MA/Ph.D Programs

DEGREE PROGRAMS | ADMISSIONS | MA REQUIREMENTS | PHD REQUIREMENTS |
POLLOCK-KRASNER | RECENT VISITORS

Graduate Program Director:
Andrew V. Uroskie (andrew.uroskie@stonybrook.edu)
Graduate Secretary:
Lisa Perez (lisa.a.perez@stonybrook.edu )

Current Graduate Student Biographies

The Department of Art at Stony Brook University offers a dynamic and interdisciplinary program of art history, criticism and theory at the M.A. and Ph.D. levels, which is uniquely focused on modern and contemporary art and culture. Our proximity to New York City’s world-renowned museums and galleries facilitate extensive opportunities for research, internships, and professional networking, and the Stony Brook Manhattan campus offers a space for guest lectures, conferences, and classes. Graduates from Stony Brook have gone on to become art curators, critics, editors, professors, and administrators in leading art and cultural institutions around the world.

Stony Brook’s art history program, founded in the 60s by artists and scholars such as Allan Kaprow and Lawrence Alloway, has built its reputation on innovative scholarship that uses history to speak to the demands of the present. The program aims to produce scholars, critics and curators who can address artistic production through contemporary issues and paradigms. Media aesthetics, globalization, public art and social practice, politics of the avant-garde, and critical curatorial studies are currently active areas of departmental research.

Stony Brook’s Art History, Criticism & Theory is a small and close-knit graduate program whose comparative and interdisciplinary orientation is well served by the resources of a large research university. Our students often work closely with affiliated faculty in Philosophy, English, Cultural Analysis and Theory, and Music, and many choose to pursue Graduate Certificate Programs in Art and Philosophy, Cultural Studies, Women’s and Gender Studies, and Media, Art, Culture and Technology. Opportunities for curatorial theory and practice are offered in conjunction with the University’s Zuccaire and Simons Center galleries. The department hosts a student-run lecture series with distinguished art historians, critics and artists. Students also benefit from the wide variety of lectures and conferences offered across the College of Arts and Sciences.

Stony Brook’s Art History, Criticism & Theory program provides students with rigorous scholarly and pedagogical training, facilitated by ongoing mentorship by faculty who are experts in their fields, with active research and publication profiles. We are proud of our placement records for both our M.A. and Ph.D students. As a flagship research university, Stony Brook attracts world-class scholars but costs only a fraction of most schools of its stature. Residential tuition is only $3,900 per semester, and only $8,900 for international students, and PhD students can take classes at Columbia, NYU, Princeton, and CUNY through the NYC Graduate Consortium.

 

DEGREE PROGRAMS

M.A. in Art History and Criticism
The M.A. in Art History, Criticism & Theory is a two-year, 36 credit degree program that offers an integrated curriculum of art history, criticism, and theory with a particular focus on modern and contemporary art and visual culture. Unlike many institutions, our M.A. students are permitted to take classes with Ph.D and M.F.A. students, and are able to pursue Graduate Certificates in Art and Philosophy, Cultural Studies, Women’s and Gender Studies, and Media, Art, Culture and Technology. Students in their second year work with a faculty advisor in their field to prepare a written thesis, which serves as a capstone requirement for the degree. Some of our graduates go on to pursue the Ph.D in art history or other fields, while others go on to careers in the international art world: in curatorial positions, arts education, gallery and museum administration, art consulting, auction houses, art publishing or art criticism. Part-time study is allowed, but admissions are accepted for the Fall Semester only. Applications for the M.A. are accepted through May 1, but students considering both the M.A. and Ph.D are encouraged to apply to the Ph.D by January 15th.

Ph.D. in Art History and Criticism
Stony Brook’s Ph.D program in Art History, Criticism & Theory is designed to prepare graduates for academic research and university teaching, but can also confer a significant advantage to those seeking non-academic positions in the international art world, whether in curatorial positions, arts education, gallery and museum administration, art consulting, auction houses, art publishing or art criticism.

The Ph.D program is devoted to the study of modern and contemporary art and culture, and specific research specializations include Public Art and Social Practice, Art and Technology, Media Aesthetics, Performance, Histories and Theories of Art Criticism, and Global Contemporary Practices. Students take a required course in contemporary critical methodologies, and then have the opportunity to take a range of seminars both inside and outside the department. After their first year, students are eligible to enroll in seminars offered at Columbia, Princeton, CUNY Graduate Center, Rutgers and NYU through the New York Graduate Consortium, and regularly avail themselves of this opportunity. Working closely with appropriate faculty advisors, students then craft major and minor field reading lists specific to their particular intellectual interests for the doctoral qualifying examinations. The program culminates with the writing and oral defense of a dissertation on a topic in modern art history, criticism & theory of suitable originality and erudition.

