PhD Learning Goals and Assessment
The Graduate Program in Art History
PhD Learning Goals and Assessment
Adopted September 2011
The Graduate Program in Art History at Rutgers trains PhD students at the highest level in all aspects of the history and theory of the world’s art, architecture and visual culture. In addition, we provide PhD students with the opportunity to earn professional certificates in Curatorial Studies and in Cultural Heritage and Preservation Studies (CHAPS). Our students are prepared to assume a range of top positions within the academy, a wide variety of museums in all cultural fields, and also within the growing field of Cultural Heritage, which may encompass positions with federal or state government agencies concerned with preservation and public policy.
Learning Goal One for Students:
*Attain mastery of the ability to do rigorous research, construct original arguments, and substantiate them in a persuasive, fluent manner. Identify topics that will make a significant contribution to the field, shaping future discussions and wherever possible, fortifying connections to related endeavors in the humanities and social sciences.
*Assessment of student achievement in Goal 1.
*Evaluate graduate course grades and assess narrative evaluations by faculty.
* Evaluate students’ completion of requirements: a methods course, coursework in at least three different fields, four courses with term papers
*Organize faculty reviews of student progress, based on close advising and mentoring, from both individual advisors and the graduate director.
*Conduct a two-part PhD exam to assess the depth and breadth of students’ knowledge: an oral exam with a committee of four faculty members, and, if the exam is successful, a ten day research paper, evaluated by the same committee.
*Role of the Program in helping students to achieve Goal One
*Provide close advising to assure that students are being prepared in a coherent and academically rigorous fashion.
*Engage in effective, regular monitoring of student progress, providing annual reports of student’s progress—from both the student and the committee members
*Organize a regular review by faculty of the graduate curriculum—its coherence and logic; periodically evaluate the requirements of exams, proposal presentations, and dissertation defenses.
*Work with students to develop the bibliographies for their exams and the outlines for their dissertation proposals
*Advise students about relevant graduate seminars offered by the schools in the consortium: Columbia, NYU downtown, the Institute of Fine Arts, the Graduate Center at CUNY, UPenn, and Stonybrook.
*Learning Goal 2 for Students: Engage in and Conduct Original Research
*Assessment of Graduate Student Achievement of Goal Two:
*The presentation and defense of the student’s dissertation proposal at an open workshop, attended by both graduate students and faculty.
*The submission of an expanded proposal, including bibliography, to the faculty, which votes on the proposal at the next faculty meeting.
*The Assessment of the quality of the PhD dissertation: When the PhD dissertation is completed and vetted by the advisor and the entire committee, the student presents his/her research at a public defense, followed by a private discussion with the dissertation committee, which may request revisions. Committees are composed of three Art History faculty and one outside reader, often an Art Historian from a peer institution who is a specialist in the student’s field, and/or a scholar in a related field—History, Classics, Area Studies, for example—who can supply specialized knowledge and support.
* Submission of conference papers and peer-reviewed articles based on the dissertation
Role of the Graduate program in helping students achieve Goal Two.
*Provide early introduction to research methods and opportunities for developing original topics, both in consultation with potential committee members, and through a Methods course taught for new students every year.
*Provide opportunities to present research and receive feedback: conduct rehearsals of projected talks and conference papers, and advise on submission of manuscripts to journals, including the Rutgers Art Review.
*Support students in identifying potential funding sources, both within and outside Rutgers.
*Provide comprehensive advising and assist in the identification of mentors.
*Learning Goal Three for Students: Prepare PhD students to be professionals at the highest levels of academia, museum administration and curating, as well as leaders in the field of preservation studies and cultural heritage.
*Assessment of graduate student achievement of Goal 3:
*Mentor students in securing internships at institutions that will help train them for the work ahead.
*Review papers presented, publications submitted and advise on professional networking opportunities.
*Evaluate the teaching effectiveness of graduate student instructors with regular observation, and a follow-up discussion, with faculty mentors.
*Keep a current Alumni Data Base.
PhD Examination Format
The student has a choice of two alternate forms of qualifying examinations.
A written examination followed by an oral exam:
A written examination may be taken either in one eight-hour session on one day or in two four-hour sessions on two consecutive days. The student must answer four essay questions in their field of concentration. Within a week of the successful completion of the written examination, an oral examination, of approximately two hours' duration, will follow.
An oral examination followed by a written research paper:
The oral examination will be approximately two hours in length and will focus on factual aspects of the student's field of specialization. Within six months after passing the oral examination, the student must take the second portion, which consists of a written research paper on an assigned topic to be completed within a period of ten days.
In the case of either, evaluation of the written section is made by the doctoral examination committee. Their decision is communicated to the student within a week of the completion of the examination. In the event that the student is judged to have failed the written section of the examination, committee members will be available to the student either individually or as a group to discuss their decision. In the case of a failure at the oral examination level, the student will be informed immediately upon conclusion of the committee's deliberations. A student who fails the doctoral qualifying examination will be allowed to retake it once, and must do so within a year after the first attempt.
After successfully completing the qualifying examination, the student will be formally admitted by the Graduate School to candidacy for the Ph.D. degree. Successful completion also entitles those students excused from the Master's examination to receive a Master's degree.