Department of Art and Art History

The Department of Art and Art History offers the Master of Fine Arts Degree in Art and the Master of Arts Degree in Art History.

Master of Fine Arts Degree in Art

The Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) degree in Art is the terminal degree in the field of studio art. UTSA is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design. The emphasis of the M.F.A. program is on conceptual development and its harmony with formal aesthetic and art historical considerations. The objective of the degree is to provide advanced study in the field of art in preparation for a career as a practicing artist, in higher education, or as a professional in other art enterprises. Students in pursuit of the M.F.A. in Art have the opportunity to study in a wide range of disciplines including: ceramics, painting/drawing, photography, printmaking, sculpture, and video/digital media.

Program Admission Requirements

In addition to satisfying the University-wide graduate admission requirements, applicants are expected to have a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree or the equivalent. Equivalency is defined as completion of a minimum of 45 semester credit hours in studio art and 15 semester credit hours in art history as part of, or in addition to, a bachelor’s degree.

Application

The Graduate School application for the M.F.A. is available online at http://graduateschool.utsa.edu/. A complete application includes the application form, personal contact information, educational background, transcripts, a statement of intent concerning graduate school, an artist’s statement about the applicant’s work, and three letters of recommendation (forms printable from the online application). The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is not required as part of the application for the M.F.A.

Portfolio

The portfolio is the most important part of the application for admission. Applicants should submit 20 images that best exemplify their most recent creative work. Do not send original works of art. Ideally, a strong portfolio will suggest a specific direction or overarching thematic interest. Portfolios may be submitted as a PDF document uploaded through the application portal. The PDF should be created as a power point with a white background and each slide should include title, medium, size, and date of completion for each piece in each image. Slides for time-based artworks should include a still image with an additional html link (not embedded) to a YouTube or video site where a video can be viewed or a sound file can be heard for the piece. Artist Statements and Statements of Purpose should be submitted as separate files.

Note: Due to the format of studio laboratory art courses, auditing is not permitted.

Departmental Requirements

All M.F.A. program graduate students are required to accrue a minimum of 60 clock hours of service to the “student-run” UTSA Satellite Space in the form of preparatory duties, Gallery sitting and maintenance on the exhibition space.

Degree Requirements

A minimum of 60 semester credit hours is required for the Master of Fine Arts degree, exclusive of coursework or other study required to remove admission deficiencies. Full-time enrollment of 9 or more semester credit hours during regular semesters is expected of degree-seeking students. In addition to satisfying all University-wide requirements, M.F.A. students must pass a First Semester Review, Semester End Progress Reviews, Advancement Review (available after completion of 24 semester credit hours of the program of study), a Candidacy Review (available in the fourth semester after completion of 36 to 42 semester credit hours of the program of study), and a final M.F.A. Oral Examination. Courses in which a grade of “C” or lower is earned will not count toward the minimum 60 hours required for the M.F.A. degree.

1. A focused program of study in studio art (ART) including ART 6023 Graduate Studio Seminar30
2. Art electives outside the student’s specialized area of study12
3. Free Elective3
4. Art history and criticism (AHC) including AHC 5123 Seminar in Research Methods and Writing12
5. ART 6843 Master of Fine Arts Exhibition3
Total Credit Hours60

Master of Arts Degree in Art History

The Master of Arts degree in Art History offers the opportunity for advanced study in art history, with an emphasis on pre-Columbian, Latin American Colonial to Modern, and contemporary Latinx art in the United States; modern and contemporary art history and criticism in the United States and globally; and the cultural and artistic traditions of San Antonio’s immediate region. The degree is designed to prepare the student for a career as a teacher of art history at the junior-college level, other arts-related professions, or to serve as a basis for entering a Ph.D. program. 

Program Admission Requirements

In addition to the University-wide graduate admission requirements, applicants are expected to have completed an undergraduate major (24 semester credit hours) in art history or the equivalent in related fields that combine substantial studies in the humanities and visual arts. Students with no studio background will be required to take one undergraduate studio art course (3 semester credit hours). Students determined as having no studio background and completing a 5000 or 6000 level UTSA Art (ART) studio course offered by a graduate faculty member will fulfill this requirement and this coursework can be utilized to fulfill 3 semester credit hours of free electives under part C of the Master of Arts program of study. Students needing to fulfill this requirement should consult with the Graduate Advisor of Record (GAR) for Art History for advice concerning appropriate courses and instructors.

