The Graduate Art History Program at Rutgers covers all periods of Western, Sub-Saharan and Asian Art. Both the Master of Arts (M.A.) degree and the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree are offered. Along with their degree program, students may pursue a Certificate in Curatorial Studies. The course of study includes curatorial training, internships, and an exhibition seminar and is awarded concurrently with the M.A. and/or Ph.D. degree.
The call for applications goes out once a year for both the MA and PhD program. The deadline for application for the PhD program is January 10. Applications for the MA programs should be made by January 10, but we will consider applications on a rolling basis.
Prerequisites and Expectations
We currently offer three primary tracks for the MA in Art History: (1) Cultural Heritage and Preservation Studies (CHAPS), (2) Curatorial Studies, and (3) Art History. Students applying for the CHAPS and Curatorial Studies come from a variety of majors and, on occasion, bring with them related professional experience in the form of previous jobs and/or internships. Students applying for the general MA in Art History should be able to demonstrate a compelling reason for studying with specific faculty members in the department and/or a strong desire to draw upon particular strengths of the department. The general MA in art history can serve as a bridge program for students who show exceptional promise and who wish to bolster their research skills for future application to a PhD program.
All applicants for the PhD should have a strong liberal arts background, with a recommended minimum of six art history courses. Although not a prerequisite, reading proficiency in one foreign language must be demonstrated within the first year of the program.
We have a limited number of fellowships, TAships, and other funds to support both incoming and ongoing students in our doctoral programs. Information on funding can found at https://arthistory.rutgers.edu/academics/graduate/funding.
How to Apply
All applications are processed online through the Graduate Admission website. All applicants, for both M.A. and Ph.D programs, must complete and/or submit the following materials online:
- Online application form
- Application fee
- Personal Statement
- Writing Sample
- Three letters of recommendation
- All official transcripts (undergraduate and graduate level, if applicable)
- Official TOEFL or IELTS score (for international applicants)
Please note that Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores are no longer required, although applicants who have taken the GREs are encouraged to submit their scores, especially if applying to the doctoral program.
Personal Statements and Writing Samples
For the PhD program, the personal statement should provide an intellectual biography. It should address the applicant’s academic background and goals in pursuing doctoral study. It should also detail the larger research questions that motivate the applicant’s scholarly pursuits. The writing samples typically range between 15-30 pages and should demonstrate the capacity for critical thinking and producing original (and preferably primary source) research in the applicant’s primary field of interest. The letters of recommendation should come from former professors or professionals who can best speak to the applicant’s abilities and potential promise for doing innovative research. Applicants with an MA from another university who wish to enter the PhD program are strongly recommended to solicit at least one of their letters of recommendation from a graduate instructor.
For MA programs, the personal statement should address the applicant’s academic background and professional goals as they relate to their particular program of interest (e.g., curatorial studies, CHAPS, etc), and ways in which the program may provide the specific intellectual and practical training that they need. The writing sample is typically 10-15 pages and should represent the candidate’s specific area or field of interest. The letters of recommendation should come from former professors or professionals who can best speak to the applicant’s abilities and potential promise for doing innovative research and/or advancing within a relevant profession.
Applicants with the M.A. from another university who wish to enter the Ph.D. program are required to solicit at least one of their letters of recommendation from a graduate instructor and to submit a writing sample demonstrating their critical thinking and scholarship in art history.
If supporting materials cannot be uploaded, hard copies should be sent to:
Office of Graduate and Professional Admissions
56 College Avenue
New Brunswick, N.J. 08901
Information on Big Ten Application Fee Waiver
The Big Ten Allicance has a application fee waiver in place for any applicant who belongs to a group traditionally underrepresented in graduate education, including racial and ethnic minorities, women in STEM, first-generation college students, and individuals who have faced adversity, such as societal, economic or academic disadvantages. The waiver can be placed through the FreeApp online app, which can be found here.
Additional queries for further information can be addressed to the Graduate Program Director, whose contact information can be found at https://arthistory.rutgers.edu/contact-us.