Assessment in Art History

The mission of the Art History Department of Tyler School of Art of Temple University is to educate students on the graduate and undergraduate levels about visual culture and its history, to foster scholarly research and advance knowledge in the discipline, and to function as a resource of expertise to the University, the region and beyond. The Department offers a variety of critical, theoretical and methodological perspectives and approaches.

The goal is to equip students with strong skills in a world in which visual literacy is of great importance. These include: critical, conceptual and creative thinking; written and oral communication; research, analysis, and organization; self-motivation and self-discipline, and visual connoisseurship and acuity. This education is designed to foster a life-long interest in, sensitivity to, and appreciation of the significance of artistic production as a fundamental historical and cultural form of human expression and communication.


BA Art History Key Learning Outcomes

  • Develop knowledge of the key monuments, movements, periods, artists and works of art in the field and its key literature, approaches and methodologies
  • Develop overall skills in critical thinking
  • Develop the ability to analyze and discuss the nature and meaning of objects and artifacts
  • To conduct research in the field, using primary and secondary sources
  • To develop competencies in communication of all types from short writing entries to longer essays and from class discussions to class presentations

MA in Art History Key Learning Outcomes

  • The ability to analyze and discuss the nature and meaning of objects and artifacts in multiple contexts, including on-site contact and display, as well as original historical settings.
  • Competencies in communication on all types, from short writing entries to longer essays and from class discussions to class presentations.
  • Sophisticated skills in critical thinking.
  • Knowledge of the key literature, approaches, and methodologies in the field.
  • Enhanced knowledge of the key monuments, movements, artists, and works of art and their significance in the field.
  • Reading competency in English and two other languages, one of which should relate to the area of specialty.
  • The skills necessary to conduct research in the field using primary sources and secondary sources, ranging from specialized data bases to archives.
  • The ability to conduct serious, largely independent research papers, complete with critical insights, footnotes and bibliographies.
  • The acquisition of skills necessary to proceed to a more professional level whether through education or through the workplace.
  • The ability to undertake not only sustained research, but also to contribute to the field with original insights, in a master thesis or through work undertaken during an internship.
  • Familiarity with technological tools for fostering research and learning, especially as they pertain to visual culture.
  • Development of informed knowledge about the work studied and its historiographical traditions. Development of an understanding of the conventions of the profession, such as cv, job application letters, interviewing skills, and active engagement with specialized professional societies in the respective areas.
  • The ability to analyze and discuss the nature, meaning and significances of arguments presented in readings, lectures, discussions and presentations. Professional level communication skills in writing and presentation, including procedures for preparing abstracts and presenting conference papers, applying for grants and fellowships, and preparation of articles for publication.

PhD in Art History

  • Successful completion of master's degree
  • The Broad and Specialized Qualifying Examinations involve both written and oral communication and require sustained study, research and preparation.  The exams should demonstrate the student's sophisticated mastery of a comprehensive array of material, including the history and current shape of the field and critical insights as to its possible future direction.
  • Guided assessment of dissertation topic potential for making a contribution to the field is carried out as a pre-dissertation research, often with the addition of field research to the extensive coverage of secondary literature already undertaken for the specialized qualifying examination and resulting in the dissertation proposal at which point the student attains the status of ABD.
  • Dissertation research involves exhaustive coverage of secondary literature and primary field research and leads to the ability to organize and communicate the original conclusions of the project. This is often supported by gaining experience with internal and external granting agencies.
  • The doctoral dissertation shows the student's participation at a professional level within the field, through a large-scale, independent research project that contributes significantly, with original insights and research, to the body of knowledge of the subject.