General Info

  • Faculty working with students: 20
  • Students: 26
  • Part time study available: No
  • Application Terms: Fall
  • Application Deadline: December 14
Application Info


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


Phone: (919) 684-2224



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 four 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 efforts 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 and Middle Eastern 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 have 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.

Program Statistics

Application Information

Application Terms: Fall

Application Deadline: December 14

Graduate School Application Requirements
See the Application Instructions page for important details about each Graduate School requirement.

  • Transcripts: Unofficial transcripts required with application submission; official transcripts required upon admission
  • Letters of Recommendation: 3 Required
  • Statement of Purpose: Required (see department guidance below)
  • Résumé: Required
  • GRE Scores: GRE General - Optional
  • English Language Exam: TOEFL, IELTS, or Duolingo English Test required* for applicants whose first language is not English
    *test waiver may apply for some applicants
  • GPA: Undergraduate GPA calculated on 4.0 scale required

Department-Specific Application Requirements (submitted through online application)

Writing Sample
A 10-page writing sample is required with your application.

We strongly encourage you to review additional department-specific application guidance from the program to which you are applying: Departmental Application Guidance