How to Apply and Frequently Asked Questions

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When can I apply to the MA Art History Program at the University of South Florida?

The MA Art History program accepts applications for fall admissions only. The electronic application and fee payment for USF graduate admissions must be completed by January 15th at Supportive application materials can be submitted on-line beginning September 30th to January 15th at: All Official transcripts must be postmarked by January 15th and sent directly to the School of Art and Art History.
What is the focus of the MA Art History Program at the University of South Florida?

The MA program focuses on the study of art and visual culture, emphasizing critical theory and the development of critical thinking skills.
What criteria does the School of Art and Art History set for applicants to the MA Art History Program?

  • A bachelor’s degree or equivalent from a regionally accredited university or art school
  • Fulfillment of one of the following:

1. A graduate degree from a regionally accredited institution, and/or
2. A “B” (3.0 on a 4.0 scale) average or better in all upper division studies as a baccalaureate student

  • A GRE General Test Score, taken within five years preceding application, is required.  Official GRE scores must be sent to USF’s Office of Graduate Admissions by the test administrator.
  • Admission is competitive. Fulfillment of the above-listed minimal admissions requirements does not guarantee acceptance into the program. All submitted materials of each applicant, including the Research Paper, statement of research goals, and the letters of recommendation, are reviewed by the Art History Faculty to assess academic potential.

Am I required to take the GRE in order to apply to the MA Art History Program at USF?

Yes, the GRE is mandatory for entrance into the MA Art History Program. The test should have been taken within five years preceding application. It is best if you take the test at least 60 days prior to the application deadline so that your test scores are received by the January 15th application deadline.

GRE: Scores are sent to the Office of Graduate Admissions by the test administrator. To facilitate application review, a .pdf file (of your student copy of test scores) is submitted on-line at SlideRoom.
What is the best way to submit my USF graduate application, fee payment, on-line materials, 3 letters of recommendation, and official transcripts for the MA Art History Program?

  1. USF graduate application & fee payment: Apply and pay on-line at:
  2. Submission of on-line application materials & fee payment at SlideRoom (Essay, .pdf file of Research paper, Resume/CV, .pdf file of unofficial GRE test scores, and .pdf file of unofficial transcripts and the names and contact information for three people who will write letters of recommendation): follow specific instructions at:
  3. Official Transcripts are to be sent to the address listed below for processing. (Exception: Official transcripts are not required from former or current USF degree-seeking students.)

School of Art and Art History
University of South Florida
4202 East Fowler Avenue, FAH 110
Tampa, FL 33620-7350

The M.A. Art History program is a direct receipt program. For more information, go to: NOT have official transcripts sent to the USF Office of Graduate Admissions.

4. To facilitate application review, a .pdf file (of your student copy of test scores) should be submitted on-line at SlideRoom.

See: Next question for further clarification of what to submit

What does a complete application to the MA Art History Program at USF include?

  • Electronic application and application fee have been completed on-line by January 15th.
  • Application materials submitted electronically on-line at Slide-Room by January 15th.
    1. Typed research paper in .pdf format dealing with a topic in art history or relevant research. (It should be a clean copy without comments and corrections.)
    2. A short essay of one to two pages explaining the applicant’s research interests and goals for graduate study in art history.
    3. Resume/CV
    4. Names and e-mail addresses, etc. of three references submitting electronic Letters of Recommendation for you for graduate study (from professors who have taught you and are familiar with your research and classroom participation.)
    5. .pdf files of unofficial transcripts
    6. .pdf file of unofficial (student copy) GRE Test scores
  • Official transcripts from every institution of higher learning where an Associate’s or higher degree was awarded. (These should be in sealed envelopes from each institution where the degree was awarded with the registrar’s stamp across the flap and mailed to the address listed above.)
  • GRE test scores: the test administrator sends test scores to the Office of Graduate Admissions. To facilitate application review, you must also submit a .pdf file (of student copy) at SlideRoom.

What are some of the most important things I should do when applying to graduate school?

