Someone painting a large painting of vein-like figures

Fine Arts & Art History

Caio Lopes Testimonial

The Department of Fine Arts and Art History seeks to interweave creative expression, art theory and history. We challenge our students to think beyond the classroom, to interpret the arts within a broader visual culture, treating the classroom as a testing ground for their ideas.

The strong partnership between fine arts and art history promotes our critical approach, which is grounded in both contemporary and historical concerns. Graduate students have a range of options for studying the visual and creative arts and for developing visual literacy, as well as critical, analytic and research skills.


A row of ceramic pots in various stages of completion.

MA in Art History

Engage with ancient and modern works to discover new meaning

The Art History Programs encourage the pleasures of looking and direct, interpretive engagement with the visual arts. The Master of Arts degree in Art History offers students a curriculum from ancient to contemporary art. For some students, the MA is a terminal degree in preparation for curatorial or education careers in galleries, museums, and private concerns; for others, it is preparation to enter a PhD program elsewhere. In either case, students receive training for honing their research and writing skills. They may also take advantage of the many opportunities to experience and study works of art firsthand at the various museums and galleries in the region.

More information on the degree in Art History can be found on the Department of Fine Arts and Art History website.


A student painting.

MFA in Fine Arts

Redefine the limits of art through experimentation and rigorous practice

The Fine Arts program fosters a rigorous and experimental approach to art making, while encouraging students to pursue their creative commitments in the studio and in the world. The program emphasizes a critical and creative relationship between content and form, an awareness of art historical connections and engagement with the contexts of creative production.

The MFA program at GW comprises a two-year commitment for emerging artists who wish to expand the material and intellectual dimensions of their work. The interdisciplinary nature of the program creates an environment where cross-pollination among fields flourishes. Simultaneously, graduate students enter into vibrant communities of peers, faculty and visiting artists: intensive studio visits and critiques facilitate reimagining the boundaries of art practice. All students receive their own studio space in which to experiment and further develop their skills and body of work.

For more information, please go to the Department of Fine Arts and Art History website.


A painting studio with exciting wall designs.

Combined BA/MA in Art History

Cross traditional boundaries to engage with art in a fresh way

The combined Fine Arts and Art History major is a hybrid program of studio, art history and art theory courses. The program offers undergraduate art history majors excelling in their studies the opportunity to advance to graduate level coursework in their senior year and enter the master’s program upon graduation. The combined major offers a platform where creative expression, research and theory are seamlessly explored and practiced. Combined majors are encouraged to cross conventional visual, technical and conceptual boundaries and engage with the history and traditions of art.

Students seeking more information on the Combined BA/MA in Art History are encouraged to visit the Department of Fine Arts and Art History website.