What will I learn?

In a visually complex world, art history teaches us to slow down our thinking and to look closely. It fosters a habit of asking: What does this image mean? What did it mean to the artist who made it? What can it tell me about the time when it was made? Or the place? And how has it been received—who has raved about it; honoured it; owned, displayed, or hated it?

The VCUarts Department of Art History—a community of faculty, students, artists, curators and museum professionals—takes a range of approaches to answering such questions. We embrace the fact that art history is one of the most interdisciplinary of disciplines, drawing from studies of history, religion, culture, gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, and literature. We prepare undergraduate and graduate students for careers that contribute to this dynamic field of study, grounded in rigorous methodologies for

creating historically oriented interpretations of artworks.

making reasoned statements about ways in which visual art enhances our lives;

connecting artworks to the complexity of life, of civilizations, of daily experiences across time and around the world.


  • Historical Studies
  • Museum Studies

Which department am I in?

School of the Arts

Study options

Full Time (2 years)

Tuition fees
$25,956.00 (19,31,250) per year

*Price shown is for indicative purposes, please check with institution

Start date

23 August 2022


School of the Arts

325 North Harrison Street,



23284, United States

Entry requirements

For students from United States

Qualified applicants typically have a baccalaureate degree with a major in fields such as biology, chemistry, biochemistry, pharmacy and related sciences. Successful applicants will typically have the following credentials: 300 (verbal plus quantitative) and 3.5 analytical GRE scores (or equivalent scores on the new GRE exam), undergraduate GPA of 3.2 and some laboratory research experience.

For international students

Students with a bachelor’s degree in art history or in a related field (e.g., history, anthropology, literary studies, religious studies or philosophy) are invited to apply to VCU Department of Art History graduate programs. Applicants who have completed at least 18 undergraduate semester credit hours in art history are preferred.

The university minimum TOEFL score requirement is 550 (paper-based) or 80 (Internet-based). The university minimum IELTS score requirement is 6.5. The PTE is also accepted with a minimum score of 65. Deadline dates: Fall only: Jan 15.

*There may be different IELTS requirements depending on your chosen course.


About Virginia Commonwealth University

Virginia Commonwealth University is a top 100 research university and number one public postgraduate arts school in the US.

  • VCU is one of the top 3 research universities in Virginia
  • 21% growth in sponsored awards in a 10-year period
  • 1,600 international students from 108 countries
  • 173-acre campus in downtown Richmond

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