The department offers Ph.D. degrees in European/American and East Asian art history. The Ph.D. degree offers the opportunity for advanced research and concentration to students who hold the M.A. degree in art history from KU or elsewhere. The Combined M.A./Ph.D. is intended for students who want to pursue the Ph.D. in art history at KU, but who do not yet hold the M.A. degree in art history. Both the Combined M.A./Ph.D. and Ph.D. students are eligible for competitive funding packages and GTA, GRA, and GA positions.

Admission to Graduate Studies

An applicant seeking to pursue graduate study in the College may be admitted as either a degree-seeking or non-degree seeking student. Policies and procedures of Graduate Studies govern the process of Graduate admission. These may be found in the Graduate Studies section of the online catalog.

Please consult the Departments & Programs section of the online catalog for information regarding program-specific admissions criteria and requirements. Special admissions requirements pertain to Interdisciplinary Studies degrees, which may be found in the Graduate Studies section of the online catalog.

Graduate Admission

Applicants for the Ph.D. are expected to hold an appropriate M.A. degree.

Admission to the Ph.D. program for students who receive the M.A. degree from KU:

The M.A. student who wishes to be considered for admission to the Ph.D. program must complete and sign the Petition for Continuation in the Ph.D. Program form, which will be distributed at the M.A. exam and collected with the completed exams on day two of testing. It is expected that such students will already have expressed this interest to a potential major field advisor and received that faculty member’s support. The student must pass the M.A. exam in order for his/her petition to be considered by the graduate faculty. After receiving departmental approval for the petition and completing all requirements for the M.A. degree, the student will automatically be entered into the Ph.D. program and will be expected to maintain his/her enrollment as per Graduate Studies guidelines.

M.A. students who do not submit the petition at the time of the M.A. exam will need to reapply for admission to the art history graduate program.

The Combined M.A./Ph.D. student does not need to submit the Petition for Continuation in the Ph.D. Program form. He/she will be automatically evaluated by the graduate faculty upon successfully passing the M.A. exam to determine whether he/she remains eligible to continue to the Ph.D. or if the M.A. is the appropriate terminal degree. In most cases, Combined M.A./Ph.D. students will enter the Ph.D. program upon completion of the requirements for the M.A. degree. 

Completed applications must be submitted by January 1 for fall admission. The Graduate Record Examination general test is required.

Submit your graduate application online.

The University of Kansas
Department of Art History
Graduate Admissions
Spencer Museum of Art
1301 Mississippi St., Room 209
Lawrence, KS 66045-7500

Ph.D. Degree Requirements

Ph.D. candidates must satisfy all general requirements. Ph.D. candidates must demonstrate proficiency in 2 research skills (normally foreign languages) relevant to their research; this requirement must be met before candidates are admitted to the comprehensive Ph.D. examinations. One of the 2 research skills is usually the foreign language that met the M.A. language requirement.

Normally, Ph.D. students are expected to complete no fewer than 21 and no more than 27 post-M.A. course credit hours. These credit hours must be taken at the graduate level. The graduate faculty reserves the right to require more than 27 post-M.A. course credit hours when appropriate.

Normally, Combined M.A./Ph.D. students are expected to complete no fewer than 15 and no more than 21 post-M.A. course credit hours. These credit hours must be taken at the graduate level. The graduate faculty reserves the right to require more than 21 post-M.A. course credit hours when appropriate.

Students must take both written and comprehensive oral examinations at the end of their course work. Both written and oral examinations cover the major area and 2 minor areas specified in the student’s Doctoral Program of Study petition (see department's Graduate Student Handbook). The oral examination normally follows the written examination by 2 weeks.

The dissertation proposal must be approved by the student’s primary advisor and the graduate faculty within three months of passing the comprehensive Ph.D. examinations. The student is strongly encouraged to work closely with his/her primary advisor immediately following the comprehensive examination to meet this deadline.

Upon acceptance of the dissertation in final draft form, the candidate must successfully pass the final oral examination (the dissertation defense) to complete the degree.

Research Skills & Responsible Scholarship Requirement

All graduate seminars include instruction in and discussion of appropriate research conduct and research misconduct; authorship, publication, plagiarism, copyright; peer review; and professional practices. For more information on the Research Skills and Responsible Scholarship requirement, please see the Graduate Studies section of the online catalog.

Handbook for Graduate Students

A detailed presentation of departmental degree requirements and regulations is included in the department’s Graduate Student Handbook, available online.