Art History

Program Overview

The graduate program in Art History leads to the Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy degrees, offered in the following fields:

  • Ancient
  • Medieval
  • Early Modern
  • Modern​ and Contemporary

Both the MA and PhD programs emphasize the research, writing, and teaching necessary to pursue a career in academia, curatorial work, art consultation, heritage programs, cultural journalism, or secondary school teaching. The faculty supervise students in the fields of Ancient, Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque, Asian, African, Architecture, and Modern and Contemporary Art.

Students in the graduate program may also benefit from the department’s affiliations with the Centre for Medieval Studies, the Centre for Renaissance and Reformation Studies, the program in Book History and Print Culture, and the Mediterranean Archaeology Collaborative Specialization. Resources and affiliated faculty at the Royal Ontario Museum, the University Art Centre, the Gardiner Museum, and the Art Gallery of Ontario also provide access to Toronto’s vibrant arts scene. The University hosts a number of specialist libraries for art historical research, including the Department of Art History’s library with over 40,000 exhibition catalogues, the Cheng Yu Tung East Asian Library, and Robarts Research Library, a resource unrivalled in Canada and among the leading university libraries in North America.


Quick Facts

Domestic International
Application payment deadline MA, PhD:

13-Dec-2019

MA, PhD:

13-Dec-2019

Supporting documents deadline MA, PhD:

17-Jan-2019

MA, PhD:

17-Jan-2019

Minimum admission average MA:

B+

PhD:

A-

MA:

B+

PhD:

A-

Direct entry option from bachelor's to PhD? PhD:

Yes

PhD:

Yes

Is a supervisor identified before or after admission? MA:

After

PhD:

Before

MA:

After

PhD:

Before

If a supervisor is identified after admission (as per question above), is admission conditional upon securing a supervisor? MA:

No

MA:

No

Is a supervisor assigned by the graduate unit or secured by the applicant? MA:

Applicant

PhD:

Graduate unit

MA:

Applicant

PhD:

Graduate unit

Program length (full-time only) MA:

3 sessions

PhD:

4 years; 5 years direct-entry

MA:

3 sessions

PhD:

4 years; 5 years direct-entry


Master of Arts​

Program Description

The MA program is a course-based and research-intensive degree designed to prepare art history students for curatorial work, art consultation, heritage programs, cultural journalism, secondary school teaching, and doctoral research.

The MA program can be taken on a full-time or part-time basis.

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • Applicants are admitted under the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. Applicants must also satisfy the Graduate Department of Art History's additional admission requirements stated below.

  • Strong overall grade average in art history and closely related subjects and at least a B+ average in recent senior art history courses. Outstanding applicants with other backgrounds may be considered.

Program Requirements

  • Coursework. Students must complete 3.0 graduate full-course equivalents (FCEs) as follows:

    • Coursework must be chosen from at least three of four fields: 1) Ancient, 2) Medieval, 3) Early Modern, 4) Modern and Contemporary. No more than 2.0 FCEs may be taken in any one of the four fields.

    • Coursework must also be taken in at least two geographic zones (Western, East Asian, South Asian, African, etc.). Courses without a specific regional focus may count toward the geographical distribution requirement if the student's final paper is on an appropriate topic.

    • The equivalent of 1.0 FCE may be taken in another graduate department (e.g., Medieval Studies, Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations), subject to approval of the Department of Art History and the other department concerned.

  • Reading knowledge of a language other than English (normally French, German, Italian, or Chinese); tested in the first session.

  • Orientation to Art Historical Research Methods, a workshop led by the Department of Art History's librarian, normally taken in Year 1.

Program Length

3 sessions full-time (typical registration sequence: F/W/S);
6 sessions part-time

Time Limit

3 years full-time;
6 years part-time



Doctor of Philosophy

Program Description

The PhD program is designed to prepare art history students for college and university teaching, museum curatorships, and other research positions.

Applicants may enter the PhD program via one of two routes: 1) following completion of an appropriate master's degree or 2) direct entry after completing a bachelor's degree.

 

PhD Program

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • Applicants are admitted under the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. Applicants must also satisfy the Graduate Department of Art History's additional admission requirements stated below.

