PhD in the History of Art and Architecture

The Department of the History of Art and Architecture offers fully funded PhD fellowships for competitive candidates.

Please contact the Director of Graduate Studies for further details.


PhD Requirements

PhD students in the Department of the History of Art & Architecture (HA&A) are required to fulfill the following departmental requirements, as well as those of the UO Graduate School, to receive the doctoral degree in art history. HA&A faculty members are scholars and teachers, easily accessible to all students and dedicated to mentoring graduates from the first year of coursework to post-PhD career guidance. The HA&A faculty holds an annual review to ensure students are making satisfactory progress toward the degree.


Projected Time Table for Completing the PhD

Requirement

Completion Deadline

Language 1

end of spring in year 1

Declare major and minor fields

end of spring in year 1

Language 2

end of spring in year 2

Coursework

end of spring in year 2

Qualifying paper

end of spring in year 2

Major and minor comprehensive exams

end of winter in year 3

Dissertation prospectus

end of spring in year 3

Dissertation and defense

anytime between years 5 and 7


Language Requirement

Students should acquire a research capability in two foreign languages appropriate to their area of study as soon as possible in their academic program, unless otherwise approved by the student’s major advisor. All chosen languages must be approved by the student’s major advisor.

Language proficiency is typically demonstrated in one of several ways: (1) by passing a written language exam given by the department; (2) by providing an official transcript from the University of Oregon or elsewhere that shows satisfactory completion of the second or third year of the language, as determined by the student's major advisor; (3) or by presenting evidence of having achieved equivalent results on a standardized foreign-language placement test. (NOTE: This requirement may be waived for a student who has completed a high-school or higher degree that employed the target language as the primary language of instruction.)

Students are expected to satisfy their first foreign language requirement by the end of their first year in the program. It is highly recommended that they complete the second language requirement by the end of their second year in the program.

Coursework

HA&A Course Requirements

To fulfill the HA&A course requirements for the PhD, students are expected to take a total of 72 credits, selected in consultation with the student’s major advisor. Of the 72 credits, at least 36 credits must be in HA&A and taken for a letter grade. Of the 36 graduate credits required, a minimum of 12 must be in graduate seminars (600-level), including ARH 611 (Graduate Studies in Art History). Students are required to complete all required coursework before taking their comprehensive exams. Credits in Reading 605 or Dissertation 603 cannot count towards the 36 credits required in HA&A.

Major and Minor Requirements

Students are expected to declare major and minor fields of study by the spring quarter of their first year. Students are required to take a minimum of 12 credits in their major field and at least 8 credits in their minor field at the graduate level (500- or 600-level) prior to taking their comprehensive exams.

The major field must be in HA&A; the minor field may be another area in HA&A or in another discipline (e.g. classics, history, comparative literature, etc.).

Students entering the PhD program with an MA in hand may petition to waive some coursework requirements to more quickly progress through the program.

Qualifying Paper

A qualifying paper is an approximately 30-page paper that demonstrates the student’s ability to conduct independent research on a topic in her/his major field. It should show the student’s command of pertinent bibliographical and reference materials as well as her/his ability to critically evaluate and synthesize the current state of research on the subject.

Students must submit the qualifying paper by the end of the spring term of their second year. The qualifying paper must be approved by the student’s major advisor and a secondary HA&A faculty reader. Students may suggest potential secondary readers; however, the Director of Graduate Studies will balance requests against equity of faculty workload. The Qualifying Paper Approval Form (available in the HA&A administration office) should be signed by both readers then returned to the office.

In the unusual case that the qualifying paper fails to satisfy the standards of the two readers, the student will not be recommended to proceed in the doctoral program. In consultation with his/her major advisor, a student who is not recommended to proceed into the doctoral program may receive a terminal MA degree by revising and submitting his/her qualifying paper in accordance to the Graduate School’s standards for an  MA thesis and by completing all requirements for terminal MA degree.

Major and Minor Comprehensive Exams

Students are required to complete all required coursework before taking their comprehensive exams. With approval of their advisors, students may sign up for Reading (ARH 605) credits to prepare for the comprehensive exams. Students are required to complete two written comprehensive exams: one in their major field in HA&A and one in a minor field in HA&A or another discipline with departmental approval. The major comprehensive examiner must be the student’s major advisor in HA&A. The minor comprehensive examiner must be another faculty member, either in HA&A or in an outside department.

