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Course Requirements


The Winterthur Program has always taken an interdisciplinary approach to the study of material culture. The Program requires 42 credits of graduate coursework at the 600 to 800 levels. The 42 credits include 24 credits of core courses and 18 credits of other courses approved by the Program’s Director.


The core courses in Connoisseurship teach Fellows how to look at objects. Other core courses expand upon the object-centered methodology of the connoisseurship courses. All Fellows take Material Life in America in the fall semester of their first year. During this course, they work with collection objects, primary documents, and important theoretical and secondary literature. Examples of the research that Fellows produce in this class are published online on the Material Matters website. In January of the first year, all students study English Design History, to help connect the broad currents of American design with English and European foundations. The capstone experience is the master’s thesis.

Required Core Courses:

EAMC 601, Introduction to Decorative Arts in America to 1860 (Summer Institute)* (3cr)

EAMC 602, Material Life in America (3cr)

EAMC 607, English Design History, 1530-1930**  (3cr)

EAMC 671, Connoisseurship I (3cr)

EAMC 672, Connoisseurship II (3cr)

EAMC 673, Connoisseurship III (3cr)

EAMC 869, Thesis Research (6cr)

* Registered in the Fall Semester

** Registered in the Spring Semester


As part of their elective coursework, Fellows must fulfill a Distribution Requirement. Fellows are required to take two graduate seminars in two different academic disciplines (6 credits total) at the University of Delaware. These two courses are generally in the Departments of Art History, English, or History. With permission of the Director, Fellows may also fulfill their distribution requirement with courses in other disciplines (examples include Anthropology, Sociology, and Art Conservation).

Fellows also select 4 elective courses based on their career and intellectual goals. These can be any course at the University of Delaware in the 600-800 level. To gain a better idea of the elective courses that could be taught, we recommend that you read our Faculty and Affiliated Faculty bios. Students can choose from material-culture related courses in the fields of:

Elective courses vary according to a Professor’s field of specialty and will vary from year to year and semester to semester. University Faculty and staff also offer a number of experimental courses that have not yet attained permanent numbers.

The Director’s office attempts to project course offerings at least a year ahead. We cannot guaranty, however, that all courses will be offered during a student’s two years of study as faculty go on sabbatical, or research leave, or the course schedule may conflict with a required course. Finally, course offerings are subject to change as faculty members retire or new ones are hired. For the most up-to-date information on current courses, students are urged to consult the University’s online course catalog.