Admission Requirements

To be considered for admission, an applicant must satisfy the requirements listed below by January 7, 2016.

1. Have satisfactorily completed the following minimum course work. Please note that the required course credits are given in semester hours. To translate quarter hours to semester hour equivalents, multiply by 2/3. For example, 6 quarter hours is equal to 4 semester hours.

  • Art History - 21 semester hours. Courses should include broad surveys of art history and more focused studies of particular movements or works of significant artists. Courses in theory and philosophy are unlikely to be accepted, as the intent of this requirement is to ensure an exposure to and an understanding of works of art and artifacts. At the discretion of the admissions committee, courses can include up to 12 semester hours outside of an art history department. For example, classics, archaeology, or anthropology courses that focus on artifacts, history of the book, history of photography, history of furniture, and other material culture courses may be accepted. The admissions committee may ask for syllabi to verify the content of coursework.
  • Chemistry - 16 semester hours. A two-semester introductory (general) chemistry lecture course with accompanying laboratory sections, and a two-semester organic chemistry sequence, also with accompanying laboratory sections. Chemistry courses designed for non-science majors will not be accepted.
  • Studio Art – 9 semester hours. Experience in both two- and three-dimensional work is desirable, as is an emphasis on producing works demonstrating hand skills and mastery of materials. Suggested are jewelry making, wheel thrown pottery, printmaking, drawing (graphite, silverpoint, conté crayon, even ball-point pen), bookbinding, textile arts, traditional painting, and other media and techniques that clearly display your abilities. Media and techniques such as photography, abstract/expressionistic painting or monoprinting usually do not provide convincing evidence of your manual abilities.

Once you have met the minimum course requirements, it is usually not necessary to take additional formal studio classes for credit to strengthen your portfolio. Any guided activity that strengthens and develops your manual skills is acceptable. The artwork submitted as part of the portfolio is not expected to derive solely from formal studio courses.

Note: Online courses are not acceptable substitutes for taking the required core courses in a traditional classroom environment.

2. Have a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.80 (out of 4.0) in the last 60 hours of the baccalaureate degree. (For applicants who do not meet this minimum grade point average, consult the college's Graduate Catalog.) Most successful applicants have GPAs much higher than 2.80.

3. Have taken the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test (verbal, quantitative, and analytical). Most successful applicants have GRE scores of at least 500 each in verbal and quantitative.

4. Have fulfilled the other graduate admission requirements of the college.

5. While the Admissions Committee does not specify that a certain number of internship hours be completed for admission, all applicants must have some hands-on conservation experience working under the guidance of a professional conservator. Projects that involve re-housing collections, database work, and other museum tasks are very useful, but successful applicants also have supervised experience with conservation treatments. The Admissions Committee recommends that applicants obtain experience in a variety of conservation specialties, if possible. Pre-program internships should be long enough and intensive enough to give applicants a basic understanding of treatment methods and techniques, conservation problem solving, and related issues.

The department does not accept non-degree or special students, and no variations from the stated admission requirements are permitted. Although they are not admission requirements, applicants are encouraged to take courses or attend workshops in specialized areas such as archaeology, geology, bookbinding, physics, and others, based on individual interests and career goals.

Admission to the department, as in all other departments of the college, is based on the applicant's qualifications without regard to sex, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, religion, age, handicap, marital or veteran status, and arrest and/or conviction record.

All application materials must be received in the department by in one package by January 7, 2016.

Submission of Application

It is the responsibility of the applicant to be certain that the application and supporting materials are received on or before the closing date. Candidates whose files are not complete as of January 7, 2016 will not be considered for admission in that year.

Please note: All department application forms, except for the Buffalo State Graduate School Application Form, which is filled out online, must be submitted directly to the Art Conservation Department together in one complete package to this address:
Buffalo State College
Art Conservation Department
Admissions Committee
Rockwell Hall 230
1300 Elmwood Avenue
Buffalo, NY 14222-1095 U.S.A.
You must begin your application by filling out the Buffalo State Graduate School Application Form and paying the $65 application fee. Even if you have applied in the past, the $65 fee has to be paid each year an application is submitted.

After filling out your online application and paying the application fee, the following items must be received by the department in one complete application package no later than January 7, 2016:

Department application form (download PDF).

2. Official transcripts of all college work including proof of completion of a baccalaureate and any advanced degrees from accredited institutions. Please also submit this information on the course summary form included on the department application form (page 3).

3. An official transcript of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test (Verbal, Quantitative, and Analytical) results. These tests are given by Educational Testing Services, PO Box 6004, Princeton, NJ 08541-6004.NOTE: The college code is 2533 and the major field code is 2399.

4. At least three letters from individuals who have a personal knowledge of the applicant's work. The letters must include at least one letter from an academic instructor, attesting to the applicant's academic ability and likelihood of success in an intensive M.A. program, and two letters from a professional conservator with whom the applicant has worked and completed treatments under, indicating the applicant’s level of experience and likelihood of future success in the field of conservation. Please check with referees well in advance of the application deadline to ensure your letters will be ready on time. Please have each referee fill out the letter of recommendation form included on the department application form (page 4) and send this to you directly along with their letter so that it can be included in your package to the department.

5. A 1,000-word autobiographical statement explaining the applicant's interest in the field of art conservation and professional objectives.

6. A curriculum vitae.

7. 8 to 12 printed images, showing 4 to 6 works of art or craft projects recently accomplished by the applicant. This sampling should include diverse media and materials in both 2-D and 3-D work, demonstrating the applicant's fine hand skills. Sketches, drawings, paintings, and/or sculpture should show representational, rather than abstract, subjects. Examples of jewelry, fine woodworking, and bookbinding are also welcome. Examples of photographic arts (unless they include handmade frames) are not suitable as they do not attest to the hand skills of the applicant. Not all works have to be the results of a formal course. Photos and prints will not be returned. The Admissions Committee requests that applicants do not put these images into any sort of binder or notebook; this hinders the review process and we are unable to return any of them.

8. Foreign nationals whose first language is not English must submit an official transcript from TOEFL, Educational Testing Services, PO Box 6004, Princeton, NJ 08541-6004 (see item 2 above), with a minimum score of 550.

The Admissions Committee will meet after January 7, 2016 to consider all completed application files. Selected applicants will be invited to come to Buffalo for an hour-long interview, scheduled for late March or early April. Interviewees are asked to present a portfolio of artwork and a summary of their conservation experience, usually through a power point presentation. A color perception test will also be administered. Interviewees will be hosted by the current first-year students, who will provide a tour of the department facilities. Applicants who are invited to interview will receive an informational packet about the interview process.

Art Conservation

Buffalo State  •  1300 Elmwood Avenue  •  Rockwell Hall 230
Buffalo, New York 14222  •  Phone: (716) 878-5025  •  Fax: (716) 878-5039
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