Graduate Programs

Master of Arts in the History of Art

In cooperation with the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williams College offers a two-year course of study leading to the degree of Master of Arts in the History of Art. The objective of the program is to offer to a small number of students a thorough professional preparation for careers in the visual arts, including schools and museums, and to enable them to pursue further research whether independently or at institutions offering higher graduate degrees. The curriculum consists of seminars in a wide range of art historical subjects. Opportunities are provided for practical experience in museum work at The Clark, the Williams College Museum of Art, the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, and other local institutions. The study of primary materials is further extended by field trips to other collections. The degree is normally awarded after two years of resident graduate study. To earn the degree, students must take twelve courses, of which at least seven must be graduate seminars (including ARTH 504 and ARTH 506). Students must fulfill a distribution requirement by undertaking coursework across at least two of four geographical areas (Europe and the Mediterranean Basin, Asia and the Pacific, The Americas, Africa and the Middle East) and at least two of three chronological periods (Prehistoric to 1200, 1200 to 1800, 1800 to the present). Additionally, students must complete two winter study periods, the latter comprising an International Study Trip in the first year (ARTH 51) and preparation of a Qualifying Paper in the second (ARTH 52). Students must also demonstrate proficiency in one foreign language, though further study in primary-research languages is encouraged. Students will register for ARTH 509 (Graduate Symposium), to be graded pass/fail, in their fourth semester. In addition to all course work, students are expected to present a shortened version of the Qualifying Paper in a graduate symposium to be held on Commencement weekend. To enter the program, an applicant must have been awarded the degree of Bachelor of Arts or its equivalent from an accredited institution. An undergraduate major in art history is not required for acceptance to the program. More information is available on the Grad Art site.

Master of Arts in Policy Economics

The Center for Development Economics (CDE), which opened at Williams College in 1960, offers an intensive one-year program in economic analysis leading to the degree of Master of Arts in Policy Economics. The program is specifically designed for economists from developing countries who have already embarked on professional careers in the public sector. The curriculum requires courses in development economics, macroeconomics, public finance, and econometrics. CDE fellows choose among other courses in lecture, seminar, and tutorial formats. Recent course electives have included: developing country macroeconomics II; macroeconomic resilience; growth diagnostics; financial development and regulation; tax policy; international trade and development; program evaluation for international development; environmental and natural resource policy; international financial institutions; long-term fiscal challenges; the role of social safety nets; and micro-simulation for policy analysis. Williams undergraduates who satisfy course prerequisites, with the consent of the individual instructor, are encouraged to take courses at the CDE. Admission to the master’s degree program is highly selective, with several hundred applicants each year for approximately 30 places. Candidates normally have a B.A. or B.Sc. degree with honors in economics or a related field, two or more years of relevant work experience, and an effective command of spoken and written English. CDE fellows are often nominated for the program by public agencies from which they will be on leave. More information is available on the CDE site.


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