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Funded Art History MA


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Hey everyone, 

I was doing a little research looking into art history masters programs, but I'll definitely need an assistantship /funding. The last big post here suggesting programs to look into was posted in 2013. Just wondering if any of you have applied and gotten into art history ma programs with decent funding. I'm in NYC and applying to the programs local to here, but anything outside the city I'll definitely need funding to attend. I'm considering programs in the US/UK.


Thank you!

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  • 2 weeks later...


If you're able to leave NYC, I would definitely recommend applying elsewhere, as you may get better funding / be able to live on MA funding more comfortably in a lower cost city. I just completed a fully-funded MA program in which I lived solely on the funding (no additional loans).

First, I recommend the book that CAA produces on all art history/museum studies programs. I basically combed through that to find funded programs. Then I narrowed the list down to programs that had faculty I was interested in. What I can share is my experience with the schools I applied to and got accepted to in 2016:

  1. Syracuse, dual MA in art history and museum studies: full tuition and $14,000 stipend for both years (TA position, can't remember about health insurance)
  2. Case Western, dual MA in art history and museum studies: full tuition and $15,000 stipend for both years (10 hr/week TA position, no health insurance)
  3. UMass-Amherst, MA in art history: full tuition and $18,000 stipend for both years + $1,000 summer funding + health insurance (20 hr/week TA position) *note: I believe that now, UMass's funding is two years only for top accepted candidates*
  4. George Washington, MA in art history: 25% tuition credit

I share these numbers and specifics because I think it's important for students to know what is actually possible re: funding. A few things to consider when weighing the funding options once you're accepted:

  1. Does the "full tuition" include fees? This is huge. Fees can be as much as $2,000/year depending on the school.
  2. Does the funding include health insurance? 
  3. Does the funding require work in exchange? How many hours per week? What kind of teaching/research load?
  4. Is there summer funding?
  5. Is there an active graduate student union? This also makes a huge difference, as the union will be negotiating for wage and benefit increases.
  6. What about departmental funding for conferences and research?
  7. Finally, if you get multiple offers, don't be afraid to (politely) negotiate if your top choice school isn't the one with the most generous package.
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