Art History (PHD, MA)

Program Overview

Since its inception nearly 20 years ago, Binghamton University’s Department of Art History program has been seen as a pioneering site of new methodologies and approaches to the field of art history. With focus in the history and theory of art and architecture, the program attempts to generate broadly applicable scholarship and understanding.

Offering graduate programs leading to the Master of Arts (MA) and doctorate degrees in art history, our department gives students the opportunity to undertake cross-disciplinary, innovative studies, with stress on the development of critical theoretical and historical perspectives in relation to the visual arts, photography, architecture, planning and the wider built environment, at local, national and global levels. A combined MA/PhD track is also available.

Our program is highly interdisciplinary. Students often take courses in multiple related fields to provide the most well-rounded and rigorous examination of research. This sort of intersectional scholarship is supported emphatically be department faculty, many of whom are invested in multiple fields and modes of study as well.

This broad and inclusive sense of scholarship extends to our department’s contributions to university life. In addition to organizing the department's cross-disciplinary lectures, workshop and symposia, faculty and students are actively involved in teaching and conference activities of other interdisciplinary centers and programs.

Degrees Offered

  • PHD in Art History
  • MA in Art History

Internships, research opportunities and more

The Art History Department is home to the Visual Culture Forum. For over 10 years, VizCult: The Harpur College Dean’s Workshop on Visual Culture has provided a focus for dialogue and exchange both within the Art History Department and across related disciplines. Faculty, graduate students and undergraduate students meet in this bi-weekly workshop forum to promote the production, sharing and critical evaluation of new research in the broader interdisciplinary field of visual and built culture studies. Speakers are invited from the University’s faculty and graduate community, as well as outside institutions. For information and the VizCult schedule, visit the VizCult blog.

The Fleishman Center for Career and Professional Development is dedicated to assist students in all aspects of career planning. The Center's myraid of services inclue résumé critique, mock interviews, job search assistance, internship placement, and much more.

After You Graduate

Recent doctoral graduates are employed in permanent or postdoctoral positions at such institutions as the University of Pittsburgh, University of Richmond, University of South Carolina, American University of Beirut and Jordan University of Science and Technology.

Admissions Requirements

To be eligible for graduate study, you must:

  • Provide a complete set of your undergraduate (and, if applicable, graduate) transcripts showing one of the following:
    • You have earned a bachelor's degree (or its equivalent) from a nationally or regionally accredited college or university
    • You are within one academic year of earning a bachelor’s degree (or its equivalent) from a nationally or regionally accredited college or university
    • You are eligible to apply as part of a memorandum of understanding between your current institution and Binghamton University
  • Have earned, at minimum, one of the following:
    • A 3.0 GPA over your entire undergraduate career
    • A 3.0 GPA during your last 60 semester credits or 90 quarter credits of your undergraduate degree, with most courses graded regularly (not as "pass/fail")
    • A 3.0 GPA in a graduate degree, with most courses graded regularly (not as "pass/fail")
    • In consideration of the different grading scales used around the world, each academic department evaluates international transcripts to determine on a case-by-case basis whether they demonstrate one of the above requirements.

To apply, you must submit the following materials. For general guidelines for these materials, see the Admission Requirements website.

  • Online graduate degree application with graduate degree application fee
  • Transcripts from each college or university that you have attended
  • Personal statement of 2 to 3 pages describing your reasons for pursuing graduate study, your career aspirations, your special interests within your field, and any unusual features of your background that might need explanation or be of interest to the graduate admissions committee
  • Résumé or curriculum vitae
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Official GRE scores
  • Writing sample: no more than 30 pages or 8,500 words and may be an excerpt from a longer piece, such as a thesis

International students must also submit the following materials. For more information about these materials, see the International Students section of the Admission Requirements website.

  • International Student Financial Statement (ISFS) form
  • Supporting financial documentation (such as bank statements, scholarship or sponsor letters, etc.)
  • Proof of English proficiency (such as official TOEFL/IELTS/PTE Academic scores)

This information is subject to change. While we make every effort to update these program pages, we recommend that you contact the department with questions about program-specific requirements.

Class Profile

Total Enrollment: 35*

*Includes MA/PhD Combined Degree


GRE Verbal: 69%

*Score(s) represent the AVERAGE for the recently admitted class; scoring lower does not result in automatic rejection and scoring higher does not guarantee acceptance.


Degree Fall Spring
PHD in Art HistoryRolling (February 15 Funding)October 15
MA in Art HistoryRolling (February 15 Funding)October 15

For more information, visit the Art History website.