Art History/Art History and Museum Studies

Art History students in the Cleveland Museum of Art
Master of Arts

About the Programs

Case Western Reserve University's Master of Arts in Art History and Master of Arts in Art History and Museum Studies programs are designed to provide you with a broad knowledge of major art historical periods, scholarly and bibliographical resources, and methodologies of art history. In our object-based programs, you'll benefit from close cooperation with and access to cultural institutions located in University Circle—in particular the Cleveland Museum of Art, which has been our partner on a joint program for more than 50 years, as well as Cleveland Institute of Art and the Museum of Contemporary Art – Cleveland. We also partner with organizations across Cleveland, including the Sculpture Center and LAND Studio.

As a graduate student, you'll engage with both traditional and newer theoretically based art historical approaches in classes taught by faculty renowned for their expertise in a diversity of fields. Plus, you'll learn from museum curators, who serve as adjunct faculty and often help our students' land exhibitions and publications based on their research.

What to Expect

Craft your education around both new and traditional art theories and approaches in classes taught by faculty experts. You can select from a wide variety of courses that explore a broad range of art historical periods, from ancient to contemporary, with a close analysis of specific works of art. In addition to core art historical training, you have the opportunity to gain experience in curatorial practices, conservation, and museum education.

Case Western Reserve’s Department of Art History and Art has a long-standing relationship with our next-door neighbor, the world-renowned Cleveland Museum of Art, where many of our classes take place. The CMA's art research library is the third largest in the U.S.—and you will have full access to it.

Some of your papers might even end up in the CMA's curatorial files, and therefore contribute to a growing body of scholarly work to be read for generations to come. Our programs will prepare you to go on the job market or to pursue a doctoral course of study.

"USA Today" ranks our neighborhood, University Circle, among the top arts districts in the country.

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A Place for Success

Case Western Reserve University is located in University Circle, among the top arts districts in the country, according to USA Today. A brief walk can take you to the Museum of Contemporary Art, Cleveland Botanical Garden or Cleveland Museum of Art (which is consistently ranked one of the best art museums in the U.S.). Or you’re just a short walk, drive, or bus or train ride from arts-driven neighborhoods such as Coventry, Tremont and Ohio City, where you can check out galleries and support local artists. 

And it’s all affordable, too: Cleveland is one of the most livable, cost-effective cities in the U.S.

By the Numbers


university in the country, U.S. News & World Report


largest art research library in the U.S. as a program partner


years since the program’s founding


years to complete the program

Admissions Details

We thrive when we have students who bring diverse perspectives and a range of educational, professional and life experiences to our program. We look forward to learning more about you!

The application process requires:

  • Online application, including a statement of purpose and two research papers from undergraduate studies, preferably from art history courses
  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution with a major or minor concentration in art history or a related humanities field
  • Minimum overall GPA of 3.5
  • Unofficial transcripts
  • Current resume/CV
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Test scores for GRE
  • International applicants: Results of TOEFL

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