Conservation of Art and Cultural Heritage and Conservation Science and Imaging (M.A./M.S.)

Admission Requirements

The Garman Art Conservation Department practices a holistic admissions process that relies on multiple criteria to identify the most promising candidates. We do not require submission of GRE scores. We are committed to equity in the admissions process and our requirements and criteria for assessment are explained below. Please note: these requirements were updated in February 2022.

1.) Applicants must have an undergraduate degree with a GPA of at least 2.8, as evidenced by official transcripts from accredited institutions of higher education.

2.) Applicants must have satisfactorily completed course work in the three areas below. Please note that the required course credits are given in semester credit hours. To translate quarter hours to semester hour equivalents, multiply by 2/3. For example, 6 quarter hours are equal to 4 semester hours.

A grade for each class must appear, except for some qualifying studio art and craft courses (see 2c. below). We may request catalog descriptions or syllabi to determine if a course meets the requirements. For courses taken Spring 2020 and later, pass/fail grades will be accepted. For courses in progress at the time of application, please provide evidence of enrollment with your application.

2a.) Art History, Cultural Heritage & Archaeology: 18 Semester Credit Hours
Course distribution: Qualifying courses include art history, archaeology, and classics and anthropology courses that focus on artifacts. Must include 9 credits of Art History coursework.

This requirement ensures exposure to and understanding of a wide array of artistic, cultural, and historic works, as well as critical thinking and writing skills.

2b.) Chemistry: 16 Semester Credit Hours
Course distribution: Must include two semesters of introductory/general chemistry with labs and two semesters of organic chemistry with labs. Courses for non-science majors will not be accepted.

This requirement ensures applicants have the necessary chemistry background including familiarity with laboratory skills, equipment and techniques, and the scientific grounding for advanced content in each conservation specialty.

Note: In-person laboratory courses are required, however, if your education was affected by the pandemic (Spring 2020 through Spring 2022), online courses will be accepted.

2c.) Studio Art and Craft:  12 Semester Credit Hours or equivalent (see note below)
Course distribution: Hands-on courses that preferably include both two-dimensional and three-dimensional arts and crafts, such as drawing, painting, sculpting, printmaking, book binding, jewelry and metalwork, textiles, ceramics, calligraphy, wood working, glass blowing, papermaking, etc.  

We also accept equivalent formal studio courses taught at museums and community centers. Each course should provide approximately 70 hours of studio time. Please submit documentation including institution name, course description, and course duration; no grade submission is required.

The intent of this requirement is to demonstrate fine hand/motor skills, manual dexterity, and a familiarity with materials and techniques. Courses in techniques and media such as computer graphics, photography and abstract or expressionist art, do not convincingly demonstrate manual skills.

Note: Hands-on studio courses are required, however, if your education was affected by the pandemic (Spring 2020 through Spring 2022), online courses will be accepted.

3.) Portfolio of studio art and craft: Works in both two and three dimensions are preferred. Works submitted do not have to be the result of formal studio courses.

Please submit 7-10 artworks and/or crafts with a cover sheet detailing the following information for each work:

3a.) Title (if any), media and support (include all materials and techniques employed), year created

3b.) A brief description of the context under which the artwork was created (academic course, independent project, etc.)

3c.) How the work shows your skill or proficiency with the particular materials and/or techniques. Include detailed images where appropriate. Please bear in mind that some techniques and media, such as computer graphics, photography and abstract or expressionist artworks, do not convincingly demonstrate manual skills.

This requirement demonstrates your hand skills and communicates your mastery of materials and techniques to the selection committee. A high level of manual proficiency is necessary to learn and perform refined conservation treatments and scientific analyses.

4.) Curriculum Vitae (C.V.): Please follow the American Institute for Conservation (AIC) Emerging Conservation Professionals Network (ECPN) Guidelines available here. https://www.conservation-wiki.com/wiki/Resume_and_Curriculum_Vitae

5.) Personal Statement: Please provide a 1,000-word statement explaining why you are pursuing art conservation as a career, your strengths, your interest in the graduate-level education provided by the Garman Art Conservation Department, and how such training relates to your personal objectives. 

6.) Conservation experience: Hands-on experience working under the guidance of a professional conservator at a museum, library, archive, regional center, and/or in a private conservation practice is very highly recommended. Direct conservation experience is helpful in developing hand skills and gaining familiarity with the field before committing to a graduate program. Projects that involve re-housing collections, database work, and other museum/library/archives tasks are also useful experiences. We recognize that access to on-site opportunities is currently limited and that unpaid internships are a significant barrier to entering the field. 

7.) Letters of Recommendation: Please submit (only) three letters of recommendation. Two letters must be from conservators and/or allied professionals who can indicate your level of experience and likelihood of future success in the field of conservation. One must be from a professor or other academic reference who can speak to your academic ability and likelihood of success in an intensive graduate program. We recognize that some applicants may have difficulty obtaining an academic reference and in such cases a reference from a professional or supervisor will be accepted.

8.) Applicants for whom English is a second language must submit a score of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or Duolingo English Test as documentation of English language proficiency. Applicants with a minimum TOEFL score of 550 or higher on the paper exam or 79 on the Internet exam, an IELTS score of 6.0 or higher, or a Duolingo score of 100 or higher may be considered for admission.