  • Minimum A– average in their master's program.

  • Reading knowledge of two foreign languages relevant to the student's research.

  • Students unable to meet language requirements for particular courses may be refused admission to courses; enrolment in Fall courses is limited and subject to instructor's approval.

Program Requirements

  • Coursework. Students must complete 3.0 full-course equivalents (FCEs) of graduate courses as follows:

    • FAH 5000Y Comprehensive Examinations and Dissertation Topic Reading Course (1.0 FCE; Credit/No Credit) with the student's interim supervisor to prepare for the comprehensive examinations.

    • FAH 1001H Methods of Art History (0.5 FCE), a departmental methodology course, must be taken in Year 1. With departmental approval, credit may be given for a research methodology course taken previously.

    • The remaining 1.5 FCEs must be chosen from at least three of the following fields: 1) Ancient, 2) Medieval, 3) Early Modern, 4) Modern and Contemporary. Any course that covers more than one of these time periods may only be used to fulfil one of the FCE distributions.

    • Coursework must also be taken in at least two geographic zones (Western, East Asian, South Asian, African, etc.). Courses without a specific regional focus may count toward the geographical distribution requirement if the student's final paper is on an appropriate topic.

  • Orientation to Art Historical Research Methods, a workshop for led by the Department of Art History's librarian, normally taken in Year 1.

  • At the end of each academic year, students' progress will be reviewed to ensure that they have made satisfactory progress through the program; this includes maintaining full-time status with a GPA of at least A– and completion of all language requirements.

  • Students must pass examinations in two foreign languages by the end of Year 2. Students who have completed a language exam during their MA may apply to have the exam counted towards fulfilling one of the two foreign language requirements. The appropriate languages will be set by the interim supervisor in consultation with the Director of Graduate Studies, and additional languages may be required depending on the research needs of the student's dissertation topic.

  • Within Years 1 and 2, students complete coursework and language requirements and secure a prospective supervisor with whom they will discuss plans for the comprehensive examinations.

  • Additionally, within Years 1 and 2, students must take a three-part comprehensive examination: 1) the first part focusing on one of the four fields, 2) the second on the student's dissertation field, and 3) the third (oral) discussing the first two.

    • The exam consists of an in-house written section, a take-home essay, and an oral exam.

    • The student will meet with the Examination Committee (normally made up of at least three members of the department, one of whom will be the prospective dissertation supervisor), in order to define the areas of the examination, the length of study, and such readings and special topics as deemed appropriate.

    • If a student fails the comprehensive examinations, one further attempt is allowed, no more than three months later. A second failure results in the immediate removal of the student from the program.

    • Once the student passes the exam, their graduate record will be updated to reflect successful exam completion.

  • Immediately following successful completion of comprehensive examinations, students must formally establish their PhD Advisory Committee. This will include the faculty member acting as the dissertation supervisor, and two other graduate faculty members. These arrangements must be approved by the department's Graduate Program Committee.

  • Working with the PhD Advisory Committee, the student will develop a detailed proposal for their research, to be submitted 3 months after the successful completion of their comprehensive exam. The length and specific nature of the proposal will be determined by the Advisory Committee and the PhD student. The drafted proposal must be approved, first by the Advisory Committee, and then by the Director of Graduate Studies.

  • At some point during the dissertation stage, students will present their work to the faculty and students at a colloquium in an appropriate format and at a time to be determined by the supervisor in consultation with the Director of Graduate Studies.

  • Normal timeline through the program: By the end of Year 1, students should have completed all course requirements for the degree. By the end of the following year of registration, students should satisfy any remaining requirements, select a thesis committee, pass the comprehensive examination, and submit a thesis proposal. Thereafter, the candidate selects a member of the thesis committee to be the thesis supervisor and begins work on their thesis.

Program Length

4 years

Time Limit

6 years

 

PhD Program (Direct-Entry)

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • Applicants are admitted under the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. Applicants must also satisfy the Graduate Department of Art History's additional admission requirements stated below.

  • Applicants with a bachelor's degree who have an exceptionally strong academic record; minimum grade average of A– in art history and humanities courses in the last two years.

