Since 1964, the Department of Art & Music Histories at Syracuse University has offered a unique Master of Arts program devoted to the study of Renaissance art that is based in Florence. This is the oldest M.A. art history program accredited in the United States where most of the study—two of three semesters—is conducted in Italy. The small size of the program, which usually numbers four to six participants per year, ensures that professors work closely with each student, creating a dynamic intellectual experience. The four top-ranked candidates enter the program with Florence Fellowships that provide full tuition and a generous stipend. Most students who are not fellows receive partial tuition and, thanks to the support of the Samuel H. Kress Foundation and Florence Legacy Fund, some are also eligible to receive a substantial stipend.
By focusing on Italian Renaissance art, the program allows students to explore one period in depth from a variety of perspectives. Courses promote careful analyses of styles and techniques, detailed consideration of original audiences and historical settings, and close readings of Renaissance documents and texts. The Florence program offers highly motivated students an unparalleled opportunity to carry out advanced research grounded in the first-hand examination of art, architecture, and urban settings. Already at the master’s level, students make original contributions to the field: they engage in a research project and present the results of their study at an annual symposium held in Florence.