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Admission Requirements | Program Requirements | Graduate Courses

Fine Arts Building, Room 251, (501) 569-3182, Website

Master of Arts in Art

The Master of Arts in Art program offers three concentrations: art history, studio art, and art education. For detailed information about the programs, visit the M.A. in Art website . The program is housed in the Department of Art, which is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design.

Art history is designed for persons interested in professional, academic, museum studies, or arts management careers and prepares students for doctoral study. It offers a broad-based study of the history of visual expression and opportunities for advanced research projects. Art historians analyze and articulate the meaning and form of human experience as embodied in works of art. The field encompasses the world of art and architecture as it exists today and has been understood visually and verbally in the past.

Studio art prepares persons to practice art in a professional capacity, to teach art, and for further study toward the terminal Master of Fine Arts degree. It offers professional development in a major art field and skill development for certified teachers of art. Major studio fields include drawing, painting, printmaking, photography, illustration and graphic design, sculpture, and ceramics. This concentration is designed for those with the potential to sustain productive careers as artists and who will continue to produce, exhibit, and approach their work critically.

Art education provides advanced experiences specific to art instruction for persons who come from a wide range of educational settings. Students gain a better understanding of the history of art education, various teaching philosophies and curricular approaches, theories of teaching and learning, assessment of children’s art progress, teacher and program assessment, and research. This concentration does not lead to teaching licensure. The field encompasses the world of art and architecture as it exists today and has been understood visually and verbally in the past.


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Admission Requirements

Prospective applicants are encouraged to schedule an interview with the program coordinator before applying, although this is not required. All application materials are due by April 1 for the fall semester and November 1 for the spring semester.

Admission requirements are as follows:

  • Baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution with a cumulative GPA of 2.75 (4.0 scale) or 3.0 in the last 60 hours
  • Two letters of recommendation (optional for students who have taken art courses at UALR during the three years previous to the application)
  • Statement of objectives and goals (500-1,000 words)
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) score is optional and may be submitted to bolster the application. (Application forms for some financial aid offered through UALR require information about the GRE score.)

Art History Additional Requirements:

  • Undergraduate research paper. (preferably treating an art historical problem but may be in a related area such as literature, history, cultural or intellectual history, anthropology, or aesthetics)
  • 18 undergraduate art history hours.

Studio Art Additional Requirements:

  • CD Portfolio of 20 images
  • 36 undergraduate art hours, including 15 in the major area and 9 in art history (18 major area hours for illustration and graphic design)

Art Education Additional Requirements:

  • CD Portfolio of 20 images. (Not more than 8 images of the 20 may be of the students’ work. The applicant’s work must be clearly labeled.)
  • 21 hours of studio art and a minimum of 9 hours in art history.

Official transcripts, Graduate School Application Form, GRE score (if used), and letters of recommendation should be sent to the UALR Graduate School. Other requirements should be sent to the program coordinator in the Department of Art.

Transfer Credit

Up to six graduate hours with grades of B or greater earned in the past five years may be transferred from another accredited institution.


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Special Students

Students admitted to the Graduate School as a special student, but not the art program, may enroll in courses only with the coordinator’s and instructor’s permission. If later admitted to the art program, the student may not apply more than six hours (with grades of B or greater) toward program requirements.


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Program Requirements

All students must maintain at least a 3.0 GPA. Only twelve hours at the 5000 level may count toward the degree; all remaining hours must be 7000-level. Grades of “incomplete” are discouraged, and students with one or more “incompletes” may be restricted in the number of hours they may take in a subsequent semester. An Advancement to Candidacy Examination or Critique is required. Students are also expected to participate regularly in special seminars and workshops and to attend lectures and gallery openings organized by the department.

Art History (ARHA)

The art history concentration requires 30 graduate credit hours, including 5300 Studies in the History of Art; 9 additional 5000-level art history lecture hours; 3 hours each in Renaissance and Baroque, 18th- and 19th-century, and 20th-century art; 6 approved elective hours; and a thesis with oral defense.

The thesis topic must be selected before completing 21 hours and must be approved by the thesis advisor and program coordinator before it is submitted to the Graduate School dean. The thesis must demonstrate the candidate’s capacity for high-level, independent research. In addition, it must conform to the deadlines, requirements, and standards of the Department of Art and Graduate School. Thesis regulations are available from the program coordinator.

