A male MA in Art student working on a painting in UT Tyler's Art Department

Master of Arts in Art and Coordinated MFA

Explore the Art of the Past. Create the Art and Scholarship of the Future.

Art is both a cultural phenomenon and a deeply personal creative expression. Through The University of Texas at Tyler’s Master of Arts in art, explore both aspects of art through the study of its history, forms and concepts as well as the creation of your own original works or research.

You can choose to focus on the development of art and the ideas that shape it. Alternatively, you can devote your time to honing your skills as a professional artist. Either way, you’ll get 24/7 access to dedicated studio space and one-on-one mentoring from faculty who are both practicing artists and serious scholars. Students can select an MA in art with an emphasis in art history or an MA in art with an emphasis in studio art. Those selecting the studio art track will have the opportunity to continue their preparation with the coordinated MFA.

You’ll be ready to make an impact, whether as an artist, a scholar or a professional working to support the arts.

Why Earn a Master’s in Art at UT Tyler?

Art matters and enriches the culture and communities of East Texas and the world. Graduate study can help prepare you to engage in this vital area on a deeper level. Part of this involves growing in your ability to thoughtfully contribute to scholarly and cultural conversations about art. It also means developing your artistic skills under the guidance of advanced practitioners to reach new levels of excellence.

Here’s what makes UT Tyler an ideal place to get ready for the next stage of your career:

  • Choose Your Emphasis: The MA in art has two areas of focus — art history and studio art. With the MA in art with an emphasis in art history, pursue further studies or a career in museums or education. The studio art emphasis suits those planning to be professional artists.
  • MFA Option: Deepen your expertise by earning your MFA through our MA in art with an emphasis in studio art and studio art MFA coordinated degree program. Learn more about pursuing an MFA.
  • Best of Both Worlds: Our program’s dual emphases mean all students, regardless of their focus areas, get a solid grounding in theory and history as well as in hands-on practice. Refine your creativity in historical, cultural and other contexts.
  • World-Class Faculty: Among our faculty, you’ll find published scholars, acclaimed artists and engaged advocates for the arts. Whether you want to contribute to the critical conversations of today or learn how to succeed in the real world as an artist, you’ll find both inspiration and mentors to help you get there.
  • Space for Your Creativity: You’ll get 24/7 access to your own studio space plus dedicated areas for every studio art discipline in our new 30,000-square-foot facility.
  • Graduate Student Funding: Each year, we award graduate student assistantships that can both help fund your studies and give you valuable practical experience.


The MA in art is a 30- or 36-credit-hour course of study designed to be completed in two years. You’ll choose from two emphases: art history or studio art.

For either track, you will begin with courses in theory and criticism that develop your ability to thoughtfully engage in conversations about art both as an artifact and a discipline. From there, the art history emphasis will give you a thorough understanding of the history and development of art as well as the tools you need to engage in contemporary scholarship. In the studio art emphasis, you will spend much of your time developing your skills as an artist under guidance from our faculty.

During your studies, you will develop your abilities to:

  • Communicate ideas clearly and effectively in written, oral and visual contexts.
  • Think critically about art, including the theoretical issues that inform its creation and evaluation.
  • Synthesize knowledge by drawing on history, formal analysis and contemporary scholarship to develop your own positions and ideas.
  • Be sensitive to cultural differences and context.
  • Evaluate and document works of art to archive, preserve and present them.
  • Create works of art informed by careful conceptual thought.
  • Apply contemporary scholarship to your own assessment of art and art history.
  • Exhibit and talk about works of art created both by you and by others.
  • Write and give presentations of original scholarship.

Both the art history and the studio art emphases (including the coordinated MFA) build on undergraduate majors in similar areas.

See All Requirements for the MA in Art

See All Requirements for the Studio Art MFA Coordinated Degree Program

What Can You Do With a Master’s in Art?

Let your creativity lead the way toward a rewarding career: a master’s degree in art opens up a surprising number of directions after graduation.

Attesting to the variety of opportunities available, our studio art graduates have found positions in corporations, foundations, galleries, publishers, museums, government organizations, auction houses and many other settings.

They are making their mark through careers as:

  • Art Handler or Preparator
  • College or University Art Educator
  • Community Art Developer
  • Curator
  • Exhibition Coordinator
  • Fellow in Museum Education
  • Museum or Gallery Professional
  • Professional Studio Artist
  • Public Art Coordinator

The scholarly foundation of the art history emphasis serves as a strong foundation for further graduate studies examining art in historical and cultural contexts. This path equips you for a career teaching and engaging in research in higher education or a similar scholarly environment. Or, connect and engage with others through your creativity and visual eye. The studio art MA or MFA sets you apart as a professional artist, including in fine, digital or graphic arts, as well as related fields like art therapy or art administration.

Think about your skills within a broader cultural context — from how others appreciate and connect with art to exploring its significance and techniques. The art history and studio art emphases prepare you for curating collections and planning exhibits in museums or in related areas of arts management. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts very strong growth for archivists, curators and museum workers in the coming years.

How to Apply

Admission to the MA in art program assumes students have a background that provides the necessary foundation for graduate coursework. This means having completed an undergraduate degree equivalent to UT Tyler’s BA in art history for those applying to the MA in art with an emphasis in art history or UT Tyler’s BFA in studio art for those interested in the studio art MA emphasis.

  • Complete the online application.
  • A one-page typed statement of intent regarding the purpose and rationale for graduate study.
  • An original research paper showing competence in the use of the English language and conducting research.
  • Your curriculum vitae/résumé.
  • Three academic letters of recommendation. Letters of recommendation will be waived for graduates with a BA in art or a BFA in studio art earned at UT Tyler.
  • Official transcripts.
  • Official GRE score (GRE code for UT Tyler: 6850).
  • Applicants with an undergraduate degree from a non-U.S. institution must submit the results of an English proficiency examination.

Review All Application Requirements

See General Graduate School Admissions Requirements

Acceptance into the MFA program requires a positive recommendation by a faculty review committee, which meets at the time of the candidate’s MA thesis exhibition. The committee reviews the student’s progress upon the completion of 30 graduate credit hours taken within the MA in art with an emphasis in the studio Art program. The committee will recommend the candidate continue with the studio art MFA coordinated degree program or finalize their studies at the university with a completed MA degree.

See Complete Details for the MFA

Total Program Tuition Cost: Estimated tuition for full-time, in-state, on-campus enrollment is $15,660. Tuition varies by delivery method and hours taken per semester. Calculate your estimated tuition with the tuition calculator.

April 30

Application deadline for fall admission for international students.

August 15

Application deadline for fall admission for domestic students.

October 1

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) opens for the upcoming academic year.

October 30

Application deadline for spring admission for international students.

December 20

Application deadline for spring admission for domestic students.



The possibilities and opportunities offered through this program have allowed me to expand as an artist and professional.” As a graduate art student, Joanna had the opportunity to work with local elementary school students on an art installation on their campus titled “Bridge: Compassion."

Joanna Gifford, MA/MFA Coordinated Degree, 2018

Next Steps

Grow as an artist. Develop as a scholar. Thrive as a person. Find your path forward at UT Tyler.