4+1 Combined B.A./M.A. Program
The Department of History of Art and Architecture (HART) offers two 4+1 graduate tracks leading to the Master’s Degree:
(1) History of Art
(2) Architecture and the Built Environment – NEW!
These allow outstanding students of the History of Art and Architecture and related fields to complete the B.A. and M.A. in five years. The M.A. is a valuable qualification for museum and gallery work, heritage management and preservation, and professional schools. Furthermore, it is excellent preparation for students who wish to explore the possibility of pursuing a PhD in the history of art, architecture, and visual culture.
Our 4+1 graduate programs are designed for current majors and minors in the Department of History of Art and Architecture with a GPA of 3.50 or above in the major and across the curriculum (cumulative). Students in other programs with significant coursework in History of Art and Architecture may be eligible; please consult the Director of Graduate Studies.
Please Note: As these are “4+1” Master’s programs and thereby graduate coursework begins while still an undergraduate at Vanderbilt, they are open only to current Vanderbilt undergraduate students. We do not offer an independent MA program separate from this 4+1 program. Vanderbilt University offers an interdisciplinary Master’s program designed especially for part-time adult students in Middle Tennessee. For more information, please consult the Master of Liberal Arts & Science webpage.
Our 4+1 programs are available to current Vanderbilt undergraduate students majoring or minoring in History of Art and Architecture, as well as students in related fields who have completed significant coursework in the Department of History of Art and Architecture.
At least 30 didactic (letter-graded) graduate credit hours are required for the Master's Degree. This includes enrollment in at least 24 credit hours of formal coursework; 3 credit hours in method, theory, historiography, and professional practice [HART 6010: The Methods of Art History]; and 3 credit hours preparing a Qualifying Paper [HART 6999].
Typically, a student interested in the 4+1 program will work closely with the undergraduate advisor to ensure that all B.A. requirements can be completed, even as graduate coursework begins in the senior year. Upon provisional acceptance to the graduate program, a 4+1 student will develop a plan of study in consultation with the Director of Graduate Studies (DGS), receiving registration priority in HART classes. Normally, 4+1 students register for 3 to 6 credit hours of graduate coursework in the senior year. Most 4+1 students engage in research, internships, or travel in the summer between their 4th and 5th years. The average load per semester as a graduate student in the fifth year is 9-12 credit hours.
With the approval of the DGS, up to 3 courses (9 credit hours) in the M.A. program may be undergraduate courses at the 2000-level and above, with added work for graduate credit.
The 4+1 B.A./M.A. track in History of Art is designed for students who wish to develop greater depth, breadth, and advanced research experience in History of Art and Architecture. It provides rigorous training in the discipline and its subfields as well as opportunities to pursue complementary studies in related fields, based on a student’s interests and professional goals.
Course work is distributed as follows:
1. Of the eight graduate courses (24 credit hours) of formal coursework required for the M.A., at least five courses (15 credit hours) must be taken in History of Art and Architecture.
2. Up to three graduate courses (9 credit hours) may be taken in related fields, with approval of the DGS—for example, in African American & Diaspora Studies, American Studies, Anthropology, Asian Studies, Classical & Mediterranean Studies, English, History, Medicine, Health & Society, Religious Studies, Gender & Sexuality, et cetera.
3. One HART graduate course (3 credit hours) in method, theory, historiography, and professional practice [HART 6010: The Methods of Art History].
4. Qualifying Paper in HART (3 credit hours): research and writing of a scholarly paper conceived and executed under the supervision of a HART faculty member. The qualifying paper is normally 25-30 pages in length (plus figures, models, etc.) and at least equal in quality to a graduate seminar paper. It should demonstrate the student's ability to conduct significant independent research, to write clearly, and to use evidence and citations to construct a persuasive argument. The abstract of the qualifying paper shall be approved by the supervisor and DGS, and a copy of the completed paper filed with the department [HART 6999: Qualifying Paper].
The 4+1 B.A./M.A. track in Architecture and the Built Environment includes history and theory of architecture, landscape architecture, and constructed environments, design studies, and urban studies. Few areas of inquiry are more interdisciplinary than the study of architecture and the built environment, combining visual, material, historical, and theoretical approaches, while also incorporating methods from fields such as anthropology, sociology, politics, literary studies, mathematics, studio arts, engineering, and others. This exciting new graduate track combines the disciplinary strengths of History of Art and Architecture and the intellectual coherence of the Liberal Arts with new opportunities arising from trans-institutional studies tailored to individual students’ interests, expertise, and professional goals. Well-defined objectives will be established for each student at the outset.