Students who intend to complete degree requirements during the summer must anticipate professional absences for at least part of the summer.

Language Requirement

In addition, students must demonstrate proficiency in a foreign language. A reading knowledge of French or German is normally expected. Proficiency may be demonstrated by successful completion of an undergraduate intermediate level course, or showing that level of proficiency on an examination approved by the Department of International and Second Language Studies. This should be done as early as possible in the course of study.

The Advancement to Candidacy Exam must be taken when the student has successfully completed between 9 and 15 program hours. It includes slide identifications of major monuments from all periods and several essays covering material from various periods. Upon completion of the exam, the faculty may advise the student to continue in the program or repeat earlier course work, or the student may be dismissed from the program.


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Sample Program

May be adapted to individual student’s qualifications.

ARHA 5300 Studies in the History of Art
ARHA 5305, 5306, 5384, 7315, or 7316
ARHA 5307 or 7327
ARHA 5308, 5387, or 7328
9 additional art history hours
6 elective hours (art history, studio art, or other approved)
ARHA 7399 Thesis


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Studio Art (ARST)

The studio art concentration requires at least 36 graduate credit hours, including 18 hours in a major studio field (or 12 major and 6 minor hours); 9 art history hours; 3 approved liberal arts hours (may be upper-level undergraduate); 3 elective hours; and ARST 7399 Thesis. A foreign language is not required.

Students work with a faculty advisor in the major studio field to design a course of study. Courses are divided into Level I and Level II. The Advancement to Candidacy Critique must be passed before enrolling for ARST 7399 Thesis.

The Advancement to Candidacy Critique, which is open to all faculty, is scheduled when all Level I courses have been completed with a cumulative 3.0 GPA. The student’s portfolio and all work in the program are reviewed by a faculty committee of at least three persons selected by the student in consultation with the major field advisor and program coordinator. The committee may recommend that the student continue to Level II, repeat some or all of Level I, or be dismissed from the program.

The thesis topic must be approved by the candidate’s advisory committee. Thesis includes a written component, an exhibition, and oral defense. Each of these components must follow departmental guidelines and Graduate School thesis standards.

Level I
  • 9 hours of major studio field I, II, III (or major field I, II; minor field I)
  • 6 hours of art history
  • 3 hours of liberal arts
Level II
  • 9 hours of major studio field IV, V, VI (or major field III, IV; minor field II)
  • 3 hours of art history
  • 3 hours of elective
  • ARST 7399 Thesis

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Art Education (ARED)

The art education concentration requires at least 36 graduate credit hours, including 9 hours of art education; 9 hours of studio art (may be in one or more disciplines); 9 hours of art history; 6 hours of electives (to be approved by advisor); and 3 hours of thesis with oral defense. A foreign language is not required.

The Advancement to Candidacy Exam must be taken when the student has successfully completed between 21 and 27 program hours. All student work in the program is reviewed by a faculty committee of at least three persons selected by the student in consultation with the major advisor and program coordinator.

The topic for the thesis project must be selected before completing 21 hours and must be approved by the thesis advisor and program coordinator before it is submitted to the Graduate School dean. The thesis project must demonstrate the candidate’s capacity for high-level independent inquiry and research. In addition, it must conform to the deadlines, requirements, and standards for the Department of Art and the Graduate School. Thesis regulations are available from the program coordinator.

Sample Program
  • 9 hours from the following: ARED 5194, 5294; 5394, 5325, 7331, 7332, 7333, 7334
  • 9 hours in art history
  • 9 hours in art studio
  • 6 hours electives
  • ARED 7399 Thesis Project

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Graduate Assistantships

A limited number of graduate assistantships are available. Contact the program coordinator for information.

Graduation Requirements

  • Cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 in an approved program of study as outlined above
  • Pass the Advancement to Candidacy Exam or Critique
  • Successful completion and oral defense of thesis (and mounted exhibition for studio art)

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Courses in Art Education

ARED 5194, 5294, 5394 Independent Study in Art Education
Prerequisite: approval of art education advisor, consent of instructor. Research on a subject selected in consultation with the instructor. Variable credit of one to three hours. Offered in fall, spring, and summer.

