University Senate                                                       

Proposed: February 3, 2012

Adopted: by voice vote without dissent




WHEREAS,    critical curatorial studies has become one of the fastest-growing and productive areas in the history of art, vitally important to the training of aspiring curators and critics, and

WHEREAS,    many jobs in the art world in Europe require a European master’s degree, and

WHEREAS,    Columbia art history students could benefit from the learning opportunities at the University of Paris I and access to the collections of Paris museums, and

WHEREAS,    European students could benefit from opportunities at Columbia and the museum and gallery collections of New York, and

WHEREAS, access to primary resources in the respective cities greatly improves the quality of the students’ resultant theses, and

WHEREAS,    the Paris I program offers study of non-Western and pre-modern art, complementing the resources of the Columbia program, which focuses on twentieth- and twenty-first-century art, and

WHEREAS,    there are no similar programs to the one currently proposed in the metropolitan area or the Northeast,

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED  that the Senate approve the Dual Master’s Degree in Art History from GSAS and the University of Paris I.


Committee on Education

The Dual M.A. Program in Art History between Columbia and Paris I is an excellent intellectual and professional opportunity for students from both schools. Each school has a two-year M.A. program in art history. In the fall of the second year, the cohort of students in the Dual M.A. program will study in Paris and in the spring, they will all be in New York. The program has several goals:

Through an informal, non-degree-granting pilot program, the faculty noticed meaningful improvements in the quality of the theses of the participating students relative to other students in the program, especially those studying art more easily accessed at the other school. This program provides an opportunity for students who are already motivated to produce outstanding work to realize their potential through a transformative educational experience.

Negotiating the program posed a challenge because the expectations and credit calculations of the two schools do not align one to one. However, the benefits of the program outweigh any drawbacks due to compromises made to provide students with this enormous potential for academic and personal growth.

The Education Committee supports this program.