates are required to take courses in three of the following four fields: Ancient, Medieval, Renaissance/Baroque, Modern. If a course cuts across boundaries between two areas, it shall count as one field only.
  2. Language Requirements. PhD students are required to pass examinations in two languages (normally German, French or Italian) if they have not already done so in the MA program. This requirement must be completed before taking the comprehensive exams. The appropriate languages will be set by the interim supervisor in consultation with the Director of Graduate Studies. Students focusing on Ancient, Medieval, and Renaissance/Baroque will normally be expected to pass the examination in German as one of their two languages.
  3. PhD Comprehensive Examinations. Candidates are required to take the comprehensive examination (one component of which is chosen from the four areas designated above and one chosen from the dissertation area) within one and a half years (or two and a half years in the case of “direct-entry PhD candidates”).

A) Examination procedure:

  1. At the beginning of the study period, the PhD student will meet with the Examination Committee (made up of at least three members of the department –one of whom will be the prospective dissertation supervisor [please see Graduate Supervision Guidelines for PhD Supervision] and chaired by the Director of Graduate Studies or designate) in order to define the areas of the examination, the length of study and such readings and special topics as deemed to be appropriate. The Examination Committee will meet prior to the examination in order to discuss and agree upon the written questions to be submitted to the student.
  2. The comprehensive examination is made up of two components, one written and one oral. The written examination consists of two parts, the general area and dissertation area.
    1. The general area is tested in the Department and consists of two parts covering all media. The student receives two sets of three questions and is required to answer one from each set. The exam duration is 6 hours.
    2. The dissertation area is a take-home exam. The student receives three questions for this examination, answers one of them, and returns it to the Department within 72 hours.
  3. The oral examination for both components of the comprehensive examination (general and dissertation area) is normally scheduled three or four days after the take-home part is completed. The examination is normally two hours in length.
  4. The examination is reported as pass or fail. A member of the Examination Committee will discuss with the student the results of the examination and provide advice.
  5. The comprehensive examination must be completed approximately within one and a half years (or two and a half years in the case of “direct-entry PhD candidates”).
  6. The examinations will be scheduled by the Director of Graduate Studies, during the academic year, from September to April.

B) Area of Coverage: Ancient, Medieval, Renaissance & Baroque, Modern

  1. The general area examination will be defined at the beginning of the study period
    (see A.1). In all fields, flexibility of area definition will be maintained.
  2. The dissertation area component differs with each student and will be agreed upon by the Examination Committee and the student.

C) Dissertation Proposal / PhD Advisory Committee

Immediately following the successful completion of the Comprehensive examinations, students are expected to formally establish their PhD Advisory Committees. A faculty member will have already been requested to act as the dissertation supervisor, and two other members of the graduate faculty to serve on their supervisory committee. One member of this 3-person committee may be from outside the Department. Then, working with the Advisory Committee, students develop a detailed proposal for their research. The length and specific nature of the proposal will be determined by the Advisory Committee and the PhD candidate, and the drafted proposal must be approved by, first, the Advisory Committee, and secondly, the Department’s Graduate Program Committee. The dissertation proposal should be submitted to the Graduate Program Committee within three months after the completion of the comprehensive exams.

D) Graduate Colloquium

At some stage during the dissertation work, the student will present their work to the faculty and students in an appropriate format and at a time to be determined by the supervisor in consultation with the Director of Graduate Studies.

Registration

Once tuition fees have been paid or deferred, students are officially registered in the program. Deferrals for PhD students or MA students with scholarships or government assistance may defer their fees online on the student’s Rosi account (Repository of Student Information). Students may also submit deferral forms, available on the SGS website under Students Forms and Letters, to the department Graduate Assistant before August 28th.

Special Studies Courses

Courses that are part of the Reading Course series (FAH 3000 number) require approval of both an instructor and the Director of Graduate Studies. Please submit an ADD form to the Graduate Assistant.

Language Requirements

Incoming students should fulfill at least one of their language requirements during their first month of study. Students in the Department will be notified through the Graduate Students Union (Gusta) listserv when the language examinations will be offered. Any student who experiences difficulty in meeting their language requirements should make an appointment with the Director of Graduate Studies for guidance.

Program Changes

Any changes in course work for the year following the original enrolment must be within the add/drop deadlines as indicated in the School of Graduate Studies Calendar. If any changes are made after the drop date deadline the ADD/DROP form must be submitted to the department for signature and will then be submitted to the School of Graduate Studies for approval.

Failure to make changes to your program within the allowed time limit may result in an “INC” (incomplete) on your transcript. If you have any questions regarding deadlines please do not hesitate to confirm these dates with the administrative staff.

Change of Address

An address change must be done through Rosi, as well as any changes to your banking information if you are receiving university funding.

Grade Submissions (Completion of Work)

Deadlines for submission of grades to the SGS for courses are on the SGS Calendar.

Non-Grade Course Reports

The following non-grade course reports may appear on transcripts:

Non-Grade Symbols

SDF (Standing Deferred) is assigned by a graduate unit review committee to a student who has been granted an extension for the completion of course work beyond the SGS deadline for completion of course work, pending receipt from the instructor of a final course report. SDF is not considered for averaging purposes and carries no credit. Copies of approved petitions for coursework extensions must be kept in the student file. SDF must be replaced by a final grade by the next SGS deadline for completion of course work.

INC (incomplete) is assigned as a final report by a graduate unit review committee or SGS Vice-Dean on the basis of incomplete course work in special circumstances (e.g., medical reasons or when there are no grounds for assigning a failing grade). INC carries no credit for the course and is not considered for averaging purposes.

IPR is a ROSI-generated grade for continuous courses and should not be entered by departments. ROSI adds the continuous course automatically to the student’s record for every session with a grade of IPR, until the department enters a final grade. In eMarks, IPR is a system-generated grade assigned when an instructor indicates that a student is requesting a coursework extension or that a course grade is being reviewed under the Code of Behaviour on Academic Matters.

WDR is entered by SGS only when a graduate unit review committee approves and submits to SGS, a request for late withdrawal from a course due to extenuating circumstances.

GWR (Grade Withheld pending Review) is assigned by SGS in cases where a course grade is being reviewed under the Code of Behaviour on Academic Matters. It is replaced by a regular grade upon completion of the review. It carries no credit for the course and is not considered for averaging purposes.

Academic Calendar

For the academic calendar (deadlines, completion of course work, convocation dates, reading week, etc.), please consult the official School of Graduates Studies Calendar, and note well that:

The precise dates of commencement of courses are determined by the graduate units; students are urged to contact the relevant graduate units for information. The University policy states that the first day of classes in the fall term in all teaching divisions should not be scheduled on the first and second days of Rosh Hashanah or on Yom Kippur.

Graduate units may establish earlier deadlines for completion of course work and may prescribe penalties for late completion of work and for failure to complete work, provided that these penalties are announced at the time the instructor makes known to the class the methods by which student performance shall be evaluated.

For final dates for completing degree requirements, students should consult their own departments.

Graduate Units may establish earlier deadlines for course changes.

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