ARED 5325 Foundations of Art Education
History of art education; emphasis on changing philosophies, theories of learning, subsequent goals and objectives made apparent in curriculum development. Offered in spring.

ARED 7331 Studio Experiences in Art Education
Studio-based art experiences for students of all ages, ability levels; emphasis on individual student’s studio strengths; augmented by curriculum in drawing, painting, printmaking, three-dimensional materials. Offered in spring and summer.

ARED 7332 Curriculum Instruction in Art Education
Past, present curriculum, instruction; includes historical component as foundation for understanding current teaching strategies; various teaching approaches are analyzed and formalized into applicable classroom art experiences. Offered in fall and spring.

ARED 7333 Selected Topics in Art Education
Prerequisite: graduate standing, consent of instructor. Topics may include past, present approaches to curriculum development; special populations; aesthetics; art history, criticism; art and technology; art and society; critical analysis; philosophic reflections on art, art education; others. May be repeated for credit when topic changes. Offered in fall, spring and summer.

ARED 7334 Research Trends in Art Education
Past and present art education research; emphasis on understanding the nature of educational research in art, various research methods, how research translates into practical classroom application; includes review, critique, application, development of research topics. Offered in fall.

ARED 7399 Thesis Project
Prerequisite: 27 graduate hours. Prepare and complete final thesis project. Offered in fall and spring.


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Courses in Art History

ARHA 5110, 5210, 5310 Special Topics in Art History
Individual artists, particular periods, geographic areas, media, especially those not covered by normal course offerings. Content, subtitle, organization change each time offered. Offered on demand.

ARHA 5300 Studies in the History of Art
Required for art history concentration. Art historical methodology; directed readings, research on topics, selected in consultation with the instructor, to be presented in class. Offered in fall on even years.

ARHA 5302 Art Museum Studies
Policy development, museum administration, staff management, operations funding, budgeting, collection organization, program design. Offered in spring on odd years.

ARHA 5305 Italian Renaissance Art
Painting, architecture, sculpture in Italy from c. 1300 to c. 1600; emphasis on major Florentine, Roman, Venetian artists.

ARHA 5306 Renaissance Art in Northern Europe
Painting, sculpture, architecture, graphic art in Northern Europe (especially Low Countries, France, England) from end of Gothic period through Reformation.

ARHA 5307 18th- and 19th-Century European Art
Painting, architecture, sculpture in 18th-19th-century Europe. Offered in fall on odd years.

ARHA 5308 20th-Century Painting, Sculpture, and Graphic Arts Since 1945
Major artists, movements; emphasis on 1945 to present; importance of new materials, techniques; critic’s role. Offered in fall on even years.

ARHA 5309 A History of Arkansas Architecture
Development of architecture in Arkansas from origins through contemporary period.

ARHA 5315 Modern Architecture
Major developments in European and American architecture from 1900 to present; focus on European from 1900 to 1930, United States from 1930 to 1970; includes technological innovations, current design issues (e.g., preservation, adaptive re-use of historic buildings).

ARHA 5384 Baroque Art
Painting, sculpture, architecture in Northern Europe (Netherlands, France, Spain, Italy) from 1600-1725. Offered in spring on odd years.

ARHA 5387 Late 19th-and Early 20th-Century Art
Painting, sculpture, graphic arts, architecture from Post- Impressionist period until World War II. Offered in spring on even years.

ARHA 7197, 7297, 7397 Special Problems in Art History
Prerequisites: graduate standing, consent of instructor. Content, length vary.

ARHA 7303 Seminar in Modern Architecture
Personalities, theories, styles of specific 18th-, 19th-, and 20th-century architects.

ARHA 7315 Seminar in Italian Renaissance and Baroque Art
Directed reading, research on selected topics in Italian Renaissance, Baroque art.

ARHA 7316 Seminar in Northern European Renaissance and Baroque Art
Directed reading, research on selected topics in Northern European art.

ARHA 7327 Seminar in 19th-Century Art
Directed study, seminar presentations on topics in 19th-century painting, sculpture, architecture.

ARHA 7328 Seminar in 20th-Century Art
Selected problems in 20th-century art.

ARHA 7398 Internship in Museum Studies
Prerequisites: 21 graduate hours, consent of coordinator. Concentrated program of practical experience (paid or volunteer), under professional guidance, with a museum, gallery, or other arts organization; requires a journal of internship activities; final written report. Offered on demand.

