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University of Pittsburgh    
2023-2024 Graduate & Professional Studies Catalog 
  Jun 18, 2024
2023-2024 Graduate & Professional Studies 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 (HAA) provides close mentoring from internationally renowned scholars dedicated to maintaining and building on the program’s tradition of excellence and inclusivity.  Students in our graduate program enjoy five years of fully funded support regardless of whether they enter with a BA or an MA degree. Because ours is solely a PhD program, we do not admit applicants seeking a terminal MA degree, nor do we offer advanced degrees in Architectural Practice or Design. Students entering without an MA in the discipline from another approved institution are expected to complete an MA degree in the second year of our program as a stepping-stone in their progress toward the PhD. 

We strongly encourage applicants to explore our web site ( for more information on faculty members, graduate program requirements, and the application process.  Our program emphasizes learning and innovative research through our Constellations framework, which fosters faculty-student collaboration in the classroom and beyond on themes (such as “Visual Knowledge,” “Agency,” and “Environment”) that inform the discipline’s most adventurous and generative work.  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 urge all prospective students to contact a potential advisor (or advisors) from among our graduate faculty before applying to discuss your interests and find out more specific information about how they can be accommodated.

Contact Information

Ian A. Bennett
Graduate Administrator


Applicants for admission must submit: an online application, copies of transcripts of all college-level work, three letters of recommendation, a personal statement outlining the applicant’s intellectual and professional goals, and a sample of academic work that demonstrates the applicant’s scholarly ability.

Applicants are expected to have successfully completed four courses of art or architectural history at the undergraduate level. However, exceptions can be made for other courses and competencies that provide students with a grounding in the visual and/or spatial arts.

Competency in languages other than English is necessary for advanced degree work in our program. Admitted students are expected to demonstrate competency in a research language other than English before or shortly after beginning coursework; the language chosen should be appropriate for their area of study. Native and/or heritage speakers of a language other than English fulfill this requirement if their competency sufficiently facilitates research in their chosen field. All other applicants are strongly encouraged to have at least two years/four semesters of college-level instruction in the research language, with a grade of B+ or better, or equivalent knowledge prior to admission. Certification in a second research language relevant to the student’s area of study and professional goals is expected for award of the PhD. Students in coursework 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.

Applicants from outside the U.S. must meet University of Pittsburgh requirements for English language proficiency scores.  Please consult the International Students page for Graduate Study in the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences regarding minimum requirements on TOEFL, IELTS, and Duolingo English Test scores for admission.

Applications must be received by December 15.  Applicants are notified of their status in spring, and admitted students enter the program the following fall.

Financial Assistance

The department offers five-year aid packages to all its admitted 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 supporting the department’s Collecting Knowledge Pittsburgh ( initiative.  All incoming students receive a fellowship free of teaching and other employment duties for their first year and our students have a strong record of competing successfully 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  




      Architectural StudiesDigital Studies and MethodsHistory of Art & Architecture

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