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PhD in Art History Program Information

A Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) program in art history focuses on the progression and historical development of art and its impact on society. They teach students to analyze art and focus on writing and researching, as well as artistic critique.

Essential Information

Students in a doctoral art history program often study both the ancient and modern art of various cultures. Areas of specialization include the art of specific regions or styles, such as Africa, America, East Asian, Baroque, Greek or Roman art, as well as the art of time periods and artistic movements throughout history. These programs can also include art education, fine arts, and art administration. Most programs culminate in a research-intensive dissertation project. Applicants to art history PhD programs will typically need a bachelor's degree, though it does not need to be in art history as long as related coursework has been completed.


PhD Programs in Art History

These programs will combine courses in philosophy, history, foreign language and other elective courses. Common coursework includes:

  • Art administration
  • Art education
  • Museum studies
  • Preservation
  • Art and myth
  • Surrealism

Popular Career Options

Individuals with a Ph.D. in Art History have a variety of career options available to them upon graduation. While some are responsible for preserving and overseeing art collections and catalogues, others work in colleges and universities educating students. Careers are available as:

  • Professors
  • Art critics
  • Art appraisers
  • Museum curators
  • Museum directors
  • Antiques dealers

Ph.D. programs in art history allow students to specialize in a certain region, style, or time period of art that they find interesting. Graduates can work as professors, art critics, museum curators, and more.


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