The Master of Arts in History of Art requires 24 credit hours (8 courses) at the 600 and 700 levels, plus a thesis. Distribution requirements call for students to take at least one class in each of the following three areas: 1) Classical, Byzantine, Medieval, Pre-Columbian; 2) Renaissance, Baroque, Colonial Latin American; 3) American; Modern Europe, US, Caribbean, and Latin America. The 700-level courses are for graduate students only, and are sometimes taught in tandem with 300-level courses for undergraduates. The 600-level courses are taken by juniors and seniors as well as graduate students. Both include seminars on special topics. In recent years, such topics have included: The Use of Antiquity in the Middle Ages; Word and Image in Early Italian Painting; Giotto and the Art of the Narrative; Michelangelo; Cellini; Degas; Manet; Art History and Photography; Modernism in the Americas; African-American Art; Visuality, Representation and the Body; Reading Abstract Expressionism; Revising the 1960s; Postmodern Formations: Art since 1980; Aztec Iconography; Mexican Manuscript Painting; Images and Meaning; and Approaches to the History of Art. With the permission of the graduate advisor, students may take two courses outside the art history program.
The Art Department now offers a 4 + 1 program leading to the BA and MA in Art History. This program is intended primarily for outstanding undergraduate majors at Tulane who are eager to continue their study of art history beyond the BA but either do not intend to pursue the PhD or are not yet ready to do so. Students in the program take more advanced courses as undergraduates and then continue as graduate students for the fifth year, writing a thesis the final semester. Students in the 4 + 1 program then emerge with the BA and MA. They may then go to other universities for the PhD but may not pursue the PhD at Tulane.
Tulane is one of the few universities in the US with the faculty, library, and other resources to support a strong PhD program in Latin American art (see list of relevant faculty). The art history program is of very high quality, the Latin American library is one of the finest in the nation, and the Stone Center is one of the most prominent centers for Latin American studies in the country. Demand for PhDs with expertise in Latin American art is growing, as colleges and universities across the country add non-Western and Latin American specialists to their art departments.
The joint PhD in Art History and Latin American Studies addresses this demand by drawing on Tulane's strengths. The joint PhD program unites a disciplinary grounding in art history with the breadth and comparative perspective of Latin American Studies. The program in Art History provides the strong disciplinary foundation graduates need for careers in teaching, research, and museum work in art history. The Program in Latin American Studies provides more comprehensive knowledge of Latin America and encourages a comparative perspective within Latin America and between Latin America and other areas of the globe. The program encourages study in such related fields as anthropology, history, languages, literature, and culture of Latin America, and comparative work with cultures outside of Latin America (e.g., Europe, Africa). This unique, ideal degree requires a range of art history courses and teaching proficiency in the art history survey courses as well as interdisciplinary breadth in Latin America.