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The Ph.D. Program in Art History at The Graduate Center of The City University of New York is dedicated to the development of scholars, teachers, museum curators, art critics, and other arts professionals. It provides students with a general background in the history of art to prepare them to serve their discipline and their communities in all areas of cultural endeavor.

In spring 2015 we were awarded a $635,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to fund New Initiatives in Curatorial Training (read about the initiative), a four-year project in the Ph.D. Program in Art History to deepen and formalize the program’s long-standing commitment to training future curators and other museum and arts professionals. The grant is the largest received by the Ph.D. Program in Art History since its founding in 1978.

The Mellon Foundation grant will support graduate seminars focused on the direct analysis of works of art in museums, fund Curatorial Fellowships in New York area museums, and subsidize a yearlong seminar on curatorial practice culminating in a student-curated exhibition in the Graduate Center’s James Gallery.

Together with the Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa, the Ph.D. Program in Art History has a special arrangement with the Center for Italian Modern Art (CIMA), which offers three fellowships per year to students working on modern Italian art. Find more information about the fellowships.

In addition to taking courses offered at the Graduate Center, students may also take courses through master’s programs in Art History at other units of the City University or through consortium universities which include the Bard Graduate Center, Columbia University, Fordham University, the Institute of Fine Arts of New York University, New School University, Princeton University, Rutgers University, or SUNY Stony Brook.
Within the Graduate Center, the Ph.D. Program in Art History has close ties to The James Gallery, located on the first floor of the building, and The Center for Humanities, which frequently collaborates with students and faculty in art history, as well as offering fellowships and funding for events.

It goes without saying that New York City, with its museums, galleries, libraries, and art activities, provides unparalleled opportunities for the study of art history through firsthand experience with art objects. To expand study and research, courses often include field trips, assignments for independent study, work projects, cooperative ventures, and meetings with artists, curators, art administrators, and critics. Every effort is made to introduce students to active participation in the rich art life of this cultural metropolis.

For all queries, please contact


Executive Officer 2016-17:

Rachel Kousser

Executive Officer, Professor
Brooklyn College, Boylan Hall

Phone: 718-951-5181