This concentration within the Department of Art History's Ph.D. program provides candidates with the opportunity to broaden and give depth to their art historical areas of specialization through the exploration of cross-disciplinary and global approaches to the analysis of monuments, sites and works of art within the context of cultural heritage and preservation studies.

The Ph.D. in Art History with a concentration in CHAPS welcomes students coming from diverse disciplines with an interest in issues of Cultural Heritage and Preservation Studies. Students combine Art Historical expertise with the challenges, politics, and ethics of cultural heritage and preservation studies to produce critical and innovative research that is situated across an intersection of disciplinary traditions.


Program Requirements

Four required courses (12 credits)

Qualifying Exam

The qualifying exam consists of an oral exam followed by a ten-day written paper.  The oral examination is approximately two hours in length. After successful completion of this portion, the student undertakes the written portion. The topic of the paper, which is assigned by the committee, is designed to assist students with formulating concepts and methods for their dissertation.

Dissertation Proposal

Students choosing the CHAPS concentration will be encouraged to develop a dissertation topic with a strong cultural heritage and preservation studies component in consultation with their CHAPS and Art History advisors.

The dissertation proposal will be presented in a closed-door meeting to the dissertation committee no later than twelve weeks after successful completion of the comprehensive exam,


All applications are processed online through the Graduate Admission website:

All applicants must complete and/or submit the following materials online:

  • Online application form
  • Application fee
  • Statement of Purpose
  • 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 by the Graduate School.

Successful applicants should indicate their intention to apply directly to the Director of CHAPS and are expected to clearly define their interest in the CHAPS track in their Ph.D. application, as well as a clear intention to work with other faculty in Art History in line with their focus area. Applications to the CHAPS Concentration must include a proposed research topic that adequately intersects CHAPS and Art Historical concerns, research subjects and methods (see Statement of Purpose, below).

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.

Statement of Purpose

For the Ph.D. 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.

CHAPS applicants are strongly advised to prepare their personal statement addressing the following questions:

  • What is the proposed focus of your investigation? What is your main research objective? How does this question link shared concerns (or conflicts) between Art History and Cultural Heritage and Preservation Studies?
  • How does your research draw inspiration from existing debates and concerns in Cultural Heritage and Preservation Studies and Art History? What contribution do you propose to make on these fields?
  • What type of resources will you need to address your research topic? Why is CHAPS at Rutgers the right place to conduct this research? Assess specific resources that support your proposed research across Rutgers (in CHAPS, Art History, and other departments and centers), including faculty.
  • How have you prepared yourself to do this research? Describe your language competence, technical skills, previous coursework and research, and any other relevant experience. Describe any work you have already done on this project and how this research relates to other academic and practical work you have done.

Deadline for Fall admission: January 10th