The department currently offers field examinations in the following categories:

  • Greek
  • Roman
  • Latin American
  • North American
  • Medieval
  • Renaissance & Baroque
  • Modern
  • Contemporary
  • Chinese
  • Japanese

Students must attach the Major and Minor Comprehensive Exam Completion Forms (available at the HA&A administration office) to their major and minor comprehensive exams upon submission to faculty examiners. Upon successfully completion of the major and minor comprehensive exams, the student must submit the Major and Minor Comprehensive Exam Completion Forms (filled out and signed by faculty examiners) along with a copy of each completed exam to the Graduate Coordinator.

Dissertation Committee Selection

The student selects the dissertation committee in consultation with her/his major advisor. The committee is subject to approval by the Director of Graduate Studies, and must follow the UO Graduate School’s Dissertation Committee Policy.

The dissertation committee typically consists of four members: the major advisor and two core members who are regular members of the department, and one institutional representative from a UO department other than HA&A.

The student should choose the dissertation committee and submit the names of committee members to the department’s Graduate Coordinator, who will officially file the committee with the Graduate School once the student has advanced to candidacy.

Dissertation Prospectus and Approval

In consultation with her/his major advisor, the student is required to write and present a dissertation prospectus in a meeting with all dissertation committee members. With approval of the major advisor, a student may sign up for Research (ARH 601) credits to prepare the dissertation prospectus. The student, in consultation with all committee members, should set a date, time, and location for the meeting, and submit her/his dissertation prospectus to all committee members at least two weeks prior to the meeting. In the meeting, the student will deliver an oral presentation (20–25 minutes) introducing the prospectus, which will be followed by comments, questions, and discussion.

The student must bring the Dissertation Prospectus Approval Form (available at the HA&A administration office) to the meeting. The prospectus approval form must be signed by all committee members at the end of the prospectus meeting, and the student must return the completed form, along with a copy of the approved dissertation prospectus, to the Graduate Coordinator.

Within two weeks of receiving/submitting the approved dissertation prospectus and dissertation prospectus approval form, the home department and the student must submit a report to the Graduate School recommending advancement to candidacy, by following the sequential steps outlined in the Graduate Student Handbook.

Advancement to Candidacy

The student is responsible for ensuring with the Graduate Coordinator and her/his major advisor that all necessary paperwork is completed for advancement to candidacy. Advancement to candidacy typically takes effect in the first regular academic term following completion of the comprehensive exams. The student must be registered for at least one credit at UO in the term in which she/he advances.   

Once the student is officially advanced to candidacy, her/his GE status (if applicable) will be raised to a GE III level, with an increased GE stipend. As soon as a doctoral student GE is advanced to candidacy, the Graduate Coordinator should work with the GE Coordinator to submit a PRF (payroll request form) and an amended contract to the Graduate School specifying that the student is advancing to GE III with the accompanying increase in stipend.

Dissertation Research, Writing and Defense

Once the prospectus is approved by all dissertation committee members, the student will be authorized to register for ARH 603 Dissertation credits with their major advisor. Students working toward a PhD must register for a minimum total of 18 credit hours in ARH 603 Dissertation. With department and Graduate School approval, up to 6 of the 18 credit hours may be in ARH 601 Research.

During this time, students focus on dissertation research and writing. Students are expected to make regular appointments with their major advisor to report progress and ensure expectations are being met.

The student is required to defend her/his completed dissertation in an oral defense with all dissertation committee members (and open to all students and faculty members who wish to attend). The student, in consultation with all committee members, should set a date, time, and location for the defense after the dissertation has been completed to the satisfaction of her/his major advisor and committee members. In the defense, the student will deliver an oral presentation introducing the dissertation, which will be followed by comments, questions, and discussion.

The student must bring the Dissertation Approval Form (available at the HA&A administration office) to the meeting. The dissertation approval form must be signed by all committee members following the completion of the defense. The student should return the signed dissertation approval form to the Graduate Coordinator in the HA&A administration office.

The format of the final version of the PhD dissertation must follow the UO Graduate School guidelines.

The UO Graduate School imposes a limit of seven years for completion of the PhD degree.