Application Materials

Application to the program is submitted online through the Graduate School’s website. Students can obtain information, detailed instructions of what additional material they must submit (three letters of recommendation, Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores, official transcripts, a writing sample, and statement of intent), as well as forms, from the Graduate School’s website. Deadlines for all materials for each term can be found on the same Web site.

Degree Requirements

The minimum number of semester credit hours required for this degree, exclusive of coursework or other study required to remove admission deficiencies, is 36. Students are required to pass a language examination demonstrating a reading knowledge of a foreign language; in most cases, this will be Spanish. The suitability of another language will be determined by the student’s advisor. This test must be completed before the student earns 18 semester credit hours of graduate work in this program. Courses in which a grade of “C” or lower is earned will not count toward the minimum 36 semester credit hours required for the Master of Arts degree in Art History. Students accepted into the Master of Arts degree program in Art History are required to maintain a minimum of 3 semester credit hours of enrollment for all Fall and Spring semesters while and until the degree is completed. Failure to enroll will result in forfeiture of the student’s status as an accepted candidate in the program. Exceptions to this requirement are granted only due to extraordinary circumstances as determined by the review and approval of the Graduate Advisor of Record and the Department Chairperson.

A. 3 semester credit hour required:
AHC 5123Seminar in Research Methods and Writing (must be taken in student's first year)3
B. 21 semester credit hours of art history electives approved by student's advisor, selected from the following and distributed across the disciplines offered by the program:21
Topics in Art History
Topics in Mesoamerican Pre-Columbian Art
Topics in Spanish Art
Topics in Latin American Colonial Art
Topics in Contemporary Latin American Art
Topics in Contemporary U.S. Art
Practicum in Art History and Criticism
Art Gallery and Museum Practices
Project in Art History
Seminar in Art History
C. 6 semester credit hours of free electives6
These are courses outside the discipline of art history in any of the supporting fields comprising the College of Liberal and Fine Arts, including art studio, with the selection approved by the Graduate Advisor of Record (GAR) for Art History.
D. 6 semester credit hours of Master's Thesis or Project6
Master’s Thesis
Total Credit Hours36

In addition to the semester credit hour requirements set forth above, all candidates for the degree are required to pass the Comprehensive Examination, an image and essay examination designed to test students’ knowledge of the history of European art, art of the Americas, and areas of concentration. The Comprehensive Examination must be taken during or immediately after the semester in which students complete their coursework and before completion of the thesis.

Art History and Criticism (AHC) Courses

AHC 5123. Seminar in Research Methods and Writing. (3-0) 3 Credit Hours.

Prerequisite: Graduate standing. A basic methodology course designed to offer the opportunity for the graduate student to gain an introduction to all facets of the discipline of art history and criticism, including research, documentation, and historical and critical writing.

AHC 5813. Topics in Art History. (3-0) 3 Credit Hours.

Prerequisites: Graduate standing and completion of or concurrent enrollment in AHC 5123. A course designed to deal with specialized areas in art history and criticism. May be repeated for credit when topics vary.

AHC 5823. Topics in Mesoamerican Pre-Columbian Art. (3-0) 3 Credit Hours.

Prerequisites: Graduate standing and completion of or concurrent enrollment in AHC 5123. A critical and historical study of specific developments in the pre-Columbian art of Mesoamerica. May be repeated for credit when topics vary.

AHC 5833. Topics in Spanish Art. (3-0) 3 Credit Hours.

Prerequisites: Graduate standing and completion of or concurrent enrollment in AHC 5123. A critical and historical study of specific aspects of Spanish art and architecture, from 711 to the nineteenth century. May be repeated for credit when topics vary.

AHC 5843. Topics in Latin American Colonial Art. (3-0) 3 Credit Hours.

Prerequisites: Graduate standing and completion of or concurrent enrollment in AHC 5123. A critical and historical study of specific topics in South and Central American art and architecture from 1500 through the early nineteenth century. May be repeated for credit when topics vary.

AHC 5853. Topics in Contemporary Latin American Art. (3-0) 3 Credit Hours.

Prerequisites: Graduate standing and completion of or concurrent enrollment in AHC 5123. A critical and historical study of issues in contemporary Latin American art. May be repeated for credit when topics vary.

AHC 5863. Topics in Contemporary U.S. Art. (3-0) 3 Credit Hours.

