The MA Curatorial Practices and the Public Sphere is an intensive master’s-level program in the practice and history of curating studied through the lens of critical theory and the history of art. With a focus on the research and exhibition of contemporary art, as well as attending to art historical curating and broader conceptions of curating such as performance art programming, instructors with international careers lead students in asking social questions about the exhibition of art (broadly construed) in relation to its publics. Over two years of full-time academic study, students explore modes of curatorial practice in a curriculum combining seminars and professional training. Courses are led by USC Roski’s internationally acclaimed faculty, which includes renowned artists, scholars, critics and curators.
The MA features courses that focus on the history of art, exhibitions and aesthetics, with a focus on contemporary art and theory. Other courses emphasize direct practical experience leading toward the realization of art exhibitions, but also performance art programming and other hybrid modes of arts curating.
Requirements for admission: (1) a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, or equivalent, from an accredited school; (2) a minimum 3.0 overall GPA; (3) three letters of recommendation; (4) two writing samples (one academic paper and the admission essay). The GRE General Test is required. International applicants are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).
The thesis committee is established and contingent upon satisfactory completion of the second semester’s course work. Advancement to candidacy is determined by the director of the program, in consultation with other faculty.
Roski MA thesis committees will comprise three faculty members. Two members will be Roski faculty, defined as any faculty currently teaching in either the MA or the MFA program with either full-time, part-time or adjunct appointments, tenure track or non-tenure track. The third member can be any full-time tenure track or non-tenure track USC faculty member, either within the Roski School or from outside Roski. Thesis committees are ultimately subject to approval by the school dean.
Curatorial Practicum Requirement
All students participate in the group curatorial practicum course for three consecutive terms (which complements the thesis requirement).