B.A./M.A. Dual Degree

Well-qualified Notre Dame students who are interested in earning a combined undergraduate / graduate degree in Art History will be asked to submit a formal letter of intention and a letter of support from an Art History faculty member to the Art History faculty by mid-March of their junior year. They will be notified of the faculty’s decision by May 1.

Combined-degree majors will fulfill all of the normal requirements for a B.A. in Art History as outlined in the most recent undergraduate catalogue, including the completion of a senior thesis which may or may not serve as the foundation for an M.A. thesis. During their senior year, combined-degree students will also be required to submit a formal application to the Graduate School for admission to the M.A. program. The deadline for this application is February 1. The Graduate School online application includes a letter of intent, a resume, GRE scores, a writing sample, and three letters of recommendation.

During their senior year, M.A. applicants will be required to take a minimum of six credit hours of graduate work (these will normally be fulfilled by the "Theories of Art" seminar and a topical seminar, or two topical seminars if the "Theories of Art" seminar has been taken in the students' junior year). These six credit hours will also count toward the completion of a 36 credit-hour M.A. as well as the completion of the art history major. Students must also choose an M.A. thesis advisor and form a committee by May 1 of their senior year.

Following their senior year, students who are admitted to the combined B.A. / M.A. program will take an additional 30 credit-hours of graduate work during a fifth year of study beginning during the summer. They will also be required to demonstrate reading competency at the graduate level in a language appropriate to their area of primary concentration. Normally, the remaining credit-hours will be distributed as follows:

Summer after receiving B.A. (6 credits total)

  • In consultation with a thesis advisor, students will prepare a reading list on their thesis topic and sign up for six (6) credits of Graduate Independent Study (I.S.). The purpose of these I.S. credits is to prepare students to present their thesis topics for approval by their thesis committees upon returning to campus in the Fall semester.

Fall semester (four of the following five: 12 credits total)

  • Two seminars or courses in Art History
  • One seminar or course in a related field (history, literature, philosophy, etc.)
  • One independent study with a member of the Art History faculty who is designated as their principal advisor and who will oversee their M.A. thesis
  • A directed museum internship with a strong research component

Spring semester (12 credits total)

  • One graduate seminar or course in Art History
  • Six credit hours of research culminating in the submission of an M.A. thesis
  • Three additional credit hours of either (1) thesis research, (2) a second graduate seminar course, or (3) a continuation of a directed museum internship.


The specific nature of the optional fifth-year museum internship will be defined by the museum staff in collaboration with the individual student's faculty advisor.

B.A./M.A. Dual Degree Overview (saved as PDF)