No. 1
University in The Netherlands
Shanghai Ranking 2020
Icon of International students
30 EC
research internship or study abroad
during second year
Students and alumni share their experiences with the RMA programme

UTRECHT: gateway to THE multi-faceted FIELD oF ART HISTORY

Our specialised and intensive research Master's programme immerses you in traditional and innovative approaches to the history of art. Working in close connection with museums and heritage institutions in the Netherlands and abroad, you will acquire the theoretical insights and practical experience necessary for a career in academia or the museum world.

The programme is not limited to a single period or geographical area but singles out important developments in the field. It is structured such that you can pursue your personal interests. You are encouraged to critically reflect on the past as well as imagine new possibilities in the study of art history, material culture, and museums.

Our expertise

Our specialists cover the field from medieval to contemporary art, centered on Europe and the Netherlands in a global context. In addition to the core courses, focusing on technical, transcultural, and digital art history, you will explore subjects of your own choice. Utrecht allows you to benefit from the expertise of teachers and researchers across a wide spatial and historical range of material and visual culture, including the Heritage Lab, the Descartes Centre for the History of Science and the Humanitiesthe Institute for Cultural Enquiry, the Centre for Early Modern Studies and Centre for Medieval Studies. Our in-house heritage institution is Utrecht University Museum.

Read more about the teaching and research environment, including the personal interests of our faculty.


The programme’s long-standing ties with major art museums and heritage institutions in the Netherlands and abroad ensure an integrated approach of theoretical and practical aspects. Dutch students often spend a semester in a major museum abroad while students from other countries usually intern at a major Dutch or Flemish museum. You may also choose to study at another university for one semester. Since the beginning of the research Master's programme in 2004, our students have completed internships at more than fifty museums and heritage institutions, mostly in Europe. You will have the opportunity to actively work on your career development.

After graduation

You will gain expertise in regard to objects of art and material culture that prepares you for a career in academia, museums, and other heritage institutions. This includes the practicalities of research design and fundraising.

Many of our graduates have accepted curatorial and research positions in, for instance, the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen Rotterdam, Kunstmuseum, The Hague, Dordrechts MuseumGroeningemuseum Bruges, and the Royal Castle in Warsaw (Zamek Królewski w Warszawie). Read more about possible career prospects.

Other graduates have continued with PhD programmes at Utrecht, Amsterdam, Groningen and international universities, including Ghent University, KU Leuven, LMU MunichUniversity of Konstanz, Princeton University, Harvard University, Columbia University, Northwestern University and University of Toronto.

If you envision the publication of your work, you may benefit from the network of our staff members, who are on the boards of many journals including the Netherlands Yearbook for History of Art, Simiolus, Nuncius, History of Humanities, ProspettivaStedelijk Studies, and the Journal for the History of Knowledge.


Art History is a selective Master’s programme, with motivation and a passion for object-based research being the key criteria for selection. Do you want to know if you are eligible for this Master? Check the entry requirements or contact the Programme Coordinator for more information.

  • “What attracted me most about this research Master was the considerable freedom in setting up your own research projects.”
  • Tijana Zakula, alumna Art History
    “In Utrecht I have learned how to do detective work and investigation into primary and secondary sources.”


Degree: This Master's programme is officially registered under its name in the Central Register of Higher Education Study Programmes
  • Title: MA
  • Master's degree in: Arts & Culture (research)
  • Programme: Art History
Accredited by the NVAO
Croho code:
Language of instruction:
Part- or full-time status:
2 years
Credits: 60 credits equals one year full-time study load (European Credit Transfer System, ECTS)
Start of studies:
Application deadline:
  • Dutch & EU/EEA students: 1 June
  • Non-EU/EEA students: 1 April
Tuition fees:
Graduate school: