Ph.D. Concentration in Cultural Heritage and Preservation Studies

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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 CHAPS concentration is a complement for all the fields of specialization currently offered in the Department of Art History. Students are encouraged to think broadly and cross-culturally, and to integrate relevant theory and practice into their art historical research, writing, and teaching.

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.

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.


Four required courses: 12 credits

  • Cultural Heritage and Preservation Studies
  • Methods in Cultural Heritage and Preservation Studies
  • Two CHAPS electives in line with their research interests during their first two years of coursework.

Qualifying Exam

The qualifying exam consists of an oral exam followed by a ten-day written paper. Both the written and oral exams will contain a CHAPS concentration component. A CHAPS faculty member will serve on the examination committee.

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. A CHAPS faculty member will serve on the Dissertation committee.

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, or in the first weeks of the Fall semester in the case of a summer break. Students will circulate the proposal in advance of the meeting, and the meeting will be an in-depth discussion of the written proposal with no oral presentation component.
The committee will consist of three members of the department and may also include the outside reader, at the adviser’s discretion. Upon consultation with the adviser, the student may wish to invite other faculty members from within or outside the Department to participate in the meeting. Approval of the dissertation proposal shall be decided by the committee.


Application to this program is done through the Graduate Ph.D. Program in the Department of Art History
Successful applicants are expected to clearly define their interest in CHAPS 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. 
Applicants must complete and submit the online application form available on the Graduate Admissions office website.


Deadline for Fall admission: January 10th