Apply for a PhD in Art History

Application Process | Selection Criteria

  • Application Available: October 1. Admission is offered only for the fall term, except under highly unusual circumstances.
  • Application Deadline: December 15
  • Application Fee: The online application requires payment of a $70 USD application fee for domestic applicants or a $90 USD application fee for international applicants using Visa, Mastercard, Discover, or personal check (e-check).
  • Application Decision: Decision letters will be emailed approximately 4–8 weeks after the application deadline.

Prior to submitting your application to the Department of the History of Art and Architecture, we strongly recommend that you contact individual faculty members with whom you are interested in working. Faculty interests and contact information are available from the faculty page.

Send general questions about the graduate program to the Director of Graduate Studies.

Direct your questions about the application process to us at 541-346-3675 or to

Additional information on graduate studies at UO is available from the Graduate School.

Application Process

You will access both the UO Graduate School and Department application through the application linked below.

The online application saves your progress as you work; therefore, you can login and update as necessary until you are ready to submit your completed application.

Be sure to follow all of the instructions carefully. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Get started by reviewing the following application requirements:

Graduate School and Department Application

Department Requirements

Statement of Purpose
Describe in detail your interests in the field of art and/or architectural history. This statement should include an account of your research interests, professional goals, how these integrate with our department, and why you wish to be admitted to our program. Be sure to indicate the faculty member (or members) and the resources and aspects of the program that seem particularly suited to your educational needs. (Please limit the length of this document to a maximum of four double-spaced pages.)

Writing Sample
Provide one sample of your scholarly work that reflects your research and critical writing skills (30 double-spaced pages maximum).

List of Art History Courses
This list should include all art history and closely related courses taken, the institution and year in which each was taken, and the grade you received in each.

Description of Language Preparation and Proficiency
All graduate students are required to demonstrate reading proficiency in at least one foreign language by the end of their first year in the program. The language must be approved by the student's advisor and should be relevant to the student's scholarly interests.

Upload a copy of your curriculum vitae (résumé) listing your educational background and experience.

Upload a PDF copy of all of your transcripts and degree certificates.

Letters of Recommendation
Three (3) letters of recommendation are required, and recommenders should be former professors or similar professionals who are in a position to evaluate your potential for successful completion of a graduate degree in art history. The GradWeb Application System will guide you through the process. You will only have to enter names and email addresses. The system will request the recommendation directly.

Grad School Requirements

In addition to completing the online graduate application, materials must be submitted to the University. For complete details on the Graduate School requirements, review How to Apply.

Official Transcripts
Submit Official transcripts from all colleges or universities where you received a bachelor’s degree and all subsequent degrees. Transcripts must show degrees awarded.
A satisfactory command of the English language is required for admission to the University of Oregon. International applicants must show proof of language proficiency through one of the following three methods:
  • Degree from English-speaking country
  • TOEFL test
  • IELTS Score

Scores should be sent directly from ETS to the University of Oregon:

  • Institution Code: 4846
  • Department Code: 4401

Minimum English language proficiency requirements for the History of Art and Architecture:

  • IBT TOEFL Minimum = 88
  • PBT TOEFL Minimum = 575
  • IELTS Minimum = 7.0. ETS

Selection Criteria

In considering applicants, the department looks at your background in art history, along with breadth in such related areas as literature and history. An undergraduate degree in art history, however, is not required for admission into the master's program. Students may apply and be admitted to the PhD program with or without having already completed a master’s degree. Students entering the PhD program with an MA already in hand may petition to waive some coursework requirements to more quickly progress through the PhD curriculum


Applicants will be notified of the department’s decision via email. Decision letters are typically sent 4–8 weeks after the application deadline.