Starting next fall, students can become masters in art curation at Ohio State.

OSU Department of  History of Art professors Lisa Florman and Kris Paulsen, in collaboration with the Department of History of Art, have been working on creating a new Masters of Arts graduate program at OSU that they hope will distinguish the university from others across the country.

The new program, officially titled Masters in Contemporary Art and Curatorial Practice, will make OSU the first and only school in the Midwest to offer such a program.

The program will be three years, one year longer than the programs currently offered at other universities such as the California College of the Arts and Bard’s College Center for Curatorial Studies. The program will combine the curatorial master of arts degree with a more traditional master’s degree in the history of art, which Paulsen said gives students the best of both worlds.

“The idea of a curatorial M.A. had come up in our department before my arrival here,”  Paulsen said in an email. “But when our department officially decided to research and design the unique program, I took the lead and I am satisfied with the result.”

According to the official proposal submitted to the Department of History of Art in 2015, by offering a three-year degree in Contemporary Art and Curatorial Practice, OSU would also become one of two institutions in the country that meet all of the College Art Association’s curriculum recommendations, with California College of the Arts being the other school.

In addition to the program including a third year, it will also be the first of its kind to incorporate aspects from the John Glenn College of Public Affairs and the Moritz College of Law.

“One of the things I think is really neat about our program is that it is the only contemporary program in this area,” Florman said.  “But also it’s the only one in the country that would really require some courses in the Glenn college and the law school on subjects like grant writing and contracts, so students will get a lot of necessary training outside of the program, and it will be one of the most rigorous programs of its kind in the country.”

The initial size of the program is set to be relatively small, as it will only include approximately five students per year, Florman said.

“The most I would want to see in the program at one time would be 10 students per year at the most so the most at one time be about 30 students,” Florman said. “It’s not going to be massive, but I think it’s an amount the market would support.”

The new program is set to begin in the Autumn 2018 semester.