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2020-2021 Graduate & Professional Studies Catalog
University of Pittsburgh
2020-2021 Graduate & Professional Studies Catalog 
  Jun 30, 2022
2020-2021 Graduate & Professional Studies Catalog [Archived Catalog]

History of Art and Architecture, MA (for admitted PhD students only)

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General requirements

Students who enter the PhD program without an approved Master’s degree are expected to complete an MA as part of their progress toward a PhD. Six credits (two courses) may be transferred from another approved graduate program.

Normally, the MA degree is granted at the end of the second year of study as a required step toward the PhD. The MA degree requires:


  • A total of 30 graduate level credits
  • A minimum of five of the seven HAA graduate seminars required for the PhD, including:
  • HAA 2000 - RESEARCH AND THESIS MA DEGREE  (up to six credits)
  • One graduate-level cognate course outside HAA
  • At least one research language certified
  • An MA paper passed by majority vote of the graduate faculty.

Language Requirement

Certified competence in one language (beyond English) relevant to the student’s program of research is required for the awarding of the MA degree. Students must demonstrate such competence by passing a department exam or by providing other verification within the first year of residence. Certified competence in two research languages is required for the PhD and must be demonstrated before the student is admitted to candidacy.

The MA Paper

The final requirement for the MA degree is an original research paper, typically 25 to 45 pages in length, produced under the supervision of two faculty readers and deemed satisfactory by a majority vote of the graduate faculty. The MA paper functions as a demonstration of the student’s ability to carry out research and writing of PhD caliber.  Ideally, the MA paper is based on a seminar paper written in the first year, which is then reworked and polished over the following summer and fall. In some cases, with the approval of a faculty advisor, the student may embark on a new paper not already written in a seminar.  It must be submitted by a deadline in January of the student’s fourth semester.

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