MA in Art History
MA in Art History
Study abroad in the birthplace of the Renaissance in a U.S.-accredited art history graduate program that immerses you in the artistic heritage of Italy and Europe.
In addition to fostering curiosity, communicative skills, rigorous thought, and the (re)writing of art history and herstory, the MA in Art History program at SACI immerses you in the Renaissance culture of Florence while exposing you to 21st century critical thinking and a vibrant contemporary art scene.
Master’s in Art History: Program Highlights
- Flexible study plans with extensive on-site learning and travel experiences throughout Italy and Europe
- Exciting research opportunities in world-famous galleries and museums, including the Uffizi Gallery's Gabinetto Disegni e Stampe
- Study spaces in our 16th-century Renaissance palazzo in Florence’s historic center
- Accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD)
SACI’s Art History master’s program offers students the unique opportunity to earn their master’s degree in the city in which the Renaissance began and contemporary art continues to flourish. Students work closely with top faculty who are both accomplished art historians and deeply committed mentors, in a flexible graduate program that balances supervised independent study with classroom study. Graduate seminars explore historiography and research methodology, covering a broad range of art history topics as well as those specific to student research interests. The program also includes many unique research and on-site learning opportunities, and students travel to artistically important historical sites and major museums throughout Italy and Europe. Students in the MA in Art History program attend SACI in Florence during one academic year from September through July and earn 36 credits upon completion of the master’s program.
Students in the MA in Art History program follow an intensive curriculum designed to meet individual study goals. In addition to core graduate seminars, students choose from a variety of electives that supplement and enhance their specialized areas of study. Directed Independent Study courses complement classroom courses and are completed with one-on-one guidance from instructors. During the final two terms of the program, each student completes a 50-page thesis and oral presentation for approval by the Graduate Review Board.
Visit the MA in Art History program curriculum page for detailed information regarding program curriculum contents.
Four Pillars of Learning
With the help of faculty members and mentors, you will develop a systematic process for investigating the past as a fundamental step to understanding and interpreting art history in order to develop rigorous critical thinking.
Archives and libraries are the natural environment of the art historian. Discoveries are made only through continuous research.
The program’s intensive curriculum and emphasis on refining written and oral presentation skills will prepare you to present your ideas convincingly to art experts, challenge past paradigms, and re-write art history.
- Work/Job Opportunities
At SACI, you will be assisted in finding directions that can help to establish your career. You will discover that the History of Art is a discipline that opens many more doors than you may have expected.
Major Disciplines in the Art History Master’s Program
Chart your own path in a flexible program you help to design based on your study interests. Our Art History graduate program offers the following major discipline selections:
- Italian Late Medieval and Early Renaissance Art
- Italian High Renaissance, Mannerist, and Early Baroque Art
- Baroque and Rococo European and Italian Art
- 19th-Century European and Italian Art
- Modern European and Italian Art
- Contemporary European and Italian Art
- Women and the Arts in Italy
- Contemporary Art Theory and Criticism
- History of Italian Cinema
- History of Photography
- Conservation Law, Business, and Management
Research and Experiential Learning in the Art History Master’s Program
When you study art history at SACI, you’ll explore great artworks not only in museums, but in the venues for which they were intended: churches, squares, gardens, private houses, and public buildings throughout Italy and Europe. You’ll have the rare opportunity to conduct research at the Uffizi Gallery's Gabinetto Disegni e Stampe, and learn art conservation and diagnostic techniques that you can apply to art-historical study. You’ll also have dedicated study space in SACI’s main building, the Palazzo dei Cartelloni, a landmark Renaissance palazzo in the heart of Florence that is just steps away from Piazza Santa Maria Novella and the Medici Chapel. The palazzo is also a short distance from such famous sites as Brunelleschi’s Duomo and Ospedale degli Innocenti, as well as Florence’s four other great piazze—Piazza Santa Croce, Piazza della Signoria, Piazza della Repubblica, and Piazza della Santissima Annunziata.
SACI is a short walk from Florence’s renowned Uffizi, Bargello, Accademia, and Palazzo Pitti museums and a number of the world’s greatest libraries. You’ll also have access to Florence’s new Museo Novecento, which has a notable collection of modern Italian art, and the Luigi Pecci Center for Contemporary Art in nearby Prato.
Graduate seminars include visits to museums and collections as well as meetings with art historians, theorists, critics, gallery owners, curators, and artists. Field trips include visits to events such as the Venice Biennale (every other year); the international contemporary art fairs in Florence and Bologna; exhibitions at the Luigi Pecci Center for Contemporary Art in Prato; and other major exhibitions in Italy and Europe.
Careers and Networking
The one-year Art History master’s program at SACI is a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in one of the most historic and influential artistic centers in the world, through a rigorous and challenging academic curriculum that is known for its formation of creative contemporary artists and scholars. Graduates of our MA program will be highly competitive when seeking admission to doctoral programs and uniquely qualified to teach at colleges and universities.
With extensive community engagement built into the program, and opportunities to meet and work with important figures in the art world, our master’s program is also a chance to build a professional network and meet new friends. Other valuable opportunities include interactions with SACI’s Artists & Designers Council and the Friends of SACI, which include established artists, photographers, critics, curators, and publishers, many of international renown.