Department of Art History and Art

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Admission to the PhD Program in Art History

Application Deadline: January 1, 2017 for fall 2017 admisson only.

Admission to the doctoral program presupposes a BA or MA degree in art history and reading knowledge of one approved modern language. Admission preference is given to students whose scholarly interests closely parallel those of a department faculty member, those who wish to focus on distinctive holdings in the collection of the Cleveland Museum of Art, and/or those planning to pursue topics in museum or collecting history or the history of the art market. Students with a BA degree only should indicate if they wish to be considered for one of our MA programs if they are not admitted to the doctoral program. Students whose MA was awarded more than five years prior to application for admission may be required to pass a qualifying examination and/or foreign language examination administered by the department before being admitted to full standing in the PhD program.

In addition to the standard CWRU graduate school application forms submitted online (see for details) applicants to the graduate program in art history are required to submit a statement of purpose and two research papers in art history. Applicants who have an MA degree in art history should submit papers written during their enrollment in the MA program; if an MA thesis is complete by the time of application, it should be submitted as one of the two papers. Three letters of recommendation that highlight aspects of the student’s academic and scholarly potential are also required. Whenever possible, these letters should be written by art historians, working in academe or in museum professions. Submission of Graduate Record Examination scores (GRE) is required; scores should be sent directly to CWRU.

Click Here to Go to the Online Application System for the CWRU Graduate School Program.

CWRU students currently enrolled in the second year of one of the department’s MA programs or those who have graduated in the last year do not have to submit the CWRU online application or academic transcripts, or pay the application fee when applying to the PhD program. Otherwise the application requirements are consistent for both non-CWRU and CWRU applicants: a statement of purpose, three current letters of recommendation, and two research papers written while at CWRU. One letter of recommendation must be from a professor with whom you wish to continue working as a doctoral student.

All applicants whose native language is not English, or who have not received a degree from an English-speaking university, must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL); the required minimum score is 600 if paper-based, or 100 if Internet-based.

Application decisions for the doctoral program are made in several stages. Semi-finalists will be interviewed via Skype. A ranked short list, drawn up after the interviews, will be sent to the relevant Cleveland Museum of Art curators and to the Director of Education and Interpretation at the CMA. A student will only be offered admission to the doctoral program with the agreement of the proposed CWRU primary advisor and the proposed supervising CMA curator.

Page last modified: July 5, 2016