Ph.D. Program Requirements


All Divisional requirements for the Ph.D. must be met; in addition the Department sets specific requirements in areas of language, course distribution, and procedures leading to the completion of a dissertation.

Modern research languages:  Students in Western Art History must demonstrate reading competence in German and in one of the following: French, Italian or Spanish. Students in Asian Art must demonstrate competence in Chinese and Japanese. Students in Islamic art must demonstrate competence in Arabic, Persian, or Ottoman Turkish, and in German, French, or Italian. Students in Latin American art must demonstrate competence in Spanish and in Portuguese or an indigenous language. Students in African art must demonstrate competence in French and in an indigenous language. Students must earn a High Pass in one of these languages and a Pass in the other on the Department's Foreign Language Reading Examinations, or take the three-quarter introductory language sequences at this University for a letter grade and earn a B+ or better (for the equivalent of a High Pass) and a B or better (for the equivalent of a Pass) in the final quarter.

Additional languages may be necessary for particular fields or research plans.  These are determined by the student with the faculty advisor and recorded on a supplemental language contract.

Students must take a minimum of 18 courses, including the three required courses—Methodology, Historiography, and the preliminary exam reading course—and at least seven other courses in Art History. In the first year, a total of 6 of the 9 courses must be in Art History; in the second year, a total of 4 of the 9 courses must be in Art History. Two of the 18 courses must be in the student's minor field.

Students concentrating in a field in Western Art must include one non-Western art history course and one course on pre-1600 European material and one on European or North American post-1600 material. 

Students concentrating in Asian, Islamic, Latin American, or African art must include one course outside of their geographical field area.

Qualifying Paper:
During the fall and winter quarters of the second year, students research and write a qualifying paper – an article-length research paper – under the direction of a faculty member in the Art History Department and a second faculty advisor from any department.  This work is typically accommodated in two independent research courses that count toward the 18 courses for the degree.

Preliminary Exams:
After completing course work, the student must pass a written examination designed to test knowledge in the student's major field of study and probable area of dissertation research.

Teaching Requirements:  
The University considers a limited amount of teaching to be professional training and thus a degree requirement.  Specific teaching requirements are described in a student's letter of admission.  Students normally begin teaching after completing coursework, at which point they must participate in a one-quarter departmental teaching colloquium on challenges and strategies. 

Dissertation Process

Ph.D. Proposal Writing Workshop and Dissertation Proposal:
Students must participate in a faculty-led workshop, where they develop their dissertation proposals and prepare to apply for grants for dissertation research. The dissertation proposal must be formally approved by the student’s committee, usually composed of a principal advisor and two other specialists pertinent to the field of study, and officially appointed by the Department Chair.

Admission to Candidacy:
After satisfactorily completing language requirements, course work, and the preliminary examination, and having a dissertation proposal approved, the student petitions the Department for admission to candidacy.

Approval of the Dissertation:
The dissertation should be an original investigation that produces independent results of scholarly significance. When it is completed, the dissertation must be approved by the committee, and the student will be examined orally on the dissertation and closely related matters by members of the Art History faculty and by a representative of the Dean of the Division. With the approval of a majority of the examiners the student will be recommended for the Ph.D. degree.