Graduate Bulletin

Spring 2018

Art History and Criticism Department

The Graduate Program in Art History & Criticism at Stony Brook University focuses on modern and contemporary art in its global context, and in relationship with media, technology and material culture. At both the M.A. and Ph.D levels, we offer a dynamic, interdisciplinary curriculum along with individual mentoring from faculty whose work has won national and international recognition. Our proximity to New York City offers extensive opportunities for research, collaboration,and professional networking at world-class museums and galleries, and allows our students to take courses at other schools in the New York Inter-University Doctoral Consortium including Columbia, NYU, CUNY and Princeton. Our students have been successful in securing tenure-track academic positions at universities around the world, and at earning internships, fellowships, curatorial positions, and teaching roles at major New York institutions such as the Whitney Museum, Creative Time, and The Museum of Modern Art.

Under the visionary leadership of Lawrence Alloway, the Program in Art History & Criticism was one of the first programs in the world to support graduate level study of modern and contemporary art, and we pride ourselves on engaging emerging, interdisciplinary, and comparative methodologies. As a small and selective program in a large, public institution we are able to offer graduate training with low tuition costs, with teaching experience in a highly diverse undergraduate population, and with the full resources of major research university. Students benefit from the Department of Art’s MFA program and from affiliates of Art who teach continental philosophy and aesthetics in the Department of Philosophy, global film studies in the Department of Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies, sound art and sound studies in Music, and at the intersection of art and science in the Consortium for Digital Arts, Culture and Technology. M.A. and Ph.D students may take advantage of an additional credential through the Advanced Graduate Certificate in Media, Art, Culture, and Technology housed in Art, and through the Advanced Graduate Certificate in Art and Philosophy. Ample opportunities for curatorial theory and practice are available in conjunction with regular exhibitions at the University’s Zuccaire, Alloway, and Simons Center art galleries


Degree Programs

M.A. in Art History and Criticism

The M.A. in Art History and Criticism is a two year 36-credit degree program with a strong emphasis on modern and contemporary art and visual and material culture. The program aims to produce scholars, critics and curators who can address artistic production through contemporary issues and paradigms. Media aesthetics, art and technology, globalization, public art and social practice, politics of the avant-garde, and critical curatorial studies are currently active areas of departmental research. The program culminates in the preparation of a written thesis. Part-time study is allowed in this degree program. The M.A. in Art History and Criticism can be considered appropriate preparation for Ph.D. degrees in art history or other fields. Students also move on to careers in arts education, or gallery and museum work.

Ph.D. in Art History and Criticism

Stony Brook’s Ph.D. program in art history and criticism is designed to encourage students to apply what they have learned at the master’s level towards more intense and individual research. The emphasis of the program is on integrating historical and theoretical study into a curriculum focused on an interdisciplinary approach to modern and contemporary art and visual and material culture. The program culminates in the oral defense of a substantial written dissertation on an original topic. Students are not accepted into the Ph.D. program on a part-time basis. This degree is considered essential for those intending to engage in advanced academic research, teaching, and publishing in the field of art history and criticism, and may provide a significant advantage to those entering the professional art world of museums and galleries.

Advanced Graduate Certificate (AGC) in Art and Philosophy (ArtPHIL)

For information about this advanced certificate program, please go to .

Advanced Graduate Certificate (AGC) in Media, Art, Culture, and Techonology

The Advanced Graduate Certificate Program in Media, Art, Culture, and Technology (MACT) offers graduate students an interdisciplinary grounding in the historical and theoretical study of media, art, culture, and technology. The MACT graduate certificate is designed to complement a graduate student’s primary degree by supporting research that traverses traditional academic methods and objects of inquiry in the humanities. Combining  faculty with diverse expertise in media, art, culture, and technology, MACT supports work at the dynamic intersections of these evolving fields. Students enrolled in MACT are encouraged to join the  MACT email list and to consult the  MACT website  for ongoing support and information as they move toward completion of the certificate.