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University of Pittsburgh    
2018-2019 Graduate & Professional Studies Catalog 
  Dec 09, 2023
2018-2019 Graduate & Professional Studies Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Department of History of Art and Architecture

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The University of Pittsburgh’s PhD program in History of Art and Architecture offers close mentoring from internationally renowned scholars for students admitted through a highly selective admissions process.  We fully fund all our doctoral students with generous multiyear packages of financial support, including fellowships and teaching assistantships. Our students also have an excellent record in competing for prestigious external fellowships such as the Fulbright, and in job placement after graduation.

Application is directly to the PhD program.  Even though many students earn an MA here before proceeding to the PhD, ours is essentially a PhD program and we do not admit students for a terminal MA.  Students who already hold an MA in History of Art and Architecture before matriculating at the University of Pittsburgh may receive credit toward the PhD.  We encourage all prospective students to select a potential advisor based on that professor’s expertise in a given subject, and to contact that faculty member in their area of interest before applying. 

Our program possesses an innovative and exciting structure, in which faculty members and graduate students participate in research constellations.  These constellations organize our department not around subject matter, but rather around commonly held interpretative approaches and lines of inquiry (“Visual Knowledge,” “Agency,” “Identity,” etc.).  While our students acquire specialized knowledge of a particular art-historical subfield, they also produce conceptually ambitious and methodologically innovative research for their PhD.  We strongly encourage students to explore our web site ( for more information on faculty members, graduate program requirements, and the application process.

Contact Information

Linda Hicks
Senior Administrator
104 Frick Fine Arts Building
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
Phone: 412-648-2421

Please consult our department website for further information on our graduate program ( or email Linda Hicks at


Applicants for admission must submit: an online application, official transcripts of all college-level work, three letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose outlining the applicant’s intellectual and professional goals, a writing sample that demonstrates the applicant’s scholarly ability, a completed foreign language questionnaire, and GRE scores. International students whose first language is not English must also submit TOEFL scores administered by the Educational Testing Service with a minimum score of 90 on the internet-based test and a minimum score of 22 in each section.

Strong applicants will have completed an undergraduate major in a discipline in the humanities with at least a minor (12 credits / 4 advanced-level courses) in history of art and architecture.  Successful applicants will possess strong language skills in the area(s) that they wish to pursue.  For example, students wishing to pursue degree work in East Asian art and architecture must have the equivalent of three years of college-level instruction in Chinese or Japanese before entering the program.  Students applying to study topics related to Europe and/or the Americas should likewise have relevant language competency (completion through the intermediate college level with a B+ or better).  Students in coursework also have opportunities to acquire additional language skills both on campus and beyond.  Our program embraces global perspectives on art and architecture, and we welcome applicants who will contribute diverse language skills that are essential to this mission.

The deadline for admissions is December 15.  Applicants are notified of their status in the following spring, and admitted students enter the program in the fall.

Financial Assistance

The department offers five-year aid packages to all of its PhD students.  These packages consist of full tuition scholarships and living expense stipends. Aid is guaranteed for the duration of the package provided the student remains in good academic standing and makes satisfactory progress toward the degree. Aid takes the form of teaching and research assistantships, including a variety of positions at the University Art Gallery (, the Visual Media Workshop (, and institutions connected to the Collecting Knowledge Pittsburgh ( initiative.  All incoming students receive a fellowship free of teaching and other employment duties for their first year, and are expected to compete for internal and external fellowships as they continue in the program.  The department is committed to supporting all students regardless of citizenship status or country of origin.  For more financial aid information, please consult our website:


Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences Faculty  




      History of Art & Architecture

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