KU offers graduate art history courses in European, American, and East Asian art. Students may pursue graduate degrees in European and American art or East Asian art. Students who are interested in pursuing graduate degrees that emphasize international or transnational modern and contemporary art should follow the concentration (European and American or East Asian) that best aligns with their areas of interest.

The Ph.D. is intended for students who hold the M.A. degree in art history.

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.

Admission to the Ph.D.

Applicants for the Ph.D. are expected to hold an appropriate M.A. degree. To be considered for regular admission status in the program, a student must hold a bachelor's degree and have earned at least a B (3.0) grade-point average in previous academic work. Please review the full Graduate Studies Admissions Policy. Non-native speakers of English must meet English proficiency requirements as described here

Application Deadline:

For fall semester admission, all application materials must be submitted by: January 1

The History of Art Department requires the following application materials:  

A full list of the required application materials can be found on the department's website.

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

The M.A. or M.A./Ph.D. student who wishes to be considered for full 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. The student must pass the M.A. exam in order for the 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 enrollment as per Graduate Studies guidelines.

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.

Ph.D. Degree Requirements

Ph.D. aspirants shall, prior to admission to the Ph.D. comprehensive examination, demonstrate knowledge of at least one foreign language sufficient to meet the demands of their research and have successfully completed at least one 700 level or above History of Art seminar course in fulfillment of Graduate Studies’ Research Skills and Responsible Scholarship requirement. Ph.D. students may be required by their committee, prior to admission to the Ph.D. comprehensive exams, to demonstrate proficiency in two or more foreign languages, depending on the student’s area of specialization and program of study.

Normally, Ph.D. students are expected to complete 18 to 21 post-M.A. hours and Combined M.A./Ph.D. students are expected to complete 12 to 15 post-M.A. graduate credit hours. The exact number of required post-M.A. courses will be determined in consultation with the student’s committee.

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 1 week.

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.