Art History, PhD

for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Art History

The program leading to the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Art History is designed to prepare students for scholarship and for teaching at the college level. Applicants must have the Master of Arts in Art History. Students earning the master's degree at Illinois must write a thesis or research paper of superior quality in order to be admitted to the doctoral program. Students taking the master's degree elsewhere must satisfy the Graduate Committee on the History of Art and Architecture as to their preparation to undertake work on a doctoral level.  Students usually elect to major and write a dissertation in one of various fields:

•Classical •Medieval •Renaissance •History of Photography •American
•Baroque •Modern •Contemporary •African •Asian or Latin American

Graduate Degree Programs in Art & Design

Art & Design, MFA


Crafts, Design for Responsible Innovation, Graphic Design, Industrial Design, Metals, Painting, Photography, Printmaking, Sculpture

specialization: New Media

Art Education, EdM

Art Education, MA

Art Education, PhD

Art History, MA

Art History, PhD

Art History Minor


Applications are considered for Fall Semester admissions only. The Art History Program requires Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores. International applicants or applicants who are not native English speakers must present a recent TOEFL score of at least 590 on the paper-based version, 250 score on the Computer-based exam, and a score of 96 on IBT exam. Applications are not currently being accepted for the concentration in Printmaking.

Graduate Teaching Experience

Although teaching is not a general Graduate College requirement, experience in teaching is considered an important part of the graduate experience for master and doctoral students.

Facilities and Resources

Resources for graduate students in art and design include the Krannert Art Museum’s excellent permanent collections and changing exhibitions; the Ricker Library of Art and Architecture, one of the largest art and architecture libraries in the nation; the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts; School of Art and Design facilities, which include extensive computer laboratories, digital photography and video editing equipment, wireless networking, ink-printing facilities, ceramic, woodworking, and metal shops, rapid prototyping and laser cutting, black/white and color darkrooms, shooting studios, and a wide selection of production and presentation equipment via reservation and checkout facility. A variety of lectures, symposia, musical programs, dramatic productions, and other cultural events associated with a large and progressive university complement the Art and Design Facilities.

Financial Aid

Fellowships, assistantships, and tuition and service fee waivers are awarded each year on a competitive basis, with consideration given to the applicant’s grade point average and, in the case of applicants for the M.F.A. programs, quality of creative work.

for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Art History

For additional details and requirements refer to the department's graduate studies requirements and the Graduate College Handbook. 

Coursework Hours (in residency on this campus)32
Language Requirement: An effective reading knowledge of two languages chosen with the approval of the student's academic adviser and the program chair is required. Language requirements must be met before the student has earned 32 hours of graduate credit beyond the requirements for the master's degree.
ARTH 599Thesis Research (min/max applied toward degree)32
Total Hours64

Other Requirements

Other requirements may overlap
Students also elect a minor in another field of art history in consultation with their major adviser and appropriate faculty.
Masters Degree Required for Admission to PhD Yes
Qualifying Exam Required Yes
Preliminary Exam Required Yes
Dissertation Deposit Required Yes
Minimum GPA: 2.75

for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Art History

  1. Students will be able to demonstrate familiarity with key artistic monuments and modes of art production from various global contexts.
  2. Students will be able to analyze and interpret works of art and architecture situated in a variety of historical and social contexts, and in comparative perspective.
  3. Students will be able to use visual and verbal primary sources, secondary sources, and core critical frameworks of art historical analysis to develop and articulate persuasive arguments about works of art and the cultures that produced them.
  4. Students will be able to engage in art historical writing at the level of an emerging professional scholar. This involves the critical application of standard art historical methods and marshaling visual and textual evidence to support interpretive claims. 

for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Art History

school director: Alan Mette

associate director & director of graduate studies: Laurie Hogin

graduate studies advisors:

MA; PhD in Art History: Lisa Rosenthal

MA; EdM; PhD in Art Education: Laura Hetrick

MFA in Studio: Ryan Griffis and Emmy Lingscheit

MFA in Industrial Design: David Weightman

MFA in Design for Responsible Innovation: Molly Briggs

admissions: Ellen de Waard

overview of grad college admissions & requirements:

school website: School of Art + Design

school faculty: Art + Design Faculty

college website: College of Fine & Applied Arts

department office: 138 Art and Design Building, 408 East Peabody Drive, Champaign, IL 61820

phone: (217) 333-0642