Program Overview

The Master of Arts in Modern Art History, Theory, and Criticism Degree from Azusa Pacific University is designed for students with an interest in modern and contemporary art. The coursework included focuses exclusively on modern and contemporary art history, exploring the roots of modernism while blending the theory and practice of art criticism. Graduates of the program may be able to go on to further study at the doctoral level or pursue careers as museum educators, auction house managers, or event organizer.

This program may be taken entirely online, though students are able to take classes on-site as well. This flexibility is intended to aid working professionals that have to balance life, work, and education. There is no specific time in which students must be online, but prospective individuals should be prepared to give six to ten hours a week to study in order to successfully complete assignments and participate in discussions.

Once enrolled, students must complete a minimum of 36 credits in order to complete the program and earn their Master of Arts Degree. Coursework focuses on a range of topics that include theory, criticism, cultural context and relativity, and a thesis. Classes are typically three credits in length and the entire program may be completed in about two years. Students begin the program with covering the history of 19th and 20th Century Art, Criticism, and Theory. From this foundation, candidates go on to study regional modernism, the methodologies of art history, and a number of classes on specialized topics.

The thesis for this program is completed through two classes, one of which focuses on research and the second of which is dedicated to the writing of it. The thesis must be completed through these two courses in order to graduate. The classes must also be taken in order.

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    Program Details

    Degree Level: Master

    Delivery Format: 100% Online

    Accelerated Degree:

    Accreditation & Licensing

    Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)

    Azusa Pacific University (APU) is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).


    Applicants must possess a Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree from a regionally accredited college or university and have a GPA of 3.0 or above.

    School Overview

    University College of Azusa Pacific University supports a wide range of distance education programs, including master’s degrees, bachelor’s degrees, associate’s degrees, and post-graduate certificates. University College (also known as Azusa Pacific University College) is a result to the merger of Azusa Pacific Online University and the School of Adult and Professional Studies. University College is a four-year, primarily associate’s, private not-for-profit school, with its main location in Glendora, California. Azusa Pacific University approved the formation of this independent institution with an intended goal of providing more flexible learning options for nontraditional students, including online and evening class sessions. Following the Christian-centered principles of Azusa Pacific University, University College’s purpose statement is: “We create for people a new hope for the future by investing in lives through learning pathways that are Christ-centered, flexible, and accessible.”

    Azusa Pacific University, the parent school of University College, is a four-year, private Christian-based higher educational institution, located in the San Gabriel Valley community of Azusa, California. The institution first opened in 1899, as the Training School for Christian Workers. The school has continued to grow and now operates as one of the largest Christian universities within the United States. Azusa Pacific University supports over 100 associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degree programs.

    University College follows a trimester calendar with year-round classes that offer accelerated programming. Each traditional 16-week semester is divided into two 8-week sessions allowing for greater flexibility. Online coursework is asynchronous and hosted on the Moodle learning management platform.


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