Students are not accepted into the Ph.D program on a part-time basis, but full-time residency is only required during the initial period while coursework is being undertaken. Students are accepted both with or without a prior M.A., and prior training in art history is not an absolute prerequisite for admission – all applications will be judged individually, on a case-by-case basis. The application deadline for the Ph.D is January 15th.

 

ADMISSIONS

In addition to the requirements of the Graduate School, the following information and prerequisites should be noted:

Admission for full-time study is for the Fall semester only. Part-time study is permissible for qualified M.A. candidates only. Admission into the M.A. and Ph.D. programs is at the discretion of the art history and criticism faculty with the final approval of the Graduate School. Anyone with a B.A. may apply for the Ph.D. program.

Admission to the M.A. or Ph.D. program assumes a minimum of a B average in undergraduate work, meeting the standards of admission to the Graduate School, and taking the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test, as required for all applicants to the Graduate School. The minimum TOEFL score for admission is 550 (paper) or 213 (computer) OR an IELTS total score of 6.5. In order to teach, any graduate student whose native language is not English must score 55 or above on the TSE or SPEAK test OR obtain a score of 7.0 or better in the speaking component of the IELTS test. The website for ETS (TOEFL & GRE) is www.ets.org.

It is recognized that M.A. and Ph.D. applicants may come from a wide variety of backgrounds that will require individual structuring of their programs to suit their needs.  Applicants will ordinarily have a bachelor’s degree with an art history major or minor, however this requirement may be waived at the discretion of the graduate faculty. Those without a demonstrated background in art history may be advised to take undergraduate courses in the department prior to admission to the program.  All applicants are encouraged to submit a sample of written work with their application.

For further information and applications, consult the Graduate School, Application Information, email the Graduate Secretary or write:

Director of Graduate Programs
Department of Art, SUNY at Stony Brook
Staller Center for the Arts
Stony Brook, NY 11794-5400
(631)632-7270

Graduate teaching assistantships with tuition scholarships and several academically based fellowships are awarded to successful Ph.D. applicants on a competitive basis. (The department is unable to provide tuition support or TAships for MA students at this time.)

Applications including statement of intent, transcripts, GRE scores, letters of recommendation, and a sample of written work, must be submitted by January 15th to be considered for financial support.

Stony Brook University is an equal opportunity educator/employer. AA/EOE.

Graduate School Application Information

 

DEGREE REQUIREMENTS

Requirements for the M.A. Degree in Art History and Criticism

A. Course Requirements
The student will be required to complete successfully 36 credits of graduate work, as outlined in the list of courses below. A student must achieve a 3.0 overall grade point average to receive a degree from Stony Brook.

1. Required Courses (6 credits)

ARH 540 Methodologies of Art History (3 credits)
ARH 592 Teaching Practicum (3 credits see below)

2. Art History and Criticism Electives (15-21 credits)

ARH 501 Theory and Criticism: From Antiquity through the Renaissance (3 credits)
ARH 502 History of 19th-Century Art Criticism and Theory (3 credits)
ARH 503 History of 20th-Century Art Criticism and Theory (3 credits)
ARH 541 Topics in Ancient Art (3 credits)
ARH 542 Topics in Medieval Art (3 credits)
ARH 543 Topics in Renaissance Art (3 credits)
ARH 544 Topics in Early Modern Art (3 credits)
ARH 545 Topics in 19th-Century Art (3 credits)
ARH 546 Topics in 20th-Century Art (3 credits)
ARH 547 Topics in Global, Colonial and Diasporic Art (3 credits)
ARH 548 Museum Studies Seminar (3 credits)
ARH 549 Topics in American Visual Culture (3 credits)
ARH 550 Inquiries into Art Criticism and Theory (3 credits)
ARH 551 Topics in Performance (3 credits)
ARH 552 Topics in Contemporary Art (3 credits)
ARH 554 Topics in Visual Culture (3 credits)
ARH 570 Issues in Architectural History and Criticism (3 credits)
ARH 591 Practicum in the Writing of Art Criticism (3 credits)

3. Humanities and Social Sciences Electives (3-9 credits)

Two or three courses in the humanities and/or social sciences, to be chosen in consultation with a faculty advisor and with the approval of the Director of Graduate Studies. These courses may be in literary studies or criticism, history, musicology, dramaturgy, sociology, anthropology, etc., but cannot be in studio art.