  • Reading knowledge of two foreign languages relevant to the student's research.

  • Students unable to meet language requirements for particular courses may be refused admission to courses; enrolment in Fall courses is limited and subject to instructor's approval.

Program Requirements

  • Coursework. Students must complete at least 5.5 full-course equivalents (FCEs) in art history as follows:

    • FAH 5000Y Comprehensive Examinations and Dissertation Topic Reading Course (1.0 FCE; Credit/No Credit) must be taken in Year 2 with the student's interim supervisor to prepare for the comprehensive examinations.

    • FAH 1001H Methods of Art History (0.5 FCE), a departmental methodology course, must be taken in Years 1 and 2. With departmental approval, credit may be given for a research methodology course taken previously.

    • The remaining 4.0 FCEs must be chosen from at least three of the following fields: (1) Ancient, (2) Medieval, (3) Early Modern, 4) Modern and Contemporary. Any course that covers more than one of these time periods may only be used to fulfil one of the FCE distributions.

    • Coursework must be taken in at least two geographic zones (Western, East Asian, South Asian, African, etc.). Courses without a specific regional focus may count toward the geographical distribution requirement if the student's final paper is on an appropriate topic.

  • Students must maintain an A– average.

  • Orientation to Art Historical Research Methods, a workshop led by the Department of Art History's librarian, normally taken in Year 1.

  • Students must pass examinations in two foreign languages by the end of Year 2. Students focusing on Ancient, Medieval, and Renaissance and Baroque will normally be expected to pass the examination in German as one of their two languages. The appropriate languages will be set by the interim supervisor in consultation with the Director of Graduate Studies, and additional languages may be required depending on the research needs of the student's dissertation topic. Language requirements must be completed prior to approval of the dissertation proposal.

  • At the beginning of Year 3, students' progress will be reviewed to ensure that they have made satisfactory progress through the program; this includes maintaining full-time status with a GPA of at least A– and completion of all language requirements.

  • Within the first three years, students must take a three-part comprehensive examination: 1) the first part focusing on one of the four fields, 2) the second on the dissertation field, and 3) the third (oral) discussing the first two.

    • The exam consists of an in-house written section, a take-home essay, and an oral exam.

    • Upon the completion of all coursework, PhD students must seek out and secure the participation of a prospective supervisor with whom they will discuss plans for the comprehensive examinations.

    • The student will meet with the Examination Committee (normally made up of at least three members of the department, one of whom will be the prospective dissertation supervisor) in order to define the areas of the examination, the length of study, and such readings and special topics as deemed appropriate.

    • If a student fails the comprehensive examinations, one further attempt is allowed, no more than three months later. A second failure results in the immediate removal of the student from the program.

    • Once the student passes the exam, their graduate record will be updated to reflect successful exam completion.

  • Immediately following successful completion of comprehensive examinations, students must formally establish their PhD Advisory Committee. This will include the faculty member acting as the dissertation supervisor, and two other graduate faculty members. These arrangements must be approved by the department's Graduate Program Committee.

  • Working with the PhD Advisory Committee, the student will develop a detailed proposal for their research, to be submitted 3 months after the successful completion of their comprehensive exam. The length and specific nature of the proposal will be determined by the Advisory Committee and the PhD student. The drafted proposal must be approved, first by the Advisory Committee, and then by the department's Director of Graduate Studies.

  • At some point during the dissertation stage, students will present their work to the faculty and students at a colloquium in an appropriate format and at a time to be determined by the supervisor in consultation with the Director of Graduate Studies.

  • Normal timeline through the program: By the end of Year 2, students should have completed all course requirements for the degree. By the end of the following year of registration, students should satisfy any remaining requirements, select a thesis committee, pass the comprehensive examination, and submit a thesis proposal. Thereafter, the candidate selects a member of the thesis committee to be the thesis supervisor and begins work on their thesis.

Program Length

5 years (some students may take longer to complete the program)

Time Limit

7 years



Kate Addleman-Frankel

“The resources at U of T for humanities scholars are incredibly rich.”

Kate Addleman-Frankel
PhD Candidate, Art History
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