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For Students


Dealing directly with works of art in museums or galleries, consulting special collections related to art history in libraries, or working in the field of historic preservation can be essential parts of your undergraduate education.  Majors in History of Art and Architecture should contact faculty members in particular fields or the Undergraduate Program Director for information about internships; the Internship Office in the Career Services Center located in 511 Goodell also offers listings and counseling.  Our students have recently interned at the Museum of Fine Arts and Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, the Cloisters and Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Museum of Fine Arts in Springfield, and Historic Deerfield, as well as museums as far afield as Cincinnati and Indianapolis.

A number of museums offer undergraduates the chance to work during the summer as research or administrative assistants, education aides, and docents.  Such internships are often very competitive, particularly those at the Metropolitan and Whitney museums (New York), as well as the National Gallery (Washington, DC).

Learn more on how to get an internship.

Study Abroad

Many majors in History of Art and Architecture study abroad, especially in their Junior year, either individually or in exchange programs sponsored by the University.  The University of Massachusetts programs in London, Sussex, and Leeds (England), Paris (France), Freiburg (Germany), and Siena (Italy) offer especially rewarding opportunities for majors.  There is also a University-sponsored summer program of long standing in Oxford (England).  At present, the tuition and fees for a year’s study in programs abroad are equivalent to those at the University.  The two-semester school year runs from October to June, and all grades are transferred directly to UMass.  The International Programs Office in the William S. Clark International Center (Hills South) has information on these programs, as well as a wide variety of study abroad options offered through other institutions.  Students may apply a maximum of 30 credits earned toward graduation.  Majors must be sure that the Undergraduate Program Director approves art history courses in advance.

Learn more on how to study abroad.

Summer Museum Programs

A number of museums offer undergraduates the chance to work during the summer as research or administrative assistants, education aides, and docents. Such internships are often very competitive, particularly those at the Metropolitan and Whitney museums (New York) as well as the National Gallery (Washington, DC). Students should consult with their advisor as early as possible to determine when applying for any of these would be appropriate.

Graduate Study and Careers

Graduate schools offer further training for art historians in teaching, historic preservation, conservation, and museum careers.  Information on M.A. and Ph.D. programs can be obtained from your undergraduate advisor and other faculty, who can relate first-hand experiences; recent graduates are also happy to advise.  The World Wide Web is an excellent way to consult up-to-date graduate catalogues with descriptions of programs, courses, and faculty.  Most Masters programs require reading knowledge of one foreign language; doctoral programs require German and one other.

Our majors have gone on to do graduate work at Berkeley, Columbia, Delaware, MIT, NYU, Princeton, Rutgers, Virginia, and other universities.  Their areas of specialization, aside from History of Art and Architecture, have included art education, anthropology, archaeology, sculpture, conservation, museum training, corporate development, publishing, management, and library science.  Among our graduates are college and high school teachers, an art therapist, an architectural historian specializing in historic preservation, an arts foundation consultant, numerous museum staff members, private art dealers, specialists at auction houses, slide librarians, art program officers at private charitable foundations, and arts administrators at state, local, and federal agencies.

Faculty advisors are always interested in discussing career options open to our majors.  Students may consider double majors (recent graduates have double-majored in the School of Management, English, Classics, and Anthropology) and other special options such as pre-med and pre-law.  The Office of Internships within the Career Services Center offers additional resources for students seeking work experience related to art history.

New York City Bus Trip

The Department continues to support bus trips to New York,  leaving Saturdays in the early morning and retuning in the evening. This year, one trip in early November and another in April brought opportunities for students to enjoy the major New York art museums. Several classes visited the Whitney Museum and the Metropolitan as groups led by faculty. visiting special exhibitions related to the courses, or in the case of the Graduate Seminar in Museum studies, taking an in-depth look at both technical and artistic aspects of museum presentations of art.  The Department regards opportunities such as this as an important aspect of both undergraduate and graduate training in art history.