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Art History (Critical Curatorial Studies) (MA)

Course Description

The Critical and Curatorial Studies Program aims to address the growing need for curators and critics who have theoretical knowledge and practical experience in analyzing institutions, preparing displays and communicating about contemporary art. The program aims to produce individuals who are:
- able to engage productively with critical discussions of art and visual culture
- capable of developing and working with new modes of exhibition
- able to work creatively in both traditional and innovative situations
- familiar with issues and institutions affecting contemporary art

Critical and Curatorial Studies (CCST) is an emerging field of scholarship and training that looks directly at the roles and responsibilities of curators and critics as mediators between objects, institutions, experiences, individuals and groups. While this involves investigating and negotiating a number of disciplinary fields, from ethnography to aesthetics, organizational behaviour to cultural studies, the main focus is on contemporary conditions of display and understanding.

CCST students take three required graduate seminars that engage with historical frameworks and contemporary contextual issues within curatorial practice, and case studies in exhibitions and institutions. These popular seminars are open to other graduate students as well and foster interesting dialogues on issues surrounding curation. CCST students supplement their knowledge with Art History courses and are given the opportunity to take additional credits outside the department as well. They are also challenged to achieve reading knowledge of a language other than English for their language requirement, along with the MA in Art History and PhD students.

During the graduate practicum students gain professional experience through the research, planning, and realization of a significant project and are expected to rationalize their exhibition in written work and presentations at various stages during its production. Students are exposed to the practical and theoretical concerns of exhibition creation and are rewarded in their endeavour with local, if not national and international exposure.

The final requirement for the MA in Critical and Curatorial Studies program is the Major Paper. This extended essay provides students with the opportunity for original and in-depth research on a topic related to the themes or cases examined in the course of study.

Quick Facts

- Degree: Master of Arts
- Specialization: Art History (Critical Curatorial Studies)
- Subject: Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities
- Mode of delivery: On campus
- Program components: Coursework + Major Project/Essay required
- Faculty: Faculty of Arts

Visit the Art History (Critical Curatorial Studies) (MA) page on the University of British Columbia website for more details!

Student Profiles

International Tuition Award - No. of awards TBC

International Tuition Awards assist international graduate students with their tuition fees if they are registered full-time in research-oriented master’s and doctoral programs.

Value of Scholarship(s)

Up to $3,200 per annum


Students must hold a valid Student Authorization (Study Permit).

Application Procedure

Students do not need to apply, as all international students who are eligible are automatically considered for this scholarship. Awards are assigned on the Student Information System, and, once assigned, can be viewed by logging onto the Student Service Centre.

Further Information


Entry Requirements

Applicants for the MA in Art History normally have preparation in the discipline equivalent to the undergraduate major in Art History at UBC: a minimum of ten courses (30 credits) in Art History at the third and fourth-year levels; AND an Honours or Bachelors degree requiring four years of study with a B+ average in third and fourth year-level coursework.

Course Fees

Tuition per year: Canadian $4,615.35, International $8,108.40

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Recipient: University of British Columbia
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