4. Other (0-12 credits)

Students can take optional thesis credits, for example ARH 598 Thesis (3-6 credits), as well as up to 3 credits in Directed Readings, Internship, or a Studio seminar.

B. Comprehensive Examination
This test of basic competency is designed to assess the student’s knowledge of individual artists and works of art, and of particular periods and dates in the history of art. It will include slide identifications and definitions of terms relevant to the history of art and art criticism. The student must take this examination before the end of the third semester of study in order to continue in the program. An extension will be allowed to part-time student

C. Foreign Language
A reading knowledge of French or German must be acquired before graduation. Students planning to advance to doctoral work will be encouraged to master both of these languages.

D. Teaching Requirement
All graduate students will be expected to assist in teaching a minimum of one semester, usually during their second year of residency. The course in which the student will assist shall ordinarily be an introductory-level undergraduate course. Competency in teaching will be judged through teacher evaluation questionnaires and classroom visits by the course’s faculty supervisor.

E. Thesis
At the beginning of the third semester, the student, together with his or her directing committee, which shall consist of the student’s advisor and one or two other faculty members, will jointly agree on a thesis topic. The student must at that time submit a prospectus outlining the nature and aims of the thesis. The thesis shall be a significant original work in the form of one or more essays relevant to the examination of art history, criticism, and theory.

 

Requirements for the Ph.D. Degree in Art History and Criticism

A. Course Requirements
The student will be required to complete successfully 60 credits of graduate work, as outlined in the list of categories and courses below. A student must achieve a 3.0 overall grade point average to receive a degree from Stony Brook.

1. Required Courses (6-9 credits)

ARH 540 Methodologies in Art History (3 credits)
ARH 602 Practicum in Teaching (3-6 credits)

2. ARH Electives (24 – 36 credits)

Students are required to take at least one course from each of the following three categories: Art History; Modern and Contemporary Visual Culture; and Art Criticism and Theory.

Art History
ARH 541 Topics in Ancient Art (3 credits)
ARH 542 Topics in Medieval Art (3 credits)
ARH 543 Topics in Renaissance Art (3 credits)
ARH 544 Topics in Early Modern Art (3 credits)
ARH 547 Topics in Global, Colonial and Diasporic Art (3 credits)
ARH 549 Topics in American Visual Culture (3 credits)
ARH 690 Directed Readings (3 credits)

Modern and Contemporary Visual Culture
ARH 544 Topics in Early Modern Art (3 credits)
ARH 545 Topics in 19th Century Art (3 credits)
ARH 546 Topics in 20th Century Art (3 credits)
ARH 547 Topics in Global, Colonial and Diasporic Art (3 credits)
ARH 549 Topics in American Visual Culture (3 credits)
ARH 551 Topics in Performance (3 credits)
ARH 552 Topics in Contemporary Art (3 credits)
ARH 554 Topics in Visual Culture (3 credits)
ARH 690 Directed Readings (3 credits)
ARS 580 Visual Arts Seminar (3 credits)

Criticism and Theory
ARH 501 Theory and Criticism: From Antiquity through the Renaissance (3 credits)
ARH 502 History of 19th Century Art Criticism and Theory (3 credits)
ARH 503 History of 20th Century Art Criticism and Theory (3 credits)
ARH 550 Inquiry in Art Criticism and Theory (3 credits)
ARH 551 Topics in Performance (3 credits)
ARH 552 Topics in Contemporary Art (3 credits)
ARH 554 Topics in Visual Culture (3 credits)
ARH 570 Issues in Architectural History and Criticism (3 credits)
ARH 591 Practicum in the Writing of Art Criticism (3 credits)
ARH 690 Directed Readings (3 credits)

3. Humanities and Social Science Electives (6 – 12 credits)

These courses may be in history, comparative studies, musicology, sociology, anthropology, etc, but cannot be in studio art.

4. Other (0 – 12 credits)

If students are admitted without a prior MA and they decide to take write the thesis instead of the qualifying paper they have the option of taking up to 6 MA thesis credits. A PhD student can also take 3 credits for an Internship, or 3 credits for a graduate Studio seminar. Students can also take up to 6 credits of Directed Readings in preparation for the Qualifying Exams. Once the exams are completed and the student is advanced to doctoral candidacy they register in the following:

ARH 699 Dissertation Research on Campus
ARH 700 Dissertation Research off Campus – Domestic
ARH 701 Dissertation Research off Campus – International
Credits for thesis preparation and research may be used to complete the total of 60 credits for the Ph.D.

B. Teaching Requirement
All Ph.D. students are expected to assist in teaching a minimum of two semesters. The first course in which the student will assist will ordinarily be an introductory level undergraduate course. An advanced doctoral student may also be assigned to assist in an upper-level undergraduate course. Competency in teaching is judged through teacher evaluation questionnaires and classroom visits by the course’s supervising faculty member.

C. Comprehensive Examination
Information about the required comprehensive examination is found above under degree requirements for the M.A. Degree in Art History and Criticism. All Ph.D. students who enter the program without a master’s degree in art history must take this examination before the end of the third semester of study in order to continue in the program. Ph.D. students who enter the program with an M.A. degree in art history will be exempted from taking the comprehensive examination.

D. M.A. Qualifying Paper
The M.A. qualifying paper is a paper completed in a graduate level course, and emended by the student in light of the suggestions or corrections of the faculty member to whom the paper was submitted. After the paper is revised, it will be read by another faculty member chosen by the student and the first reader (the advisor). The second reader will approve or disapprove the paper. If the second reader disapproves, the graduate program director will select a third reader to judge the paper, and the opinion of the two readers will determine the approval or disapproval of the paper. This requirement is waived for Ph.D. students who enter the program with an M.A. degree in art history. Students may also opt to complete a full Master’s thesis and receive the MA degree prior to continuing on in the Ph.D. program

E. Foreign Language Requirement
A reading knowledge of German and French is required for advancement to candidacy. In consultation with the candidate’s advisor, the student may petition the Director of Graduate Studies to replace one of these two languages with a different language more suitable for the student’s projected area of research. Mastery of a third language may also be recommended if it is deemed necessary for the student’s research.

F. Qualifying (Preliminary) Examination
The Qualifying Examination should be taken no later than the end of the third year of coursework (second year for those entering with a prior master’s degree) and prior to the beginning of dissertation research. It will be a written exam covering a major and minor.

The content of the exam will vary according to the student’s interests and their choice of major and minor fields, but exam preparation should ideally begin during the student’s second year of coursework. The student will be expected to select two faculty members to serve as major and minor advisors, and to seek guidance from them on appropriate focus and bibliography in preparation for the exams. The Qualifying Exam committee consists of three members of the department faculty (including major and minor advisors), and is appointed by the Dean of the Graduate School upon the recommendation of the Graduate Studies Director. The format of the exam shall be five questions for the major, from which the student shall choose three; and three questions for the minor, from which the student shall choose two to answer. Responses are in essay form.

G. Advancement to Candidacy
To be advanced to Ph.D. candidacy, the student must have:

1. Completed at least 54 graduate credits and all other degree requirements (see A-F listed above), other than the dissertation and dissertation research credits.
2. Submitted and defended a proposal outlining the nature and aims of the dissertation. The proposal must be approved by a faculty dissertation committee and by the Director of Graduate Studies (see below). When all of these requirements have been completed satisfactorily, the Director of Graduate Studies will submit a request to the Dean of the Graduate School to advance the candidate to candidacy.

H. Dissertation
No later than the beginning of the seventh semester, (fifth semester for those entering with a prior master’s degree), but preferably by the beginning of the sixth semester, the student will prepare a written prospectus, outlining the scope, method, and aims of the dissertation. The student will submit the proposal to the dissertation advisor and two other members of the department who will serve as readers, one of whom (but not the advisor) will serve as Chair of the dissertation defense. After the student’s advisor has conferred with the other departmental committee members and the departmental committee has approved the proposal, the advisor will submit the proposal and names of the committee members to the Director of Graduate Studies for approval. (The student may be advanced to candidacy at this point.) At least six months before the dissertation defense, the Graduate Studies Director, in consultation with student and the student’s dissertation committee, will name a reader from outside the department who has specialized in related areas. The Graduate Director must then request the Graduate School for approval of the committee.

At least ten weeks before the Graduate School’s deadline for submitting the completed dissertation, the student will submit to the readers what is intended to be the final draft of the dissertation. No more than four weeks after that, if the readers have agreed that the dissertation is ready to be defended, the dissertation committee chairperson will schedule the defense, an oral examination open to interested faculty and graduate students. The date of the defense must be approved by the Graduate School. All four readers on the dissertation committee must recommend acceptance of the dissertation before it can be approved by the Graduate School.

I. Time Limit
All requirements for the Ph.D. degree must be completed within seven years after completing 24 hours of graduate courses in the department. In rare instances, the dean of the Graduate School will entertain a petition to extend this time limit, provided it bears the endorsement of the department chairperson.

