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Art History

College of Arts and Sciences

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(Please note that when conferring University Graduate School degrees, minors, certificates, and sub-plans, The University Graduate School’s staff use those requirements contained only in The University Graduate School Bulletin.)



Degrees Offered

Master of Arts (Art History), Dual Master of Arts (Art History) and Master of Library Science, and Doctor of Philosophy (Art History)

Special Departmental Requirements

(See also general University Graduate School requirements.)

Master’s Degrees

Master of Arts Degree (Art History)

Admission Requirements

Bachelor’s degree with a major in Art History. Students with majors in other disciplines with a demonstrable background in art history are also welcome to apply. GPA of 3.5 expected, as well as appropriate level of achieve­ment on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test. (The department recommends a minimum verbal score of 160, though scores are evaluated in the context of the complete application package.) Applications must include personal statement, C.V., writing sample, three letters of recommendation, and, for applicants using English as a second language, TOEFL scores. A minimum overall TOEFL score of 100 on the Internet-based exam or 600 on the paper-based exam is required.  For the IELTS exam a minimum score of 7.0 is required.


Students must maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.5. Only those art history courses completed with a grade of B or higher will count towards the degree. A student with a G.P.A. lower than 3.5 may be placed on probation.

Course Requirements

  • 6 courses at the 500- or 600-level in three areas, no more than two of which may be 500-level lectures: 18CH
  • A500: Historiography: 3CH
  • A510: Theory and Methods: 3CH
  • One of the following:
    • A595 (essay seminar) with A775 (reading): 6CH
    • A775 (reading): 6CH

TOTAL:  30 CH (UGS minimum)

  • Language study represents additional course work.

Foreign Language Requirement

Reading proficiency in one language. German or French are most common; however, students may choose another language with the approval of the Director of Graduate Studies. Proficiency must be demonstrated by the end of the second semester of study.

Essay and Presentation

The Master’s Essay is a 25- to 30-page research paper, notes and bibliography included. Often the Master’s Essay will be a continuation of research begun as a seminar project. Students prepare this essay under the supervision of a faculty advisor. They also must select a second reader for the essay. Selection of both the faculty advisor and the second reader must occur by October 15th of the student's second year of study.

In the second semester of the second year, students will register for ARTH-A595 and/or ARTH-A775. In this course students will be guided toward the timely completion of the Master's Essay. As part of this course students will present their work in a public lecture.

Upon completion of the essay and presentation, the student’s work must receive formal approval by the faculty advisor and second reader.

Dual Master of Arts and Master of Library Science Degrees

This program permits the student to coordinate a Master of Arts degree in art history with a Master of Library Science degree. The dual program requires that students complete 60 credit hours, with 30 credit hours in Art History and 30 in Library Science. Students complete all course and language requirements for each of the degrees, but write a single MA essay in either Art History or Library Science.

Admission Requirements

Students must apply for admission to both the Department of Art History and the Department of Information and Library Science and meet the admissions requirements established by each.


Students must complete all course requirements for the Master’s Degree in Art History listed above as well as those stipulated by the Library Science program. Please consult the Library Science Bulletin entry for more information.

Doctor of Philosophy Degree

Course Requirements

63 credit hours distributed between major and minor fields

  • 30 credit hours maximum may be carried over from the MA
    • 6 courses at the 500- or 600-level in two areas, no more than two of which may be 500-level lectures: 18 CH
  • Minor course requirement: 12 CH
  • A 775 (advanced readings – qualifying exam prep): 3 CH 
  • Language study represents additional course work unless part of a minor.

Upon completion of major and minor requirements students should have amassed 63 credit hours. Students must also complete language requirements by this time. After completing 63 credit hours and two languages, students may proceed to Qualifying Exams. After exams students may register for a further set of A775 for up to 16 CH, A779 for up to 16 CH and A879 for up to 16 CH. Students meet the Indiana University PhD residency requirement upon completing 90 CH.  After this, students may register for G-901 for as many as 6 semesters to maintain continuous enrollment.  

Minor: Students are to complete 12 credit hours of coursework as well as satisfy any other requirements for a minor in a department or program distinct and separate from Art History.


Ancient Greek and Roman, Medieval (East and West), Asian, Renaissance and Baroque, Modern (European and American, 19th century through present-day), Islamic, and African/Oceanic/Pre-Columbian American.


Students must maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.5 in the major field. Only those Art History courses in which the student earns a B or higher will count towards the degree. A student who has a GPA lower than 3.5 may be placed on probation.

Foreign Language Requirement

Reading proficiency in two languages. German or French are most common; however, students may choose another language with the approval of the Director of Graduate Studies. The major field advisor may require additional foreign languages.

Qualifying Examinations, Dissertation Proposals, Proposal Defense

Qualifying examinations will cover three topics in the student's the primary field of study, with the possibility of a subsequent oral examination at the discretion of the department.

Upon successful completion of the examination process, students must submit a brief dissertation proposal (ca. 2 pages) for general faculty approval. Following receipt of said approval, students submit a formal proposal to their dissertation committee and to the Director of Graduate Studies, who will schedule an oral defense of the proposal prior to the commencement of dissertation research.

Final Examination

Oral defense upon completion of the dissertation project.

Ph.D. Minor in Art History

A Ph.D. minor in Art History is available to students outside the department. Students must complete 12 credit hours of Art History coursework. They must take 2 lecture courses and 2 seminars. A seminar may always be used to fulfill a lecture requirement. All programs must be determined in consultation with the Art History Director of Graduate Studies. A grade point average of 3.5 is required.

Academic Bulletins

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