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Art History PhD

We look forward to safely returning to in-person instruction and activities this autumn quarter. Current and prospective students please visit our COVID-19 Updates pages.

General Information

The PhD program in the Division of Art History prepares graduates for university-level teaching, curator positions at major museums, and independent research in the field. Before beginning work for the PhD, students should have completed a master's degree in art history. Requirements for the degree include 60 credits of coursework beyond the master's degree and research capability in at least two foreign languages.


Applicants to the PhD program must have a master's degree in art history or a related field combined with course work in art history. Applicants need not have an undergraduate major in art history but should have a solid record of art history course work. In our program we define a “solid record” for our undergraduate majors as 55 quarter credits of art history classes distributed among major fields of study offered in our department. This figure should serve only as a general reference point, however; we do not expect all applicants to have exactly the same background and course distribution as our undergraduate majors. Studio art classes and work experience in art-related fields can enhance your application but, in most cases, will not substitute for a good background in art history course work.

Financial Aid

Our main source of departmental financial support for our graduate students is a limited number of teaching assistantships. These, however, are rarely awarded to first-year students; exceptions are sometimes made for entering PhD students with teaching experience. A majority of our graduate students have outside jobs (some within the University), at least for part of the year. Additional information and advice about financial aid can be found under Graduate Support.

More about the Art History PhD