 

POLLOCK-KRASNER HOUSE AND STUDY CENTER

Located in East Hampton the PK House is another important resource for our students. The house, studio, and grounds – where both Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner created some of their most famous work – were given to the Stony Brook Foundation by the estate of Lee Krasner after her death in 1984. Under the directorship of Helen Harrison, the site was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1994. Our annual fall departmental gathering and “armchair chat” held at the house has featured such speakers as Dore Ashton, Alice Aycock, Arthur Danto, Clement Greenberg, Glenn Lowry, Robert Rosenblum, Nan Rosenthal, Shelley Rice, and Richard Shiff. The Center also hosts a year-long series of lectures, seminars, exhibitions, and other activities. The Study Center comprises extensive reference materials and archives, including books, photographs, oral histories, and journals available for research.

 

GUEST LECTURERS

Vito Acconci, artist
George Adams, art dealer
Emily Apter, Historian and Theorist, NYU
Laurie Anderson, artist
Maria Jose Arjona
Geoffrey Batchen, art historian
Boshko Boshkovic, Curator and Critic
Claudia Bosse
Norman Bryson
Judith Butler, literary critic
Peter Campus, artist
Steve DeFrank
Brett Cook-Dizney, artist
David Colosi, artist
C. Ryder Cooley
Renee Cox, artist
Ricardo Dominquez, media artist
R. Luke DuBois, artist/musician/programmer
Anoka Faruquee, artist
Cui Fei, artist
Tom Finkelpearl, museum director
Coco Fusco, artist/writer/curator
Joseph Grigley, artist
Guillermo Gomez-Pena, artist
Jay Grimm, art dealer
Doug Ischar, Artist
Alfredo Jaar, artist
Emilia Kabakov, Artist
Miguel Luciano artist
Kobena Mercer, critic, Middlesex University
Elizabeth Murray, artist
Philip Pearlstein, artist
Lucio Pozzi, artist
George Quasha, Artist, poet
RTMark.com, artist corporation
Alluequere Rosanne Stone, theorist
Jeanne Silverthorne
Francesco Simeti, artist
Theatercombinat
Michael Webb
Linda Wintraub, Artist, writer
Krzysztof Wodiczko, artist
Saya Woolfalk, artist
Midori Yoshimoto, Gallery Director
Pamela Z, performer/vocalist/artist

RECENT GRADUATE SEMINARS

Deleuze and Contemporary Aesthetics (Zabet Patterson)
Less Is More: Minimalism And The Expanded Field (Andrew Uroskie)
Topics in American Visual Culture: Arts of Commercial Culture (Michele Bogart)
The Printed Image in Early Modern Europe 1400-1800 (Joseph Monteyne)
19th century Art Criticism and Theory (James Rubin)
The Visual Culture of Knowledge: Early Modern Art and Science 1400-1800 (Joseph Monteyne)
Installation and Environment: Rethinking Site-Specificity (Andrew Uroskie)
The Cognitive Side Of Performance – Improvisation (John Lutterbie)
The Ecstasy of Violence: Pain and Pleasure in Early Modern Visual Culture (Joseph Monteyne)
Speech and Psychoanalysis in Marcel Proust (Julia Kristeva)
Secular art and the Market: the minor genres in Europe 16th-18th century (Joseph Monteyne)
Theorizing Artists (Hugh Silverman)
Contemporary African and Middle Eastern Art (Barbara Frank and Shoki Goodarzi)
Levinas’s Aesthetics: Untie, Erode, Obliterate (Megan Craig)
The Grotesque: Persistence of a Cultural Form (Joseph Monteyne)
Cultural Studies’ Visual Turn (Ray Guins and Zabet Patterson)
Paul Cézanne From Impressionism To Phenomenology (James Rubin)
Criticism, Theory, Practice: From Artes Mechanicae to Artes Liberales (Anita Moskowitz)
Postmodernisms (Hugh Silverman)
Art and Technology since the ’60s (Zabet Patterson)
Film, Video and Durational Media in 20th Century Art (Andrew Uroskie)
Public Art and the Politics of Space (Michele Bogart)
Performance and the Phenomenology of Space (John Lutterbie)
Affect, Memory and Trauma (Ann Kaplan)
Being-with-Others: Heidegger, Levinas, Nancy (Hugh Silverman)
Phenomenology of Art (Ed Casey)
Theories of Contemporary Music (Judy Lochhead)
Bergson and Deleuze: Time and Difference (Ed Casey)
Luce Irigaray (Mary Rawlinson)
Levinas and Lacan (Ed Casey)
Adorno’s Aesthetics (Eduardo Mendieta)
Theorizing Artists (Hugh Silverman and Donald Kuspit)
Phenomenology’s Affair: Painting and the Saturated World (Megan Craig)