Prerequisites: Graduate standing and completion of or concurrent enrollment in AHC 5123. Specific directions in modern and contemporary art history, with emphasis on critical theory. May be repeated for credit when topics vary.

AHC 6813. Practicum in Art History and Criticism. (0-0) 3 Credit Hours.

Prerequisites: Graduate standing, consent of instructor, and completion of or concurrent enrollment in AHC 5123. A learning laboratory in which the principles and methodologies of art history, art criticism, and museology are applied in a practical manner outside the classroom in areas such as museum and gallery activities, historical preservation, research for private collections, and community-oriented educational or informational functions and publications. Projects are initiated by students, with close supervision and evaluation by the instructor. May be repeated for credit, but not more than 6 hours will apply to the Master of Arts degree in Art History. Non-Art History (M.F.A.) majors utilizing this course for fulfillment of Art History requirements for a graduate program of study will require approval of the Art History and the Art Studio GARs as well as the approval of the Department Chair.

AHC 6833. Art Gallery and Museum Practices. (0-0) 3 Credit Hours.

Prerequisites: Graduate standing, consent of instructor, and completion of or concurrent enrollment in AHC 5123. An introduction to the organization and operation of gallery and/or museum activities: cataloging, research, and preparation and installation of art exhibitions. May be repeated once for credit. Non-Art History (M.F.A.) majors utilizing this course for fulfillment of Art History requirements for a graduate program of study will require approval of the Art History and the Art Studio GARs as well as the approval of the Department Chair.

AHC 6843. Project in Art History. (0-0) 3 Credit Hours.

Prerequisites: Permission of the Graduate Advisor and project director. A professional project in art history. Projects include but are not limited to historic preservation, publications, and exhibition curation. May be repeated for credit, but not more than 6 hours will apply to the Master of Arts degree in Art History. Non-Art History (M.F.A.) majors utilizing this course for fulfillment of Art History requirements for a graduate program of study will require approval of the Art History and the Art Studio GARs as well as the approval of the Department Chair.

AHC 6913. Seminar in Art History. (3-0) 3 Credit Hours.

Prerequisites: Graduate standing and completion of or concurrent enrollment in AHC 5123. A research course dealing with a particular problem or aspect of art history and criticism. Topics include but are not limited to Mayan vase painting, the Hispanic retablo, Francisco Goya, images of women in Latin American colonial art, Frida Kahlo, Marcel Duchamp, and contemporary Latino/a painters. May be repeated for credit when topics vary. Non-Art History (M.F.A.) majors utilizing this course for fulfillment of Art History requirements for a graduate program of study will require approval of the Art History and the Art Studio GARs as well as the approval of the Department Chair.

AHC 6953. Independent Study. (0-0) 3 Credit Hours.

Prerequisites: Graduate standing and permission in writing (form available) of the instructor and the Graduate Advisor of Record. Independent reading, research, discussion, and/or critical writing under the direction of a faculty member. For students needing specialized work not normally or not often available as part of the regular course offerings. May be repeated for credit, but not more than 6 hours, regardless of discipline, will apply to the Master of Arts degree in Art History. Non-Art History (M.F.A.) majors utilizing this course for fulfillment of Art History requirements for a graduate program of study will require approval of the Art History and the Art Studio GARs as well as the approval of the Department Chair.

AHC 6961. Comprehensive Examination. (0-0) 1 Credit Hour.

Prerequisite: Approval of the appropriate Graduate Program Committee to take the Comprehensive Examination. Independent study course for the purpose of taking the Comprehensive Examination. May be repeated as many times as approved by the Graduate Program Committee. Enrollment is required each term in which the Comprehensive Examination is taken if no other courses are being taken that term. The grade report for the course is either “CR” (satisfactory performance on the Comprehensive Examination) or “NC” (unsatisfactory performance on the Comprehensive Examination). Credit earned in AHC 6961 cannot be counted in the 36 semester credit hours required for the Master of Arts degree in Art History.

AHC 6983. Master’s Thesis. (0-0) 3 Credit Hours.

