"Fine art is that in which the hand, the head and the heart go together." John Ruskin (1819-1900) author, artist.

Employment of artists and related workers is expected to grow 12 percent through 2018. Source: "Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-2011 Edition"

Developing Individuality

Art is a phenomenon that shapes perception, embodies emotion, communicates attitudes and expands the boundaries of human experience. Artistic expression is the exploration of intellectual curiosity, the growth of technical proficiency and the establishment of an innovative community. Art is a foundation upon which human expression rests. 

Outstanding Preparation

The GSU Master of Arts in art stresses intellectual curiosity, self-discipline and technical proficiency. With course work in painting, printmaking, photography, digital imaging, sculpture or ceramics, you can become a mature artist in command of the medium and capable of expressing an individual view. Classes in art history treat art objects as historical documents related in subject, style, technique and material to other works of art. The classes also help us interpret the context and purpose of art objects. Courses range from contemporary international and regional artistic expressions to those of ancient America, Africa and Asia. The master's program includes a graduate exhibition or presentation of an art history thesis. 

Professional Success

As a graduate you are prepared to become a practicing artist or to find a career in the art world as a critic, curator or professional educator.

Program Fact Sheet

Required Preparation

Special Admission Requirements 

In addition to meeting university criteria, applicants must have the following:

  • an undergraduate major in one of the humanities
  • a proposal, acceptable to the degree program advisor, that outlines academic goals with supporting rationale and plan of study, including examples of previous work (e.g., sculptures, research papers, drawings, prints or paintings, etc.). 

Students will not be admitted to the major until the proposal reflecting potential for graduate work has been approved by the degree program advisor. 

Thesis Requirement 

As part of this degree program, students select, with advisor's approval, either an art history or studio option.

The art history program consists of an analytical and historical approach to the study of a particular artist, art object, movement or theme in the visual arts. In the thesis option, the student develops a thesis proposal in an area of art history acceptable to the program advisor, completes a research project and prepares a formal thesis manuscript. 

In the art studio option, the student prepares a one-person exhibition of a consistent body of work in the student's area of interest and written documentation of the work and development. 

Admission to Candidacy 

Application for candidacy should be made after nine hours of graduate studio or graduate art history courses have been completed. To qualify for degree candidacy, a student must do the following:

  • complete nine hours of graduate studio or graduate art history courses with a GPA of 3.0 or higher and
  • complete an approved thesis proposal

More detailed candidacy information is available through the student's advisor.

Degree Requirements

Degree Requirements

Students must meet all university requirements for a master's degree. 

I.  Required Courses (15 Hours)

ART  6615 Contemporary American Ideas and Cultures (3)

ART  8805 Art and Society (3)

ART  8810 Studies in Art (3)

ART  8820 Art Seminar (3)

ART  8990 Graduate Thesis (3) 

II. Non-Western Art Selective (3 Hours)

Select one of the following: 

ART  6521 Art and Cultures of the South Pacific (3)

ART  6523 Pre-Columbian Art and Cultures (3)

ART  6525 Native American Art and Societies (3)

ART  6527 African Art and Cultures (3)

ART  6530 Asian Art and Thought (3) 

III. Art Selectives (14 Hours)

Select 14 hours from courses in one of the following areas with advisor's approval:

Art history


Digital imaging





IV. Total - 32 Hours

Graduation Requirements

Students must meet the university requirements for a master's degree found in the GSU Catalog. Please meet with your faculty advisor during the first semester to complete your study plan. 

Advisor Information

Javier Chavira
Associate Professor, Art
Academic Program Coordinator