Admission to the Graduate Program

Authority to admit students to the Graduate Program in the History of Art and Architecture rests with the Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Art and Architectural History faculty act in an advisory capacity by reviewing applications and making recommendations on admission. Students with either a BA or an MA are encouraged to apply for the PhD program in the History of Art and Architecture. Students who are admitted into the program with a BA will receive an ‘in process’ MA on their way to the PhD degree.

Beginning in the fall of 2012, the department will enroll approximately five students who will each receive the same financial package: Five years of full-tuition remission, health insurance, and an annual stipend of $18,000, a portion of which will go to health insurance.

An applicant’s standing is enhanced by his or her knowledge of French, German, Italian, or other languages appropriate to the applicant’s fields of interest.

For the fall of 2012, the PhD program in Art and Architectural History received 80 applications, offered admission to 8 students and enrolled 5.


Deadline for applicants for admission and fellowships is now December 15.
All support materials must be received by December 15. This includes GREs, letters of recommendation, and writing sample.

1. Application Form

Application should be made online through the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS) webpage:

2. Faculty Contact

Given the specialized and highly 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 admission’s process. Applicants are always encouraged to visit the department and to arrange meetings with prospective faculty advisors and the Director of Graduate Studies.

3. Graduate Record Examination

Graduate School regulations require that candidates take the verbal and quantitative aptitude tests of the Graduate Record Examination. There is no achievement test in the history of art. Superior scores are required for admission to the Graduate School. Applicants with GRE scores more than five years old are required to take the test again. Receipt of recent GRE scores is necessary before applications can be reviewed and fellowships awarded. Consequently applicants are urged to take the tests prior to application.

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. Letters from non-academic sources are of little use. All letters of recommendation must be received by December 15.

5. Other Materials

All applicants should submit a sample of their written work, preferably in the subfield to which they are applying (i.e. Indian art, medieval art, etc.) There are no minimums or maximums, although article-length essays are generally preferable.

6. Notification of Decision

Admissions will be 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 admissions standing, and the Director of Graduate Studies is always happy to field questions from applicants.


University of VirginiaSchool of Architecture