ARHA 7399 Thesis
Prerequisite: 24 graduate hours. (Required for art history concentration.) May be repeated once for credit. Offered fall and spring.


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Courses in Studio Art

ARST 5115, 5215, 5315 Advanced Problems in Design
Experimental materials, techniques in two- or three-dimensional design; includes correlation of visual design elements with those of various multidimensional work not usually covered in normal course offerings. Content, subtitle, organization change each time offered. Offered on demand.

ARST 7197, 7297, 7397 Special Problems
Prerequisites: graduate standing; consent of coordinator, instructor. Content, length vary.

ARST 7311 Graduate Drawing I
Various drawing media, techniques as resource for expression; philosophical, historical roots of contemporary drawing; students encouraged to pursue drawing that incorporates or is tangential to their major area of study. Offered in fall and spring.

ARST 7312 Graduate Drawing II
Prerequisite: Studio Art 7311. Continuation of Studio Art 7311. Offered in fall and spring.

ARST 7313 Graduate Drawing III
Prerequisite: Studio Art 7312. Continuation of Studio Art 7312. Offered in fall and spring.

ARST 7314 Graduate Drawing IV
Prerequisite: Studio Art 7313. Continuation of Studio Art 7313. Offered in fall and spring.

ARST 7315 Graduate Drawing V
Prerequisite: Studio Art 7314. Continuation of Studio Art 7314. Offered in fall and spring.

ARST 7316 Graduate Drawing VI
Prerequisite: Studio Art 7315. Continuation of Studio Art 7315. Offered in fall and spring.

ARST 7321 Graduate Painting I
Contemporary painting concepts, techniques; emphasis may be on oil, acrylic, watercolor, or mixed media. Offered in fall, spring, and summer.

ARST 7322 Graduate Painting II
Prerequisite: Studio Art 7321. Continuation of Studio Art 7321. Offered in fall, spring, and summer.

ARST 7323 Graduate Painting III
Prerequisite: Studio Art 7322. Continuation of Studio Art 7322. Offered in fall, spring, and summer.

ARST 7324 Graduate Painting IV
Prerequisite: Studio Art 7323. Continuation of Studio Art 7323. Offered in fall, spring, and summer.

ARST 7325 Graduate Painting V
Prerequisite: Studio Art 7324. Continuation of Studio Art 7324; emphasis on development of personal direction or style. Offered in fall, spring and summer.

ARST 7326 Graduate Painting VI
Prerequisite: Studio Art 7325. Continuation of Studio Art 7325. Offered in fall, spring and summer.

ARST 7331 Graduate Printmaking I
Production of prints using various print processes, including relief, intaglio, planeographic process; research of printmaking techniques’ historical development; museum visits, print workshop participation encouraged. Offered in fall and spring.

ARST 7332 Graduate Printmaking II
Prerequisite: Studio Art 7331. Principles, characteristics of printing element as surface for direct drawing; studio workshop productions generated conceptually or with aid of outside references; basic black-and-white prints, multiple color- separation methods for fine art print (all color-separation positives produced by hand methods). Offered in fall and spring.

ARST 7333 Graduate Printmaking III
Prerequisite: Studio Art 7332. Principles, chemistry of printmaking techniques; includes drawing materials, printing elements, printing papers, solvents, inks, ink modifiers; preservation, print publishing practices. Offered in fall and spring.

ARST 7334 Graduate Printmaking IV
Prerequisite: Studio Art 7333. Technological developments in commercial industry; their application to fine art printing processes; includes technology primarily designed for photocopy, word processing industries, computer-generated designs, color photography and color separation methods. Offered in fall and spring.

ARST 7335 Graduate Printmaking V
Prerequisite: Studio Art 7334. Experience working with other artists; includes printer working with non-printmaker artist, printmaker working with non-artist printer; insight into complex community of atelier environment dependent on collaboration. Offered in fall and spring.

ARST 7336 Graduate Printmaking VI
Prerequisite: Studio Art 7335. Selected special research topics; may include health hazards in printmaking, development of printmaking as a fine art, acceptance and controversy of chroma-lithography in the 19th-century, nontraditional metals used in printmaking processes, other areas of interest to students; student research presented in text with supporting visuals. Offered in fall and spring.

