Students are admitted with either a B.A. or M.A. degree to earn a Ph.D. in Art History. In general, the requirements for the degree include the following:
- passing of the Comprehensive Examination
- passing of the two language examinations
- passing of the First (Written) Examination
- completion of 60 credits of course work with a minimum grade-point average of B (3.0)
- passing of the Second (Oral) Examination
- fulfilling of the Unrelated Minor requirement
- submission of an approved dissertation topic
Upon completion of the above requirements, the student is advanced to candidacy for the Ph.D. Once advanced to candidacy, the student begins work on the dissertation. The dissertation is an original study that in the opinion of the official readers makes a genuine contribution to art history. It must incorporate original research and demonstrate a high degree of competence in the use of appropriate art history methodologies. In terms of content and format, it should be regarded as the first stage of development of a book, a series of articles, an exhibition, or a scholarly catalogue. It is thus often the basis for further scholarly work and the major achievement on which one’s scholarly reputation initially rests.
Information on estimated educational costs, detailed descriptions of the financial aid programs and information on application procedures and filing dates are available from the Office of Financial Aid. The Bulletin of the Graduate Center and the Graduate Center website, http://www.gc.cuny.edu , provide an overview of financial aid awards, including named fellowships, available to Graduate Center students.
In addition to fellowships made available by The Graduate Center, friends and alumni of the Ph.D. Program in Art History generously provide funds for student fellowships. Such funds vary in amount from year to year. Announcements of these fellowships are emailed to all eligible students and posted in the Student Lounge and on the program website.
Alumnae/i, friends, and families of former students have also contributed funds for student research. The Spero-Goldreich Award in European and American Sculpture from 1775 to 1960 is awarded annually to a dissertation-level student. The Kristie A. Jayne Fellowship annually awards one or more fellowships to students who have passed the First Examination and who are focusing on the social and political concerns of twentieth-century art, especially projects that deal specifically with United States art of the 1920s and 30s. The Catherine Hoover Voorsanger Fellowship is awarded to a student of American, and preferably decorative, art.
In addition to the above awards, The Graduate Center has been awarded a $500,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to fund New Initiatives in Curatorial Training, a three-year pilot project in the Ph.D. Program in Art History. The grant is the largest received by the Ph.D. Program in Art History since its founding in 1978. The Mellon Foundation grant will help address the need for more focused curatorial training by facilitating student fellowships in New York area museums, supporting graduate seminars focused on the direct analysis of works of art in museums and galleries, and funding a yearlong seminar on curatorial practice culminating in a student-curated exhibition in the Graduate Center’s James Gallery.
Besides these Graduate Center and program sources, students are encouraged to seek outside grants to support advanced research and the preparation of the dissertation. The Graduate Center Office of Sponsored Research maintains lists of available funding sources and aids students in writing grant proposals, and the Art History Ph.D. Program sponsors workshops in the fall and spring semesters on grant applications. Graduate Center students have won fellowships and awards from the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, the Metropolitan Museum, and the Smithsonian Institution, as well as other foundations, institutions, and agencies. Students will receive email announcements for those fellowships needing program nomination so that they can apply for consideration.