Art History

Administrative Unit:Art History
College/School: College of Letters and Science
Admitting Plans:M.A., Ph.D.
Degrees Offered:M.A., Ph.D.
Minors and Certificates:Ph.D. Minor
Official Options: Architectural History (Ph.D.)
Specializations: Concentration in architectural history is available (Ph.D.)

Faculty: Professors Dale (chair), Buenger, Cahill, Drewal, Hutchison, Menocal, Murray, Phillips; Associate Professors Andrzejewski, Casid, Marshall, Martin; Assistant Professor, Mithlo



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The Department of Art History offers programs leading to the master of arts and the doctor of philosophy in art history with emphasis on ancient, northern European, Italian Renaissance, 19th-century and 20th-century European and American, Chinese, Japanese, African and African diaspora, medieval, material culture, and visual culture. The department encourages the study of the global history of art and investigates works in all media from a wide range of periods and a variety of world cultures.

Students enjoy close interaction with their mentors and profit from superb resources for interdisciplinary research. Faculty members have international reputations in their specialties, regularly receive prestigious awards, lecture widely, and serve on major professional boards. Graduates of the department usually teach at the postsecondary level or pursue careers in museum, gallery, or archival work.

The department is housed in the Chazen (formerly Elvehjem) Museum of Art, whose facilities include the Brittingham Galleries for the display of the university's permanent art collections and major traveling exhibitions, and the Mayer Print and Study Center, with a large and representative collection of original prints and drawings. Graduate students frequently use these collections and exhibitions for research and publishing projects. The museum is home to the Kohler Art Library, which contains an excellent collection of published materials and full range of periodicals. The department also possesses a large slide library and a study collection of photographic reproductions.


Financial Aid 

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The university offers fellowships and scholarships for which graduate students in art history may compete with graduate students from other departments. The department awards the Margaret Davison Shorger Fellowship for study of art and artists in Italy, the Charles C. Killin Wisconsin Distinguished Graduate Fellowship in East Asian Art, and the Chipstone/James Watrous Wisconsin Distinguished Graduate Fellowship in American Material Culture. The department also awards travel grants for students delivering papers at major conferences and annually appoints five to six graduate students as teaching or project assistants. In addition, the department nominates candidates for fellowships administered outside the department and the university.



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For admission to the standard M.A. program, students must present an undergraduate grade point average of at least 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) and a GPA in art history courses of at least 3.25, Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores, 18 credits of undergraduate courses in art history (including 6 credits of introductory surveys), and 9 credits in relevant humanities and/or social science courses. All students also should have acquired four semesters of a language appropriate for art-historical research, or a combination of three semesters of one and two semesters of another. The Foreign Language Tests administered by Educational Testing Services or their equivalent may be presented in lieu of course work. Non-native English speakers must present TOEFL or IELTS scores.

For admission to the Asian M.A. option, students must present an undergraduate degree and GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) score, 6 credits in art history, 6 credits in any discipline of Asian studies, and four semesters of the Asian language appropriate to the intended field of specialization (unless the applicant is a native speaker of that Asian language). Non-native English speakers must present TOEFL or IELTS scores.

For admission to the Ph.D. program, students must present an M.A. degree in art history or in another field with equivalent course work, Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores, and evidence of reading knowledge in an appropriate foreign language. Non-native English speakers must present TOEFL or IELTS scores.

For more information: Department of Art History, 232 Elvehjem Building, 800 University Avenue, Madison, WI 53706-1479; 608-263-2340;;