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Modern and Contemporary Art History, MA

Study Modern and Contemporary Art History at Azusa Pacific University

You’ll be introduced to current scholarship in the field of modern and contemporary art. You’ll experience an innovative online program that focuses exclusively on modern and contemporary art history. We’ll provide you with an understanding of art historical methods and research practices while building skills in visual analysis, critical thinking, research, and written and verbal communication.

Program at a Glance

The School of Visual and Performing Arts develops students’ talents through rich artistic experiences and comprehensive training in their chosen artistic discipline.

Application Deadline

  • The MA program uses a rolling admissions process that allows students to enter the program at several entry points during the fall, spring, and summer terms.

Contact a program representative

Program Information

  • Program Units: 36
  • Cost per Unit: $663
  • Base Cost: $23,868*


  • Online
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Gain Hands-on Experience

  • Learn from experienced faculty who are professionally active scholars committed to student success.
  • Prepare for a wide range of art-related careers or for further study at the doctoral level.
  • Experience a comprehensive curriculum in modern and contemporary art history integrated with a Christian worldview.

By the Numbers

1 of 126 Best Western Colleges according to Princeton Review's 2023 Best Colleges Guide
10 :1 Student-to-faculty ratio
100 % of incoming students receive financial aid

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Program Details

The MA in Modern and Contemporary Art History is an innovative, fully online program that focuses exclusively on modern and contemporary art. Rooted in solid historical training and current critical methods, the program develops students’ skills in visual analysis, close reading of texts, and the cultivation of independent and original research. Upon completion of the program, students are equipped with skills that are vital to further academic study as well as to the pursuit of a variety of careers in the arts.

Browse the tabs below—if you have questions, visit the Student Services Center page, and we’ll make sure you get the info you need.

The university graduate and program admission requirements below must be met before an application is considered complete.

Applicants must possess:

  • Bachelor’s or master’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university
  • Grade-point average of 3.0 or above

Applicants must submit:

  • Graduate application for admission
  • $45 nonrefundable application fee
  • Official transcripts from all institutions leading to and awarding the applicant’s bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution and all postbaccalaureate study

    An official transcript is one that Azusa Pacific University receives unopened in an envelope sealed by the former institution and that bears the official seal of the college or university. A cumulative minimum 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) grade-point average on the posted degree is required for regular admission status. Provisional admittance may be granted to individuals with a lower GPA if competency can be shown through multiple measures.
  • Two recommendations submitted by professors or employers who have current knowledge of the applicant’s academic ability and potential
  • Résumé including the most relevant work and volunteer experience
  • Statement of purpose (double spaced, no more than 3 pages) describing your background, interests, goals, and reasons for pursuing a master’s degree in art history. If there are any gaps, weaknesses, or special circumstances in your background or academic record, please address them in your statement.
  • Skype interview may be requested and coordinated by the Department of Art

Note: These items are minimum admission requirements only. Applicants will be evaluated by the program based on prior academic performance and professional promise as evidenced by the above application materials.

Send official transcripts to:

Office of Graduate and Professional Admissions
Azusa Pacific University
PO Box 7000
Azusa, CA 91702-7000
[email protected]

What to Expect

After all admission materials have been received by the Student Services Center, the faculty or department chair reviews the applicant’s file. The applicant is notified in writing of the admission decision.

Tuition (per unit) $663
Units 36
Base Program Cost $23,868

Estimated Cost Breakdown

See the table below for the tuition charges and fees that comprise your estimated total art history degree program cost. Prices are subject to change without notice.

Tuition and Fees
Graduate and Professional Application Fee $45
Tuition ($663/unit) $23,868
Intent to Commence and/or Graduate Fee $100

View a complete list of university fees for graduate programs.

All stated financial information is subject to change. Contact the Student Services Center at (626) 815-2020 for more information.

Paying for Your Degree

APU offers a variety of ways to help you pay for your online degree. From scholarships and grants, to loans and institutional aid, we're committed to being sure that cost doesn't keep you from reaching your educational goals.

Learn more about the financial aid opportunities available to you.

To view specific requirements and coursework information, visit the current academic catalog:

What type of graduate art history program does APU offer?

APU’s art history degree program is an online degree that focuses on modern and contemporary art.

How many units are in this program?

The program requires 36-39 semester units.

How often will I need to be online for this program?

You must be online sufficiently throughout each week to participate in threaded discussions and to complete all assignments by their deadlines. However, there is no prescribed amount or designated time that you will be required to be online since assignments and deadlines will vary throughout each course.

Will I have to complete any part of my Online Master of Arts in Modern and Contemporary Art History program at an APU campus location?

No. You can complete your degree entirely online. No campus visits or meetings are required.

How soon can I finish this program?

This program can be completed in as little as 17-24 months.

Do I have to take the classes in a specific order?

No, you are welcome to take the classes in any order. The only exceptions are: ART 618 and ART 625, which must be taken after successful completion of 4 core courses and 4 elective courses.

For information on coursework requirements, consult the university catalog.

Is there training available for the online learning environment?

Yes. For information on how to get started using Canvas, consult the Student Resources, provided by APU’s Office of Innovative Teaching and Technology.

Should I take one or two classes per term?

Your course load is entirely up to you and depends on your work schedule and other commitments.

During what terms are classes offered?

During the Fall, Spring, and Summer terms, we offer classes during the following 8-week sessions:

  • Fall 1 (Traditional 8-Week Session 1)
  • Fall 2 (Traditional 8-Week Session 2)
  • Spring 1 (Traditional 8-Week Session 1)
  • Spring 2 (Traditional 8-Week Session 2)
  • Summer (Traditional 8-Week Session 1)

Please view the current Graduate Academic Calendar for more details.

What classes are offered this term, and what classes will you offer next term?

For the current schedule of classes, please contact the Department of Art at [email protected] or (626) 815-2064.

I work full-time. Are courses offered in an asynchronous format?

Yes, the program is fully online and asynchronous in format. It is designed to accommodate those who work or teach full-time. Coursework and assignments are scheduled in a way that allows more flexibility for students.

Is financial aid available?

Several types of financial aid, ranging from federal loans and state grants, to fellowships and scholarships, are available. Learn more about the financial aid opportunities available to you. Contact the Student Services Center at [email protected] or (626) 815-2020) to work with a Student Account Specialist.

What is the online learning environment like?

Online courses at APU are taught using Canvas. For more information about this learning management system, view the Student Resources, provided by APU’s Office of Innovative Teaching and Technology.

What books will I need to purchase for my class?

Please email your course instructor directly, or contact the Campus Store at (626) 815-5044.

Where can I find scholarly resources for my classes in this program?

The Azusa Pacific University Libraries support the research needs of APU students, faculty, and staff, as well as those of the community. Maintained by expert library faculty and staff, the libraries offer patrons access to varied collections, and an extensive catalog of print and electronic resources & databases, bringing the information you need within reach. Connect with your subject-specialist librarian who works with your program to get research assistance.

The following resources can also help get you started:

How does the MA in Modern and Contemporary Art History address religion and art history? Is the program open to students from various faith backgrounds?

Classes in the art history program offer many opportunities to dialogue about religion, faith, and art.

The mission of the Azusa Pacific University Department of Art is to prepare art students for a lifetime of artistic expression and to cultivate individual creativity through the study of history, technique, presentation, and social engagement, as a reflector of the creative and transformative nature of God. Learn more about the Department of Art.

Applicants should:

  • Be committed to personal, intellectual, and spiritual growth.
  • Evidence sympathetic appreciation for the standards and spirit of the university.
  • Exhibit moral character in harmony with the university’s purpose.

While APU is a distinctively Christian institution, students do not have to be Christians to be admitted. However, every student is encouraged to be open to learning about the Christian faith.

Read more about the general university requirements for graduate program applicants.

What is faith integration?

Learn more about Christian faith integration in research, teaching, and scholarship at APU through the Office of Faith Integration.

What languages do you accept for the foreign language requirement?

Before completing the MA program, students must demonstrate knowledge of a modern, oral foreign language.

Note: American Sign Language will not fulfill this requirement.

Refer to the current university catalog for more information on the program’s foreign language requirement.

If you have questions, we’re here to help! Connect with a representative who can walk you through the program details and application process.

Contact Your Admissions Representative

Additional Program Contact

Alisa Barsegyan, [email protected] (626) 387-5725

School of Visual and Performing Arts


(626) 815-6000, Ext. 5298


Monday–Friday, 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m.

Student Services Center

Contact (626) 812-3016 or [email protected], and visit apu.edu/ssc for details on the admissions process, financial aid, and class registration.

International Services

International students should contact +1-626-812-3055 or [email protected], and visit apu.edu/international/.

  • Azusa Pacific University is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC). 

Featured Faculty

Carolyn Robertson

Carolyn Robertson

Adjunct Professor, Department of Art

Yookyoung Choi

Yookyoung Choi

Adjunct Professor, Department of Art

Angela S. George

Angela S. George

Program Director, MA in Modern and Contemporary Art History; Assistant Professor of Art History, Department of Art

Career Outlooks and Outcomes

Spotlight theater sign

College of the Arts Hosts Industry Spotlight at Warner Bros. Studios

Art students showcased their work at the College of the Arts Industry Spotlight hosted at the legendary Warner Bros. studios, including original comic books they illustrated by hand.

Note: This information is current for the 2023-24 academic year; however, all stated academic information is subject to change. Refer to the current Academic Catalog for more information.

*Base Cost (cost per unit x program units) is provided to aid in program comparison only.
All stated financial information is subject to change. View Tuition tab above.

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