Department of Art & Art History

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Visual Arts Complex
Visual Arts Complex


The Department of Art and Art History offers 3 graduate degrees, the MA in Art History, the MFA in Studio Arts, and the MFA/MBA in collaboration with the Leeds School of Business. The MA in Art History is intended to give students a broad general knowledge of Art History in a two-year program. Students who have achieved a distinguished record in this MA program should be well prepared for acceptance into a doctoral program in Art History. The MFA in Studio Arts is a rigorous program intended for artists committed to pursuing a professional life in the arts and prepares students for careers as practicing artists and arts professionals as well as teachers in colleges, universities, and art schools. During the two and half-year program, students focus on one of several fields including, Ceramics, IMAP (photography, digital media, video, integrated arts), Painting and Drawing, Printmaking, Sculpture and Post-Studio Practice. Additionally, in collaboration with the Film Studies Program, the Department of Art and Art History offers a film track MFA. The MFA/MBA program requires candidates to submit separate applications to the Department of Art and Art History as well as the Leeds School of Business. In addition to the required coursework, MFA and MA students gain additional insights about their respective fields through the Visiting Artist Program and Visiting Scholars Program, both of which invite distinguished artists and scholars to CU for talks, seminars, and individual meetings with students.

The 27 full-time faculty are highly active in their respective fields, from publishing important articles and books on historical and contemporary art to exhibiting in galleries and museums to establishing non-traditional artist venues and opportunities. The faculty are also committed teachers and mentors who work closely with graduate students, helping them to realize their individual visions as artists and historians.

Students who are accepted to the MA, MFA, and MFA/MBA programs join the University of Colorado-Boulder Graduate School, which serves the community of graduate students, faculty, and staff, one of the nation’s premier comprehensive research universities. The Graduate School offers guidance on a wide array of academic, social, and financial issues, and can assist in navigating the often complex world of graduate education.

Serving as an umbrella organization since 1892, the Graduate School currently oversees 100 graduate and professional programs. The Graduate School works to guarantee a standard of quality and cohesion across all disciplines, ensuring the continuing integrity and value of a CU-Boulder graduate degree. The Graduate School also helps make possible the many connections between the campus and outside constituencies, in the state, the nation, and the world.

MA/MFA Graduate Application Information

More about the Graduate School.

Financial aid
University-wide financial aid, such as the federal loan program for graduate students, is administered by the Office of Financial Aid (phone) 303-492-5091.

Departmental support
The department’s own resources include fellowships and teaching and non-teaching part-time positions: Graduate Part-time Instructor (GPTI), Graduate Assistant (GA) and Teaching Assistants (TA).  TAs teach recitation sections of World Art Studies 1 &2, a large introductory art history course.  GPTIs typically teach introductory courses in their home areas (e.g. Photography 1) or Introduction to Studio Art 1 & 2 (Foundations).  GAs provide assistance either in their home area or elsewhere in the department (e.g. the Visual Resources Center) or in the CU Art Museum.  Each of these types of appointments comes with a salary, 5 (GA) or 6 (GPTI) credit hours of tuition remission per semester and 70% health insurance premium through CU-Boulder.  MFA students in our Film Track are also supported by the Film Studies Program which has its own GPTI and TA (Teaching Assistant) positions for graduate students who work with the moving image.

There is no separate application form for departmental support but applicants are encouraged to express their interest in GA, TA and/or GPTI appointments in their personal statement of purpose accompanying the application.  Decisions regarding departmental support are made at the time of admission.