The PhD Program in Art and Architectural History enrolls approximately five students per year. All students receive a five-year package that includes full-tuition remission, health insurance, and a generous stipend. Students with either a BA or an MA in art history, architectural history, or related fields are encouraged to apply for the PhD program. Students who are admitted into the program with a BA can apply for an 'in process' MA on their way to the PhD degree and must write a Qualifying Paper. Qualifying Paper Guidelines (pdf) >
In addition to the baseline fellowship package above, PhD students may apply for Departmental and University grants for summer travel, language study, prospectus research, and reimbursement for conference participation and publication expenses.
Six things prospective applicants need to know:
1. Application form
December 15 is the deadline to apply for admission and application should be made online through the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (gsas) webpage >
2. Faculty contact: Douglas Fordham, Director of Graduate Studies email >
Given the specialized and personal nature of PhD research, applicants are strongly encouraged to contact faculty members with whom they may wish to study. Emails are always welcome, and faculty advisors may request phone, Skype, or personal interviews as part of the admissions process. Applicants are always encouraged to visit UVA and to arrange meetings with possible advisors and the Director of Graduate Studies.
3. Graduate Record Examination (gre) and Test of English as a Foreign Language (toefl)
Graduate School regulations require that candidates take the verbal and quantitative aptitude tests of the gre within five years of applying. There is no achievement test in the history of art. Successful applicants typically score in the 90th percentile on their verbal test. Students who have not completed a prior degree in English must take the toefl exam and score at least 90.
4. Letters of recommendation
Students are required to submit three letters of recommendation. Ideally, applicants should request letters of recommendation from at least two teachers in the history of art and architecture. Letters from teachers in other academic fields are also suitable. All letters of recommendation must be received by December 15.
5. Writing sample
Applicants should submit a sample of their written work. There are no minimums or maximums, although article-length essays (under 10,000 words) are preferable.
6. Notification of decision
Admissions decisions are made on a rolling basis throughout the spring term. The University is required to give students until April 15 to accept or decline fellowship offers for the following year. The department will do its best to keep applicants apprised of their standing, and the Director of Graduate Studies is always happy to field questions from applicants.