For further information, please refer to the Graduate Studies Office for information regarding International Applicants,https://https://suny.buffalostate.edu/graduate/international

In addition, all applicants should review the Admission to a Graduate Program section in this catalog.

Application Deadline

Completed admission applications must be received by the department office no later than January 7 of the year in which admission is sought.

Program Requirements

Total Required M.A. Courses (46 credit hours)
Required M.A. Courses (41 credit hours)
Paintings
CNS 620TECHNOLOGY AND CONSERVATION OF PAINTINGS I2
CNS 621TECHNOLOGY AND CONSERVATION OF PAINTINGS 1 (LAB)1
CNS 622TECHNOLOGY AND CONSERVATION OF PAINTINGS II2
CNS 623TECHNOLOGY AND CONSERVATION OF PAINTINGS II LABORATORY1
CNS 625TECHNOLOGY AND CONSERVATION OF PAINTING III LABORATORY1
Paper
CNS 630TECHNOLOGY & CONSERVATION OF WORKS OF ART ON PAPER I2
CNS 631TECHNOLOGY & CONSERVATION OF WORKS OF ART ON PAPER I LABORATORY1
CNS 632TECHNOLOGY AND CONSERVATION OF WORKS OF ART ON PAPER II2
CNS 633TECHNOLOGY AND CONSERVATION OF WORKS OF ART ON PAPER II LABORATORY1
CNS 635TECHNOLOGY AND CONSERVATION OF WORKS OF ART ON PAPER III LABORATORY1
Objects
CNS 640TECHNOLOGY AND CONSERVATION OF OBJECTS I2
CNS 641TECHNOLOGY AND CONSERVATION OF OBJECTS I LABORATORY1
CNS 642TECHNOLOGY AND CONSERVATION OF OBJECTS II2
CNS 643TECHNOLOGY AND CONSERVATION OF OBJECTS II LABORATORY1
CNS 645TECHNOLOGY AND CONSERVATION OF OBJECTS III LAB1
Professionalism
CNS 685SPECIAL TOPICS IN CONSERVATION I1
CNS 686SPECIAL TOPICS IN CONSERVATION II1
CNS 694MASTER'S PROJECT I1
CNS 695MASTER'S PROJECT II3
CNS 699INTERNSHIP12
CNS 698INTERNSHIP SUSTAINING (Grade recorded as NR-not required.)0
Electives (5 credit hours, select one pair)
TECHNOLOGY AND CONSERVATION OF PAINTINGS III SEMINAR
and TECHNOLOGY AND CONSERVATION OF PAINTINGS IV (5)
TECHNOLOGY AND CONSERVATION OF WORKS OF ART ON PAPER III SEMINAR
and TECHNOLOGY AND CONSERVATION OF WORKS OF ART ON PAPER IV (5)
TECHNOLOGY AND CONSERVATION OF OBJECTS III
and TECHNOLOGY AND CONSERVATION OF OBJECTS IV (5)
Total Required M.S. Courses
Required M.S. Courses (31 credit hours)
Imaging
CNS 600CONSERVATION IMAGING: TECHNICAL EXAMINATION AND DOCUMENTATION I2
CNS 601CONSERVATION IMAGING: TECHNICAL EXAMINATION AND DOCUMENTATION LAB I1
CNS 602CONSERVATION IMAGING: TECHNICAL EXAMINATION AND DOCUMENTATION II2
CNS 603CONSERVATION IMAGING: TECHNICAL EXAMINATION AND DOCUMENTATION LAB II1
CNS 604CONSERVATION IMAGING: TECHNICAL EXAMINATION AND DOCUMENTATION III2
CNS 605CONSERVATION IMAGING: TECHNICAL EXAMINATION AND DOCUMENTATION LAB III1
CNS 606CONSERVATION IMAGING: TECHNICAL EXAMINATION AND DOCUMENTATION IV2
CNS 607CONSERVATION IMAGING: TECHNICAL EXAMINATION AND DOCUMENTATION LAB IV1
Conservation Science (CS)
CNS 610POLYMERS IN ART & CONSERVATION3
CNS 611POLYMERS IN ART & CONSERVATION (LAB)1
CNS 612CONSERVATION SCIENCE: POLARIZED LIGHT MICROSCOPY, LIGHT & MATTER2
CNS 613CONSERVATION SCIENCE: POLARIZED LIGHT MICROSCOPY, LIGHT & MATTER LABORATORY1
CNS 614CONSERVATION SCIENCE: INORGANIC MATERIALS IN ART AND CONSERVATION3
CNS 615CONSERVATION SCIENCE: INORGANIC MATERIALS IN ART & CONSERVATION LABORATORY1
CNS 616TECHNICAL ASPECTS OF PREVENTATIVE CONSERVATION3
CNS 617TECHNICAL ASPECTS OF PREVENTATIVE CONSERVATION (LAB)1
Professionalism
CNS 685SPECIAL TOPICS IN CONSERVATION I 11
SPECIAL TOPICS IN CONSERVATION II 1 (1)
Total Credit Hours M.A./M.S. Program77
1

CNS 685 and CNS 686 are taken twice for 1 credit hour each for a total of 4 credit hours that are applied to both the M.A. degree and the M.S. degree.