Art History, PhD

This is the first version of the 2024–25 General Catalog. Please check back regularly for changes. The final edition and the historical PDF will be published during the fall semester.

The PhD program is intended for students who wish to pursue original research in art history. Students should acquire a deep knowledge of art history, as well as the field's theoretical and historical foundations. PhD students are prepared to pursue careers in academia as well as to become museum curators and directors.

Learning Outcomes

Students are expected to demonstrate many, if not all, of the following:

  • understanding of the development of the history and methodology of art history;
  • skill in the visual analysis of primary source material;
  • skill in contextual analysis and secondary source interpretations;
  • productive engagement in the broad and ever-shifting philosophical, scholarly, and institutional debates that determine the structure and content of art history;
  • ability to engage in sustained critical thinking;
  • ability to write clearly and compellingly;
  • deep knowledge of three of the following distribution fields: African, architecture, Asian, ancient, medieval, Renaissance and Baroque, 18th- and 19th-century European, American, and modern/contemporary;
  • reading proficiency in French or German as well as a second language of particular relevance to their field of study;
  • ability to conduct independent research in museums, archives, and/or libraries;
  • knowledge and skills necessary to be effective teaching assistants for courses numbered 1000–1999;
  • grant-writing skills;
  • public speaking skills necessary to present research in professional academic settings;
  • capacity to teach as an instructor of record in their area of expertise; and
  • critical research and writing skills necessary to publish peer-reviewed articles.