American University of Beirut

Art History and Curating

The Department of Fine Arts and Art History at the American University of Beirut's Master of Arts Program in Art History and Curating, established in Fall 2017, prepares historically conscious and theoretically engaged art historians and curators who can contribute critically and productively to the development of new approaches to art history, art historiography and curatorial practices in Lebanon, the region and beyond.

The Curriculum

The MA program in Art History and Curating curriculum blends theory, method, and practice. The program has specific strengths in Islamic, Arab and Middle Eastern modern and contemporary art, Socialist and Post-Socialist art and culture, art theory and art historiography. The curriculum combines designated research and writing seminars alongside art history, exhibition studies, and critical theory courses with a professional internship. The program engages Art History and Curating in a productive and mutually constitutive fashion. Art historical research that students conduct may be related to contemporary and historical exhibitions, and exhibitions themselves may be grounded in historical research.


Faculty research areas covered include modern and contemporary art history and theory; Renaissance art history; Islamic art history; Middle Eastern art history; curatorial methods, theories, and practices; history and theory of exhibitions; aesthetic theory; critical theory; psychoanalytic theory; theories of vision and visuality; and image theory.

Program Requirements

The general requirements for graduate study can be found in the Admissions section of the AUB Graduate Student Catalogue:


Students are required to successfully complete 30 credit hours for graduation: 12 credits of core concentration in AHIS (AHIS 301, AHIS 311, AHIS 302, AHIS 325); 6 credits of core electives in AHIS; 6 credits of general electives; and 6 credits for the graduation thesis or exhibition.

Students who choose to specialize in Art History are required to submit a research-based argumentative art history or theory thesis for graduation. Students who specialize in Curating are required to submit a curatorial research paper and organize an exhibition in collaboration with art institutions and art spaces in Lebanon of the student's choosing.

For more details about the required courses and their descriptions, see the program's entry in the AUB Graduate Catalogue:

Admission Requirements

The MA in Art History and Curating program accepts applications throughout the year for Fall and Spring semesters. The application should consist of the AUB application form, the application fee, undergraduate transcripts, two letters of reference, a statement of interest and a writing sample (min. 2000 words). If the admissions committee deems it necessary, the applicant may be contacted for an interview.​

Language Requirements: Evidence of proficiency in English (writing, reading, and comprehension) and a second language (Arabic, French, German, Persian, Turkish, Armenian, or any other language relevant to the applicant's field of study).

Refer to the AUB Graduate Admissions' website for more information:


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