Master in History and Theory of Arts and Architecture


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Program Description

The Master in History and Theory of Art and Architecture (MSTAA) includes both the study of the history of architecture and art history. It is a complete Master with the aim of reversing the growing marginalization of architecture art history studies. At the same time, the study of architecture and art history in various times in history (the middle ages, the modern age, and the contemporary age) is complemented by in-depth studies on the theory and criticism of architecture, artistic literature, the history and practice of restoration (with moments of activity in the field), museology and digital humanities with an eye towards other artistic and cultural expressions (photography, cinema, theatre, literature). Practical workshops and internships in affiliated institutions complete the Master's training offer.

Structure and contents

The Master aims to bring architecture at the heart of the critical debate in universities and society as a whole. The context offered by the Faculty of Architecture is congenial for the study of art history and especially for the history of architecture.

Students of the Master in History and Theory of Art and Architecture will study together with future architects, attend project critiques and most of all, they can take advantage of a direct exchange with world-renowned architects during dedicated conferences. Last but not least, it is important to know that the USI Academy of Architecture has a strong vocation and an important tradition in the field of humanities. The study plan of the Master also contemplates practical work such as internships or workshops in archives or other institutions, as well as study trips during individual courses to observe buildings and gain experience on the field.

For the Master in History and Theory of Art and Architecture, students can choose between a course entirely focused on historical-artistic subjects (MSTAA 120 ECTS) and a course divided into subjects dealing with historical-artistic subjects and subjects related to the history of literature and related subjects (Maior MSTAA 90 ECTS, Minor MLLCI 30 ECTS).

Career Prospects

By obtaining a Master of Arts in History and Theory of Art and Architecture, you will have access, after passing the relevant calls for applications (if any), to the following academic and/or work areas:

  • Doctoral studies
  • Superintendence, cultural heritage offices or equivalent institutions
  • Museums
  • Art and architecture criticism
  • Art market
  • Secondary and university education
  • Information industry (journalist)
  • Tourism sector (tourist guide)


The Master is offered to students who have been formed according to the new European order, but also to students with higher education diplomas according to the pre-existing regulations.

The Master's Dean's office reserves the right to integrate the study plan with some core courses if they are not present in the candidate's university resume.

On the other hand, the holder of a Master's degree is eligible without reserve:

  • A BA in History of Art (or similar);
  • A BA in Cultural Heritage Studies;
  • A BA in Italian language, literature, and civilization (with a minor's degree and a thesis on the history of art or architecture).

In addition, candidates with the following diplomas are able to enroll (with fewer credits):

  • MSc in Architettura

Application Procedure

To submit your application, please refer to the indications for filling out the online form available here:

Application deadline

  • Applications will be accepted starting from mid-November.
  • The application deadline is August 31.
  • The application deadline for candidates who need a visa is May 31. 
  • Late applications will be considered only in case of available places.


Tuition fees for the Master's degrees amount to CHF 4,000 per semester. Applicants whose official residence was in Switzerland or Liechtenstein at the time of the final high school exam (Maturità) pay a reduced semester fee of CHF 2,000.

Tuition fees are payable at the beginning of each term, by the deadline indicated on the invoice; fee payment is an essential condition for matriculating or renewing one's enrolment.

Last updated Apr 2020

About the School

USI is a young and agile university that offers its students a quality education and an enhancing study experience. International faculty teach students with an interdisciplinary, engaging, and intera ... Read More

USI is a young and agile university that offers its students a quality education and an enhancing study experience. International faculty teach students with an interdisciplinary, engaging, and interactive approach, leaving room for practical application. The quality of the study curricula is complemented by USI small size, by its cosmopolitan environment and its informal and dynamic culture. These elements make USI a hub of opportunity open to the world, where students can engage in direct dialogue with their professors and define their educational path, discover unexpected horizons, and embrace international careers. Read less
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