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Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in History of Art Johns Hopkins University



Course info


The Department of the History of Art offers unique opportunities for the study of art history thanks to the university’s proximity to remarkable collections in Baltimore and Washington. Undergraduate and graduate students work closely with a faculty of research scholars on aspects of European and American art.

The graduate program is designed to give students working toward the PhD degree an encompassing knowledge of the history of art and a deep understanding of the theories and methodologies pertaining to art historical research. The program emphasizes collaborative working relationships among students and faculty in seminars. Each advanced doctoral candidate benefits from supervision by two faculty members in his or her field (students working in ancient art will routinely avail themselves of faculty expertise in the Department of Classics as well).

The program also fosters a close familiarity with the outstanding art treasures in the Baltimore-Washington area relevant to the student’s area of study. In addition to the rich holdings of the Sheridan Libraries of Johns Hopkins University (which include collections of rare books at Garrett Library, Special Collections at Eisenhower Library, and the George Peabody Library downtown) graduate students have access to such research facilities as the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts (National Gallery) and the Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, both in Washington, D.C.

PhD Requirements

Students may apply for admission to the PhD program with either a BA or MA degree from another institution in hand. Acceptance requires the approval of the instructors in the areas chosen by the student as major and minor fields; in the case of transfer students, acceptance may be provisional. Unless they can present acceptable language certificates, all students entering the PhD program will be required to pass reading competency examinations in both German and French before the conclusion of the second year of coursework. Italian or Spanish may be substituted for French when a student’s area of study suggests it; a petition must be submitted and approved by the faculty.

Students entering the program with an MA degree must complete four full semesters of coursework before being approved to take their qualifying exams; students entering with a BA degree may, at the discretion of the faculty, require up to five terms before moving on to exams. The art history faculty encourages students to take full advantage of offerings in other departments, and students may, if they choose, develop a minor field in another discipline. In consultation with their advisers, students who have completed their coursework prepare for the qualifying exams, which is comprised overall of two written exams (one major field and one minor field), followed by an oral defense.

Upon successful completion of course work and qualifying exams, students must submit a dissertation proposal. Once approved by the department, the student is admitted to candidacy and commences work on the dissertation. When a student has completed the dissertation, he or she is examined by a Graduate Board committee assembled by the department chair in consultation with the principal faculty adviser. Successful defense of the dissertation and electronic submission of work, complete in all its components, marks the fulfillment of the program’s degree requirements.

In addition to their own studies and research, every student in the PhD program gains valuable pedagogical experience by serving as a teaching assistant, under different faculty mentors, for at least six terms (over the course of a five-year fellowship), and as a faculty research assistant for at least one term.

Course options

Here are the different ways in which you can study Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in History of Art.

Full Time (6 terms)

Tuition fees

$53,740.00 (38,60,144) per year


27 Jan


Krieger School of Arts and Sciences

3400 N. Charles Street,



21218, United States

Entry requirement for international students

Student must have a Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited U.S. college or university. Applicants who receive their bachelor’s degree in a country other than the U.S. must have the U.S. equivalency of a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution.

Students must have IELTS Academic Band Score equal to 7, or a minimum score of 600 (paper-based), 250 (computer-based), and 100 (internet-based) on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).

Johns Hopkins University*

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* Please check with your chosen school for the exact entry requirements for your programme.

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