  • Follow directions when submitting your electronic application at USF and application materials at SlideRoom. Include all requested materials and send official transcripts directly to the School of Art and Art History.
  • It is best to plan ahead and not wait until the last possible moment to submit the electronic application and other materials in order to meet the appropriate deadlines.
  • A USF e-mail account if you don’t already have one. Most correspondence is sent to your USF

email account.
Whom should I ask to write letters of recommendation when applying to graduate school in Art History?

It is always best to have college professors (preferably art historians) who have taught you write your letters of recommendation for graduate study. They are most qualified to discuss your academic potential. If this isn’t possible, then ask other individuals who can attest to your academic abilities. Be sure to ask your recommenders if they will write a letter of recommendation for you before submitting their names as references on-line at SlideRoom.
Can you give me an idea of what the parameters are for the research paper that I submit for consideration of admission into the MA Art History Program?

There is no length requirement for the research paper. The research paper must be a typed, clean copy with no written comments. It should deal with a topic in art history or other relevant research and should demonstrate your ability to write, research, and think critically.
How many transcripts do I need to apply to your MA Art History Program at USF?

The School of Art and Art History requires one official transcript received in a sealed envelope from all institutions where you have received a degree (AA, BA, etc.) from sent directly to the School of Art and Art History. Exception: Official transcripts are not required from former or current USF degree-seeking students.
Are there any helpful web pages at USF that I should know about concerning admissions, housing, financial aid, etc.?

The following URL’s are helpful:

Art History at USF:
School of Art and Art History:
Graduate Admissions:
Financial Aid-USF:
Grad Studies sources of funding, etc.:
Complete University Graduate Policies and Procedures:
Graduate Studies:
International Student Admission:
Whom do I contact in the School of Art and Art History at USF who can send me additional information not found on the web site?

You may contact Maureen Slossen in the School of Art and Art History at (813) 974-2360, or email:
How can I be considered for a departmental assistantship or fellowship?
All applicants who are admitted to the graduate program are automatically considered for departmental assistantships and fellowships. These awards are competitive and are granted to admitted students pending availability and funding. Recipients of these awards are notified in their official letters of offer at the time of admission into the program.
What is a graduate assistantship in art history?

A graduate assistantship carries a semester-long stipend and provides the recipient with a tuition waiver. The graduate student works an average of ten hours a week for an individual faculty member or adjunct.
How many hours of tuition waiver come with a graduate assistantship?

Tuition waivers cover 9 credits each regular term as per University guidelines. Upon acceptance, a letter will be issued to you describing the specific stipulations of the waivers.
How do I apply for student loans or other university financial aid?

The School of Art and Art History does not determine financial assistance for student loans, grants, general funding sources or other USF scholarships and fellowships. For specific information regarding student loans and other funding sources, you must directly contact the Financial Aid Department at the University of South Florida. The following web site for financial aid at USF is a helpful starting point:

See these other helpful funding source web sites below:

If I am accepted into the MA Art History Program at USF, is there an orientation and when do I register for classes?

  • Mandatory Attendance:
    • New graduate students must attend an orientation held in the School of Art and Art History in the mid August and registration takes place after it. The graduate academic advisor, Richard Olinger, will contact you in a letter or via e-mail regarding the date and time.
  • Optional:
    • The University of South Florida holds an optional orientation for new graduate students. This orientation is strongly recommended for students wanting to experience the full range of graduate student opportunities.

If I am not accepted into the Art History Program, is there any general information that would improve my application in the future?

In general you can continue taking undergraduate art history courses as a non-degree seeking student and improve your knowledge, research skills, and writing skills. If you have an undergraduate degree in another specialty, take undergraduate survey courses in art history to fulfill prerequisites of core classes. If you had a low GRE score, study and improve your skills then take the GRE again until you have a score that meets the Art History Program’s minimum requirement and adequately represents your abilities. Note that doing any or all of the above does not guarantee admission into the MA Art History Program.

Revised: 9-23-14

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