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Art History and Archaeology, Ph.D.

  • Application Deadline
  • 48 months
University rank #8 (ARWU) , NY,
Columbia University offers one of the richest graduate Art History and Archaeology program in the discipline, and students are encouraged to take advantage of its variety of subjects and approaches.


The Department of Art History and Archaeology offers programs of instruction in the history, theory and criticism of art and archaeology. These programs are intended to prepare students for careers in scholarship and teaching and in curatorial work and museum administration as well as for independent research and critical writing.

Students in the P.h.D. program earn the M.A. /M.Phil. and M.Phil. degrees en route to the doctorate. The first year of coursework culminates in the Master's paper and the award of the M.A. degree. The next two years consist of coursework, teaching and curatorial opportunities, and preparation for the M.Phil. oral examination, which is taken by the end of the third year. After being awarded the M.Phil. degree, students of merit may be appointed as Teaching Fellows to teach in the undergraduate Core Curriculum, which involves a highly organized training program and unusual independence as teachers in a small seminar setting.


The resources of the department extend beyond the classroom: the Avery Memorial Architecture and Fine Arts Library, the Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery, the Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture, and the many museums and art galleries of New York offer an incomparable array of world art on permanent and temporary exhibition.

Detailed Programme Facts

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

Programme Structure

The PhD program includes the following specialties:

  • Arts of Africa
  • Ancient Art and Archaeology
  • East Asian Art and Archaeology
  • History and Theory of Architecture
  • History of Western Art
  • History of Photography
  • Pre-Columbian Art and Archaeology
  • South Asian Art and Archaeology
  • Theory and Criticism

English Language Requirements

You only need to take one of these language tests:

  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL iBT ® measures your English-language abilities in an academic setting. The test has four sections (reading, listening, speaking, and writing), each with a score range of 0-30, for a total score range of 0-120. Read more about TOEFL iBT ®.

    Schedule TOEFL®
  • 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. Read more about TOEFL®PBT.

    Schedule TOEFL®
  • 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.

    Schedule IELTS

Academic Requirements

Admissions Requirements

Generally applicants are expected to have taken a minimum of four undergraduate courses in art history, archaeology, or other fields related to art history. Reading knowledge of two or three foreign languages is recommended, since demonstration of proficiency in at least one language is required during the first year of study. 

  • one transcript showing courses and grades per school attended
  •  a statement of academic purpose
  •  a writing sample (a course paper, term paper, etc.)
  •  three letters of evaluation from academic sources

Tuition Fee

Living costs for Manhattan

  • 2638 - 5760 USD/month
    Living Costs

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


Fellowships are awarded in recognition of academic achievement and in expectation of scholarly success. Teaching and research experience are considered an important aspect of doctoral students' training. Thus, graduate fellowships include teaching and research apprenticeship. Students who have passed their M.Phil. examination and successfully defended their dissertation proposal in the third or fourth year of study are eligible for a Dissertation Fellowship and can begin research on the dissertation.

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.

The Global Study Awards: get funded with up to £10,000 to study abroad

Together with the ISIC Association and British Council IELTS, Studyportals offers you the chance to receive up to £10000 to expand your horizon and study abroad. We want to ultimately encourage you to study abroad in order to experience and explore new countries, cultures and languages.