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Art, Art History and Visual Studies

For more information contact

Director of Graduate Studies
Department of Art, Art History and Visual Studies
Duke University
Box 90766
Durham, NC 27708-0764

(919) 684-2224


General Information

Degree offered:
Faculty working with students:
Part time study available:
Test required:
GRE General: Optional for 2021
Application Deadline

Program Description

The program, which is designed for a small group of students, emphasizes the study of art, architecture and visual culture within a theoretical and historical frame. The Department of Art, Art History and Visual Studies offers an interdisciplinary program of graduate study leading to the Ph.D. (No M.A. is offered. Please find more information on the Digital Art History/Computational Media M.A. tracks). We invite applications from dedicated students interested in careers in research, criticism, teaching, and museum work. Admission is highly competitive and limited to an average of six new students per year. The Department makes every effort to offer full funding to all admitted candidates. Students are trained for teaching by serving as graders and teaching assistants. Duke University is now in the forefront of academic institutions supporting interdisciplinary and theoretical initiatives in the humanities. Art History and Visual Studies have a unique contribution to make to these ventures and all members of the faculty are engaged in innovative teaching or research projects involving faculty from other departments and programs. All members of the graduate faculty team-teach courses or have courses cross-listed in other departments (African and African-American Studies, Asian Studies, Classical Studies, Economics, Literature, Germanic Languages and Literature, Religion) or programs (Documentary Studies, Women's Studies, International Comparative Studies, Medieval and Renaissance Studies). Students may choose a minor field outside the department. The department works cooperatively with the art history program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as well as with the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh.

The department also participates in a program with the Law School leading to joint J.D./M.A. degrees.The Duke University Graduate School and the School of Law are revising the joint J.D./M.A. degree program. Prospective students interested should contact William Hoye, associate dean of the School of Law ( .

The Guidelines for Graduate Students in the Doctoral Program in Art History and the Guidelines for Graduate Students in the J.D./A.M. Program fully describe these and additional requirements and the detailed steps in the student's graduate career.

Writing Sample Required: Please note that a 10-page writing sample should now be uploaded directly with your online application in the Departmental Requirements section.


Spring Application