The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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Graduate Student Life

To support their research and teaching, graduate students in the Department of History of Art and Architecture are provided with a large, private office in South College that is shared with one other member of their cohort. These offices offer students a dedicated and comfortable space to study and conduct office hours. Students can also reserve departmental seminar rooms for group study or discussion.

Each year, graduate students organize a compelling symposium which gathers scholars and experts to spark dialogue around critical issues in the field. Students begin planning the Mark Roskill Symposium in Art History with their cohort during their first year in the program and usually schedule it to take place in the fall of their second year.

The department supports a semesterly bus trip to New York, leaving Saturdays in the early morning and returning in the evening. Generally, one trip is conducted in early November and another in April. In the past, classes have visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art in groups led by faculty, examining special exhibitions or permanent collections relating to their coursework. Students are also encouraged to visit other New York art museums of interest to them or their current research.

The University Museum of Contemporary Art’s (UMCA) annual Curatorial Fellowship provides selected graduate students from the Department of the History of Art and Architecture and the Department of Art the opportunity to produce an exhibition at the UMCA. The year-long program gives graduate students an in-depth experience of curatorial practice, from grant writing and budgeting to conceptualizing and realizing an art exhibition at the end of the spring semester. Students create an exhibition essay, educational programming, a public talk, marketing strategies, press releases, and social media.

While the primary efforts of graduate students focus on academic activities, the department, University, and Five College community provide enormous opportunities for social and cultural enrichment. The University’s extensive programs are available to all students at reduced cost. The department’s social events vary from receptions following guest lectures to our potluck dinners held at the beginning and end of the academic year. The Graduate Student Senate supports a wide variety of programs and activities for graduate students. More information can be found here.