ARST 7341 Graduate Graphic Design I
All aspects of graphic design for the print medium; emphasis on creating professional graphic design works within restricted time periods. Offered in fall and spring.

ARST 7342 Graduate Graphic Design II
Continuation of Studio Art 7341; more complex projects with strict deadlines.

ARST 7349 Practicum in Art Direction
Student works as an assistant director at UALR Graphic Design (campus studio that does work for Arkansas nonprofit organizations); duties include work with undergraduate designers on their roughs, comprehensives, mechanicals; working with studio’s clients. Offered in fall and spring.

ARST 7351 Graduate Ceramics I
For advanced graduate students in ceramics. Individual research in consultation with instructor; emphasis on personal expression in form, content of work. Offered in fall and spring.

ARST 7352 Graduate Ceramics II
Prerequisite: Studio Art 7351. Continuation of Studio Art 7351. Offered in fall and spring.

ARST 7353 Graduate Ceramics III
Prerequisite: Studio Art 7352. Continuation of Studio Art 7352. Offered in fall and spring.

ARST 7354 Graduate Ceramics IV
Prerequisite: Studio Art 7353. Continuation of Studio Art 7353. Offered in fall and spring.

ARST 7355 Graduate Ceramics V
Prerequisite: Studio Art 7354. Continuation of Studio Art 7354. Offered in fall and spring.

ARST 7356 Graduate Ceramics VI
Prerequisite: Studio Art 7355. Continuation of Studio Art 7355. Offered in fall and spring.

ARST 7361 Graduate Sculpture I
Serial development of student-generated concept; required number of substantive pieces completed under faculty supervision, advisement. Offered in fall and spring.

ARST 7362 Graduate Sculpture II
Prerequisite: Studio Art 7361. Continuation of Studio Art 7361. Offered in fall and spring.

ARST 7363 Graduate Sculpture III
Prerequisite: Studio Art 7362. Continuation of Studio Art 7362. Offered in fall and spring.

ARST 7364 Graduate Sculpture IV
Prerequisite: Studio Art 7363. Continuation of Studio Art 7363. Offered in fall and spring.

ARST 7365 Graduate Sculpture V
Prerequisite: Studio Art 7364. Continuation of Studio Art 7364. Offered in fall and spring.

ARST 7366 Graduate Sculpture VI
Prerequisite: Studio Art 7365. Development of professional portfolio; includes curriculum vitae, 8”x 10” photographs or color Xerox reproductions, slide plates, exhibitions, pertinent publicity; requires oral presentation of work. Offered in fall and spring.

ARST 7371 Graduate Photography I
First of six consecutive photography courses. Student writes proposal for a body of creative work to be completed in the course series. Up to six hours may be taken concurrently. Offered in fall and spring.

ARST 7372 Graduate Photography II
Prerequisite or corequisite: Studio Art 7371. Continuation of Studio Art 7371. Offered in fall and spring.

ARST 7373 Graduate Photography III
Prerequisite or corequisite: Studio Art 7372. Continuation of Studio Art 7372. Offered in fall and spring.

ARST 7374 Graduate Photography IV
Prerequisite or corequisite: Studio Art 7373. Continuation of Studio Art 7373. Offered in fall and spring.

ARST 7375 Graduate Photography V
Prerequisite or corequisite: Studio Art 7374. Continuation of Studio Art 7374. Offered in fall and spring.

ARST 7376 Graduate Photography VI
Prerequisite or corequisite: Studio Art 7375. Continuation of Studio Art 7375. Offered in fall and spring.

ARST 7391 Graduate Illustration I
All aspects of illustration for print medium; emphasis on creation of professional illustration works within strict deadlines. Offered in fall and spring.

ARST 7392 Graduate Illustration II
Continuation of Studio Art 7391; more complex projects. Offered in fall and spring.

ARST 7395 Graphic Design/Illustration Portfolio
Student prepares, for faculty review, a portfolio of work of a quality to compete in today’s graphic design/illustration job market. Offered in fall and spring.

ARST 7399 Thesis
Students will undertake a scholarly investigation of their art studio production as related to art historical, social, and cultural influences. This investigation will culminate in an exhibition, a written thesis and oral defense. May be taken only once for a grade. Offered in fall and spring.
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