Art History (PhD, MA)

Program Overview

Binghamton University’s Department of Art History is a pioneering site of new methodologies and approaches to the field of art history, which is constantly evolving. The program offers students training in the history and theory of art and architecture in its global dimensions and trains its graduates to embark on careers in museums, galleries, libraries, archives, universities and other types of cultural institutions.

Offering graduate programs at the Master of Arts (MA) and doctoral (PhD) levels, the department gives students the opportunity to undertake cross-disciplinary, cross-cultural and innovative studies, with emphasis on the development of critical, theoretical and historical perspectives in relation to the visual arts, photography, architecture, planning and the wider built environment. A combined MA/PhD track is also available.

Our program is highly interdisciplinary. Students often take courses in multiple related fields to provide a well-rounded and rigorous approach to research. This sort of intersectional scholarship is supported emphatically by 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 lecture series, workshops and symposia, faculty and students are actively involved in teaching and the conference activities of other interdisciplinary centers and programs.

Students come from all over the world to study in our program. See where by viewing our interactive map.

Degrees Offered

  • PhD in Art History
  • MA in Art History

Internships, Research Opportunities and More

The Art History Department is home to VizCult: The Harpur College Dean’s Workshop on Visual Culture, which for over twenty years 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 share 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 department's blog.

The Fleishman Center for Career and Professional Development is dedicated to assisting students in all aspects of career planning. The Center's myriad of services include 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. See the list of Recently Completed PhDs.

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
  • GRE scores are accepted, but not required
  • 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/Duolingo* scores)
    • *In response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, the Graduate School at Binghamton University has temporarily approved the use of the Duolingo English Test as proof of English proficiency through the 2023 application cycle.

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.


Degree Fall Spring
Art History (PhD)Rolling (February 15 Funding)November 15
Art History (MA)Rolling (February 15 Funding)November 15

Accelerated/4+1 Degrees

You may also be interested in our accelerated/4+1 degree programs which allow students to complete their bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in just 5 years!