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Apply for an MA? Or work FT/study PT at an Ivy?


mmsw86
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I tried posting this on another board but haven't had much luck with responses.

I'm interested in pursuing a graduate degree in art history - concentrating in 19th and 20th century art - particularly French art - with the ultimate goal of becoming a college professor or working in a museum (haven't decided yet).

I received a BA in English from Georgetown U last spring and have been taking courses (for free) at UPenn while working full-time. I'm now debating between:

1- Applying to MA programs this winter, to matriculate in fall 2010. I will have taken 9 courses in art history (5 in studio art) by the end of the fall semester and will likely take 2 art history courses the following spring. I will have been studying French (on my own) for two years. Right now, my reading skills are at an intermediate level. I don't know that, with this background, I could get into a top MA/PhD program, so I may have to apply to terminal MA programs only. And, in doing so, I'm sure my costs will be higher. Thoughts on my prospects? My GRE scores and undergraduate grades are all very good.

2- Continue to take classes at Penn for an additional year, and apply to MA programs as well as MA/PhD programs (for matriculation in fall 2011). Hopefully, by staying at Penn for another year, I could develop relationships with faculty while strengthening my background in the field. Downside: delaying the whole process, perhaps having to complete (and pay for) an MA before getting into a PhD program.

Any thoughts/opinions/advice would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

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Are you applying for an MA in art history? Museum studies?

i know quite a few schools have a "museum" path and an academic path... which one of them are you planning on aiming for if you attend an MA this year? That might change whether or not you need foreign languages, and other aspects of the process.

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I would be applying for an MA in art history. I know that some programs (Williams, Case Western, and others I'm sure) have partnerships with local museums and allow for internships. I wouldn't be opposed to such a program. I haven't had much exposure to working in a museum, so I actually think it would be helpful to have that experience. I wouldn't apply to strictly Museum Studies programs though.

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Hi RedPotato,

I, too, haven't decided whether I'd prefer to work in a museum or in academia. But I think going the art history route (with a museum studies certificate or internship) might allow for greater flexibility in the future - it'd provide a good foundation whether I decided to go the museum route or the education route. I'm not basing this on anything other than my own feelings/best guess though.

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