Prerequisites: Permission of the Graduate Advisor and thesis director. Thesis research and preparation. May be repeated for credit, but not more than 6 hours will apply to the Master of Arts degree in Art History. Credit will be awarded upon completion of the thesis. Enrollment is required each term in which the thesis is in progress. Students enrolling in this course will receive a performance evaluation of Credit (CR) which indicates satisfactory progress or No-Credit (NC) which indicates unsatisfactory progress for each semester of enrollment. Students receiving an evaluation of No-Credit (NC) will be placed on program probation and students receiving two evaluations of No-Credit will be reviewed for a determination of removal from the degree program. The Instructor of Record will make the determination of Credit (CR) or No-Credit (NC) for each semester of enrollment. Determination of continuation within the program, in the event of two No-Credit (NC) evaluations, will be made by a majority vote of the full-time graduate faculty of the Art History faculty.

Art (ART) Courses

ART 5153. Painting/Drawing. (0-6) 3 Credit Hours.

Prerequisite: B.F.A. or equivalent. The exploration of painting/drawing’s broad capacity for conceptual and formal inquiry. May be repeated for credit.

ART 5353. Printmaking. (0-6) 3 Credit Hours.

Prerequisite: B.F.A. or equivalent. Emphasis on intaglio, lithography, monotype, relief, and photo processes in black and white and color. Experimentation in processes and imagery is encouraged. May be repeated for credit.

ART 5453. Photography. (0-6) 3 Credit Hours.

Prerequisite: B.F.A. or equivalent. Emphasis on the medium as an art form, including black and white, color, non-silver and digital processes. May be repeated for credit.

ART 5553. Sculpture. (0-6) 3 Credit Hours.

Prerequisite: B.F.A. or equivalent. Emphasis on the creative development of sculptural ideas in a variety of materials and technical methods and approaches. May be repeated for credit.

ART 5753. Ceramics. (0-6) 3 Credit Hours.

Prerequisite: B.F.A. or equivalent. Emphasis on the discipline as an expressive art form, using a variety of technical processes and materials and approaches to ceramics. May be repeated for credit.

ART 5953. New Media. (0-6) 3 Credit Hours.

Prerequisite: B.F.A. or equivalent. Investigation of concepts and forms through the integration of video and other digital media into fine arts practice using a variety of materials and methods. May be repeated for credit. (Formerly titled "Video/Digital").

ART 6013. Practicum in the Visual Arts. (0-0) 3 Credit Hours.

Prerequisites: Consent of instructor and approval of the Department Chair prior to the beginning of the practicum. Students participate in projects on an individual basis. These may include community-oriented activities such as workshops for community centers, special art programs for public or private educational organizations, service projects for displays, murals and exhibitions for special environments, or supervised assistance in instructional activities. The instructor supervises and evaluates the student’s activities. May be repeated once for credit.

ART 6023. Graduate Studio Seminar. (0-6) 3 Credit Hours.

Prerequisite: Graduate standing. An organized class concerned with the exploration of current formal and conceptual problems in art through discussions, critiques, and work executed for the class in the student’s major field: painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture, photography, ceramics or video/digital media. May be repeated for credit.

ART 6843. Master of Fine Arts Exhibition. (0-0) 3 Credit Hours.

Prerequisite: Completion of studio course requirements in the major. Concentrated studio activity in the major field of study emphasizing preparation of work for the required concluding M.F.A. exhibition, in consultation with the Graduate Advisor of Record and upon approval of the Graduate Program Committee in the program.

ART 6953. Independent Study. (0-0) 3 Credit Hours.

Prerequisites: Graduate standing and permission in writing (form available in the Department office) of the instructor, the Graduate Advisor of Record (GAR), and the Department Chair. Independent reading, research, discussion, and/or writing under the direction of a faculty member. For students desiring specialized work not normally or not often available as part of the regular course offerings. May be repeated for credit, but not more than 6 hours, regardless of discipline, will apply to the Master of Fine Arts degree.

ART 6973. Special Problems. (0-6) 3 Credit Hours.

Prerequisite: Consent of instructor. An organized course offering the opportunity for specialized study not normally or not often available as part of the regular course offerings. May be repeated for credit when topics vary, but not more than 6 hours, regardless of discipline, will apply to the Master of Fine Arts degree.

Museum Studies (MSM) Courses

MSM 5003. Foundations of Museum Studies. (3-0) 3 Credit Hours.

An introduction to the history of museums and the practices of contemporary cultural institutions. Course includes a general overview of the field of museum studies, including curatorship, collections management, fieldwork, exhibits, interpretation, educational and public programming, marketing, fundraising, and administration.

MSM 5813. Topics in Museum Studies. (3-0) 3 Credit Hours.

Advanced examination of one or more topics in the museum profession. May be repeated for credit when topics vary.