1. Four graduate core courses (12 credit hours) in HART, in history of architecture, design, landscape, or urbanism at the 5000-level or above, selected from HART 5100, 5112, 5120, 5140, 5150, 5172, 5174, 5240, 5252, 5270, 5285, 5290, 5740, 5757, 5780, 5782, 5810, 5815, 6010, 6265, 6740, and CLAS 5250
2. Four graduate elective courses (12 credit hours) from the HART courses listed above or selected in consultation with the Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) from fields such as African American & Diaspora Studies, American Studies, Art, Asian Studies, Biological Sciences, Cinema and Media Arts, Classical Studies, Communication of Science and Technology, Communication Studies, Earth and Environmental Sciences, English, European Studies, French and Italian, History, Jewish Studies, Mathematics, Medicine, Health and Society, Neuroscience, Philosophy, Physics, Political Science, Psychology, Public Policy Studies, Religious Studies, Russian and East European Studies, Sociology, Spanish and Portuguese, Theater, and Women’s and Gender Studies (College of Arts and Science); Musicology and Ethnomusicology (Blair School of Music); Human and Organizational Development (Peabody College); Religion (Divinity School); and Civil, Mechanical, and Environmental Engineering, Computer Science, Engineering Science, and Mechanical Engineering (School of Engineering). A maximum of two elective courses may be taken from any one department (with the exception of History of Art).
3. One graduate HART course (3 credit hours) in method, theory, historiography, and professional practice [HART 6010: The Methods of Art History].
4. Qualifying Paper in HART (3 credit hours): research and writing of a scholarly paper conceived and executed under the supervision of a HART faculty member, in consultation with an interdisciplinary partner if appropriate. The qualifying paper is normally 25-30 pages in length (plus figures, models, etc.) and at least equal in quality to a graduate seminar paper. It should demonstrate the student's ability to conduct significant independent research, to write clearly, and to use evidence and citations to construct a persuasive argument. The abstract of the qualifying paper shall be approved by the supervisor and DGS, and a copy of the completed paper filed with the department [HART 6999: Qualifying Paper].
Applications are evaluated on a rolling basis. The application process should be initiated in the junior year or by the end of the first semester of the senior year at the very latest.
Prospective applicants shall consult with Dean Carrie Russell, who oversees post-baccalaureate programs, as well as the undergraduate advisor, and the Director of Graduate Studies in History of Art and Architecture.
1. Each applicant must submit the “Petition to Apply to the Combined B.A./M.A. (4+1) Degree Program,” approved by their undergraduate advisor. Upon departmental and administrative approval, the student will be provisionally accepted into the combined degree program pending completion of all undergraduate requirements.
2. Applicants must also formally apply to the Graduate School in their senior year, in order to achieve graduate student status by the beginning of the fifth year of study.
The application should include:
• Undergraduate transcript(s)
• Statement of purpose (1-2 pages)
• Resume or curriculum vitae
• Writing sample (12-20 pages)
• Two recommendations, sent separately by the letter-writers (at least one from HART faculty).
• No GRE scores are required.
FINANCIAL AID AND SCHOLARSHIPS
The department has funds to support partial scholarships to outstanding students on a competitive basis.
Students who are receiving scholarship or other forms of financial aid as a Vanderbilt undergraduate are advised that such aid applies, in most cases, only toward the completion of the Bachelor’s degree or the first four years of their studies (which may include taking some graduate courses during their senior year). Students pursuing the 4+1 typically seek support for their fifth year of study through student loans and external funding. Information about external funding opportunities is available through the Vanderbilt University Office of Honors Scholarships and Financial Aid.
FURTHER INFORMATION AND USEFUL FORMS
For complete descriptions of the graduate tracks in History of Art and Architecture, please consult the Graduate School Catalog.
Questions about the M.A. programs in History of Art and Architecture? Contact your HART advisor or Professor Sheri Shaneyfelt, Director of Graduate Studies.
For further information on 4+1 Programs in the College of Arts & Science, see: