Art History

Art History is a discipline in the Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Program administered by the School of Graduate Studies. This discipline is currently NOT accepting new students for the primary or the co-discipline. Questions should be directed to the Graduate Advisor, Dr. Cristina Albu, at (816) 235-2985 or

Note: The discipline-specific requirements listed here are in addition to the requirements listed in Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Application Procedure and Minimum Criteria for Admission and Minimum Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Academic Regulations and Degree Requirements.

Discipline-Specific Admission Requirements

Except in unusual circumstances, students who select Art History as the primary discipline in the Interdisciplinary Ph.D. program must begin their work during the fall term. Applications must be received by the School of Graduate Studies no later than January 15. The Art History doctoral faculty will review applications and make recommendations for admission by the end of February. Applications that are incomplete as of January 15, and completed applications submitted after this deadline, may not be considered until the following year. 

Scholarship awards and Graduate Teaching Assistantships are made in the spring, to begin the following fall; students may sometimes be able to apply for Graduate Teaching Assistantships in the fall, for the following spring.

In rare cases, with the approval of the discipline Coordinator and faculty advisor, students may apply in the fall for the following spring.

Applicants who choose Art History as their primary discipline, or applicants whose coursework in Art History will comprise at least 50 percent of the Ph.D. plan of study, must meet the criteria for admission specified by the School of Graduate Studies.

Applicants are expected to hold an M.A. in art history, anthropology or history (or earn its equivalent during course work) and a minimum graduate-level GPA of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale.  

Students with a B.A. degree must apply to our M.A. program, as the first step.

Students with some graduate work beyond the B.A., but without the M.A. degree, may be considered for the Interdisciplinary Ph.D; they will be expected to complete all requirements for the M.A. degree.

In advance of the application (at least one month, but best to allow at least 6 weeks), eligible applicants should contact the discipline coordinator.  The coordinator will help the student identify a faculty adviser.

Before an application is reviewed, a member of our doctoral faculty must agree to oversee the project.  Faculty members generally accept applications only within their realms of expertise.

The discipline coordinator is available to help students with most aspects of the application process.

In addition to the required application form, test scores, recommendations and transcripts, applicants must provide:

  1. A brief statement of academic and professional goals
  2. A plan that specifies a research topic, demonstrates its interdisciplinary nature, and considers how interdisciplinary methods would be utilized (consult your faculty adviser)
  3. Provide a research writing example (a research paper).

Suggested Compatible Co-disciplines

Curriculum and Instruction, English, History, Humanities Consortium

Primary and Co-discipline applicants granted provisional admission will receive notification of deficiencies and of the conditions that must be met before full admission can be considered.

The Art History doctoral faculty makes recommendations to the dean of the School of Graduate Studies on each application; recommendations reflect the majority vote of the doctoral faculty.

Alternate Admission Criteria

In exceptional cases, candidates who do not meet either the School of Graduate Studies' or the Art History program's minimum requirements for admission may be admitted under alternate criteria. This may include satisfactory performance in a 5000-level course in the program, plus written recommendations of faculty to serve on the doctoral committee. 

Core Requirements

Art History as a Primary Discipline

Required Courses
ART-HIST 5501Scope and Methods of Art History 13

Remaining credits depend upon what courses the student has taken before coming into the program. Students will generally design a total plan of study (primary discipline and co-discipline coursework) that includes 60 hours beyond the baccalaureate degree (including 12 credit hours for the dissertation) or 30 hours beyond the master's degree if that degree is in Art History.

Art History as a Co-discipline

Required Courses
ART-HIST 5501Scope and Methods of Art History3

Remaining credits depend on the student’s research interests and graduate-level course work before entering the program.  

Requirements for Comprehensive Exams

Oral and written Comprehensive Exams are required, with questions based on courses taken and dissertation topic; one question will focus on the primary discipline, one on the co-discipline.

Other Discipline-Specific Special Requirements

Normally, reading knowledge of two foreign languages is required, as determined by the Supervisory Committee for each student. Students will master a reading knowledge of two foreign languages for Art History as a Primary discipline or as a Co-discipline.

The Supervisory Committee must include two art historians.