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History of Art and Archaeology, Ph.D.

  • Application Deadline
  • 48 months
University rank #13 (ARWU) Ithaca, NY, United States
Students choose a major concentration and two minor ones, one (in rare cases, both) of which may be in another field. The format of examinations in the major and minor concentrations is determined in consultation with each member of the Special Committee. Individual exams are followed by an oral exam with all members of the committee.
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  • The Fine Arts Library in Sibley Hall has extensive holdings in art and architectural history; Olin and Kroch Libraries have excellent resources in history, literature, and other related fields. Particularly notable are the special collections on Dante, Petrarch, witchcraft, the history of science, East Asia, and Southeast Asia.
  • The Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art is particularly strong in modern and Asian art. It also has a study collection in other fields, including a rich print collection. A study gallery and classroom in the museum make it a regular part of instruction. 
  • The Department of History of Art has a collection of over 300,000 slides and a study collection of photographs of works of art.
  • The field sponsors a colloquium including graduate students in the field. Students are also encouraged to participate in one of many interdisciplinary groups in theory, medieval studies, the Renaissance colloquium, the Southeast Asia program, and others.
  • Students interested in the history of architecture and urban development may want to consider the Field of Architecture.

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Programme intensity Full-time
    • Full-time duration 48 months
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

Programme Structure

Concentrations by Subject:

  • 19th century art
  • African, African American, and African Diaspora
  • American art
  • ancient art and archaeology
  • Asian American art
  • baroque art
  • comparative modernities
  • contemporary art
  • digital art
  • East Asian art
  • history of photography
  • Islamic art
  • Latin American art
  • medieval art
  • modern art
  • Native American and Indigenous studies
  • Renaissance art
  • South Asian art
  • Southeast Asian art
  • theory and criticism
  • visual studies

English Language Requirements

  • Minimum required score:


    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

    Get a free IELTS practice test
  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL®PBT is administered in a paper format and measures your ability to use and understand English in a classroom setting at the college or university level. It accurately measures how well you can listen, read and write in English while performing academic tasks.

General Requirements

Requirements Summary:

  • all Graduate School Requirements, including the TOEFL Exam or IELTS Academic Exam for non-native English applicants
  • three recommendations
  • GRE general test
  • writing sample
The field recommends that applicants have an undergraduate major in the history of art. All applicants must submit GRE general test scores. Applicants must also submit a sample of written work. Applicants should already have begun to study the language or languages appropriate to their intended program; only after demonstrating reading proficiency is a Ph.D. degree candidate eligible for the Admission to Candidacy examination. 

Tuition Fee

  • International

    29500 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 29500 USD per year and a duration of 48 months.
  • National

    29500 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 29500 USD per year and a duration of 48 months.
We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.

Living costs for Ithaca

  • 1128 - 2460 USD/month
    Living Costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


Currently all students who need funding are offered a financial aid package that may include both fellowship and teaching assistantship support with tuition. Students are required to apply for outside fellowships for work on their dissertation. When possible, fellowships with tuition are offered to incoming students. After the first year, most students will work as a teaching assistant in one of the introductory courses. More advanced students will teach a Freshman Writing Seminar in their own area of interest. This is sponsored by the Freshman Writing Program, which conducts a training course for graduate students. Continuing fellowships are available to students beginning their dissertation research. Cornell offers other fellowship opportunities to minority students and those in selected areas of study. Other funding opportunities include Residence Hall Assistantships. There is also some funding from the Arts College and the Graduate School to support travel to conferences and research travel expenses.  

Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.


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