PhD in Art History

Apply to the PhD program in art history.

The University of Minnesota's Doctoral Program in Art History is a fully funded PhD program that trains scholars who go on to careers in universities, colleges, museums, and other arts institutions throughout the nation and the world. The Department of Art History is an exciting place to ground yourself in the theories and methods of art history, to pursue interdisciplinary work, and to develop a global perspective on the discipline.

Our current faculty and institutional strengths support specialization in the following overlapping fields: East Asian art, Modern European art and visual/material culture, Islamic art (including the medieval Persianate world and the Ottoman, Safavid, and Mughal empires), the global early modern in Europe, the Atlantic world, South Asia, Italian Baroque art, North American art and visual/material culture, film and photography, and contemporary art and theory.

As a major research university located in a thriving urban center, the University of Minnesota has much to offer students of the visual arts. On campus, the Weisman Art Museum, designed by architect Frank Gehry, features an outstanding teaching collection, stimulating exhibitions, and an active programming schedule. Beyond the University, you will find in the Twin Cities a lively arts community and world-class art institutions including the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, the Walker Art Center, and the Guthrie Theater.

We are committed to supporting graduate students intellectually, professionally, and financially. The interdisciplinary programming of the Institute for Advanced Study and other campus centers provides many opportunities to exchange ideas with colleagues in other fields. You will encounter opportunities to curate exhibitions on campus and in the community and you will enter into a graduate student community that is remarkably active in presenting papers, both nationally and internationally. The Department of Art History's graduate student professionalization workshop meets several times each semester to discuss such topics as teaching methods, journal and book publishing, CV preparation, and the job market outlook.

All accepted students are fully funded. Students are guaranteed five years of funding through a combination of teaching assistantships, research assistantships, and fellowships. Assistantships provide an annual stipend, a full-tuition scholarship, and health insurance. In addition, every year the department nominates students for collegiate- and university-wide recruitment, predoctoral and dissertation write-up fellowships that provide additional stipend and release from TA-ing. Students who win external fellowships are allowed to save a year of their UMN funding for a sixth year.   

Bright pink tree blossoms in front of Johnston Hall

College Resources for Graduate Students

Visit CLA’s website for graduate students to learn about collegiate funding opportunities, student support, career services, and more.

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