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Master of Humanities

Visual Studies


Director: MH: Dr. Margaret Woodhull (Visual Arts)
Visual Arts Dept (CAM): Dr. Maria Buszek
Viasual Arts Dept. (CAM): Dr. Jeffrey Schrader
English: Dr. Gillian Silverman
English: Dr. Sarah Hagelin


The Visual Studies Track is an interdisciplinary concentration for completing the Master of Humanities program. It provides students focused studies in disciplines that apply critical analysis to our visual world, such as art history, museum studies, film studies, new media studies, and cultural studies. In a world whose work forces and creative citizenry are focused on the growth and use of visual technologies, visual literacy with sophisticated analytic skills is critical. Successful engagement with an image-driven and technological society necessitates an understanding if the use and encoding of imagery. The Visual Studies Track provides students with the critical tools for engaging with advanced history, concepts and philosophies especially centered on visual culture, art history, visual communication studies, film studies, and new media studies.​
Areas of application for such studies include: museums and cultural institutions, curatorial and research positions, arts administration, non-profit community-based organizations, advertising, promotion, and marketing. The track is likewise relevant for students interested in pursuing doctoral work in related fields. Upon graduation, students will be prepared to enter the job market immediately, or they may use this track as a steppingstone toward a Ph.D. or another advanced degree​.
Requirements for this track total a minimum of 21 credit hours of the 36 required for the Master of Humanities degree dedicated to visual studies related work, including one 3 credit methodology course in visual studies, 12-15 credit hours of visual studies related courses, and 3-6 hours of project or thesis work on a visual studies related topic. All but 6 credit hours (or 2 courses) must be at the graduate level.  The break down is described below.
Master of Humanities Core Requirements:
  • HUMN 5025 Foundations and Theories in Interdisciplinary Humanities (offered every fall)
  • Mid-Program Seminar (defined as any graduate-level HUMN course, must be approved by the Master of Humanities advisor)
  • ​HUMN 5924 Directed Research and Readings in Interdisciplinary Humanities (offered every spring)

Visual Studies Track Requirements: 
In addition to the program’s core required courses, the following are required:
1. One 3-credit methods or theory class (see below) , 
  • ENGL 5420 Film Theory and Criticism
  • FINE 5790 Art History Methods (offered every fall)
  • HUMN 5660 Visual Arts: Interpretations and Contexts
2. A minimum of 18-credit hours of Visual Arts related courses, and 
3. A final project (3-credit hours) or thesis (6-credit hours) on a Visual Studies topic. 
(The following is not a comprehensive list. See your advisor to discuss these and other elective courses for the track.)


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