- Department of Art History and Communication Studies
- Arts Building, W-225 (West Wing, top floor)
- 853 Sherbrooke Street West
- Montreal, QC H3A 0G5
- Telephone: 514-398-4933
- Fax: 514-398-7247
- Email: graduate [dot] ahcs [at] mcgill [dot] ca
- Website: www.mcgill.ca/ahcs
About Art History
The graduate program in Art History offers M.A. and Ph.D. degrees and is extremely active. The programs cover a wide range of areas of study delimited by the Department's fields of specialization, which include the following: Ancient; Medieval; Renaissance; the 17th, 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries; Contemporary; Canadian; East Asian; Architectural History; New Media; Print Culture; Gender and Sexuality; Race and Representation; and art historical methodologies, notably Feminism, Postcolonialism, and Queer Theory. All of our faculty members are outstanding scholars in their respective fields and are involved in a wide range of major collaborative and individual research projects, many involving faculty from other universities, departments, and programs (such as Communication Studies, English and Literary Studies, Histories of Science and Medicine, Religious Studies, Classics, History, and Women’s Studies). These research projects allow us to offer relevant research training opportunities and assistantships to our graduate students.
McGill is situated in one of the most vibrant cities in North America, and Montreal offers myriad opportunities for graduate students to engage with local arts institutions, either officially, through internships and research fellowships, or unofficially, through volunteering. Local institutions range from large-scale public museums (such as the Musée d'art contemporain, the Musée des beaux arts, and the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa) to smaller alternative galleries (such as feminist arts spaces La Centrale Galerie Powerhouse and Studio XX). There are also university-based venues such as the Redpath Museum on campus and the McCord Museum of Canadian History (which houses the McGill University Archives), and independent contemporary art galleries such as DHC and the Darling Foundry. The Canadian Centre for Architecture, with its archives and exhibitions, and the Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec also offer grants and research opportunities for local graduate students. A close relationship with the other three major universities in Montreal (Concordia University, Université de Montréal, and Université du Québec à Montréal) affords students access to a broad network of additional courses, lectures, and colleagues across the city.
To obtain financial aid information, please consult the Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies website at www.mcgill.ca/gps/funding/students-postdocs or email graduate [dot] fellowships [at] mcgill [dot] ca.
For programs in Art History and Communication Studies, refer to our website: www.mcgill.ca/ahcs.
For students entering the master's program in Art History, three semesters of full-time resident study at McGill University are required to complete the degree. “Residence” means that the student is enrolled on a full-time basis during this period (i.e., it does not refer to housing or accommodations). This residence period represents the minimum time required to obtain the degree; however, there is no guarantee that the required coursework can be completed within this time. Students may register for additional semesters to complete the program, and most students take four semesters (see University Regulations and Resources > Graduate > Regulations > Registration > Time Limitation, available at www.mcgill.ca/study). A typical timeline and further details regarding completing the M.A. may be found at www.mcgill.ca/ahcs/graduate/ahgradprograms/ma/timeline.
Before classes begin, each student will meet with either the Graduate Program Director or with his/her supervisor to determine an appropriate selection of courses which, when considered in relation to the student's previous record, will provide a balanced breadth of coverage and specialization.
The candidate is required to pass, with a mark of 65% (B-) or better, all those courses that have been designated by the Department as forming a part of his/her program. These are the courses that have been entered on the registration form. A few extra courses may be taken, but it is then the responsibility of the student to see that these courses are clearly marked “not required” on the registration form.
|Master of Arts (M.A.); Art History (Thesis) (45 credits)|
|Please contact the Department for more information about this program.|
|Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.); Art History|
|Please contact the Department for more information about this program.|
|Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.); Art History — Gender and Women's Studies|
|The graduate option in Gender and Women’s Studies is an interdisciplinary program for students who meet the degree requirements in a participating unit who wish to earn 6 credits of approved coursework focusing on gender and women’s studies, and issues in feminist research and methods. The thesis must be on a topic centrally related to gender and/or women’s studies.|
Art History Admission Requirements and Application Procedures
Entrance into either the M.A. or Ph.D. programs is limited to the best qualified applicants. A minimum CGPA of 3.3 or the equivalent, i.e., 75%, is highly recommended. The Department requires a research statement of at least 250 words outlining the candidate's particular research interest in Art History as well as a sample of his/her written work such as a seminar paper or, in the case of Ph.D. applicants, all or part of the M.A. paper or thesis. For a complete list of materials required, see Application Procedures below.
For international applicants whose first language is not English, please see www.mcgill.ca/gradapplicants/apply/prepare/international/proficiency.
To apply to the M.A. program, candidates are normally expected to have a B.A. degree in Art History or in another closely related field; candidates may come from other fields such as literary studies, comparative literature, ethnic studies, Canadian studies, architecture, urban planning, film studies, history, performance studies, or philosophy/aesthetics, but must have taken at least 10 courses relating to the history and theory of some aspect of the visual arts, preferably covering a wide range of historical time periods and geographical regions. In exceptional cases, applicants without a strong background in art history may be admitted but with additional requirements arranged in consultation with the Director of Graduate Studies to be completed before matriculation in the M.A. program.
In order to apply to the Ph.D. program, candidates must hold an M.A. degree preferably in Art History or in a closely related field together with an appropriate number of art history and related courses such as are described for entrance into the M.A. program. All candidates for the Ph.D. program are strongly advised to contact a potential supervisor well in advance of submitting the application in order to establish a relationship. Applicants who have not vetted their research proposal (application statement) with a potential supervisor are unlikely to be admitted.
McGill’s online application form for graduate program candidates is available at www.mcgill.ca/gradapplicants/apply.
See Application Procedures for detailed application procedures.
For any admissions problems, please contact Maureen Coote, the Graduate Administrative Coordinator (Office: Arts W235; Telephone: 514-398-4933; Email: maureen [dot] coote [at] mcgill [dot] ca).
- Writing Sample (in English or French)
Research ProposalNote: The section of the application marked “Statement of Purpose” is not strictly required unless the applicant has specific items to remark on his/her candidacy that are not addressed in the research proposal.
- Reference Letters – must be accompanied by the following “Recommendation Form” filled out by the letter writer: Recommendation Form [.pdf] or Recommendation Form [.doc].