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Apply to the PhD Program

The History of Art Department admits students for Autumn semester only.

Your electronic application and all supplemental materials must be completed and submitted no later than 11:59pm EST on December 1, 2023 for US citizens and international applicants.

The Graduate School administers the online application. You may access it and pay the associated fee on their application website. Since the application is administered by the Graduate School, any questions about application completion status should be directed to gpadmissions@osu.edu. You may also check on your application status by visiting appstatus.osu.edu

Application Deadline for Autumn '24 cohort: Dec 1, 2023


In studying the cultures of many regions and eras, the department of History of Art believes that the best art history depends on a wide variety of approaches and vantage points. Our department is thus committed to building and maintaining an inclusive and diverse learning environment, where all persons and perspectives may contribute to our joint intellectual enterprise.

A Bachelor's degree in the History of Art, or a closely related field with significant preparation in the History of Art is expected. However, in the case of students with degrees in cognate fields and in exceptional cases, this expectation may be modified. Normally, a student with a degree from another institution will be accepted as having preparation in the field equivalent to that offered at Ohio State University. For an applicant whose preparation is deemed to be incomplete, additional course work may be required.

A 3.3 GPA in all undergraduate work and a 3.5 GPA in all graduate work is expected. Other factors may be taken into consideration, especially superior previous work in History of Art. In the case of international students, TOEFL/Duolingo scores are also required.

A reading knowledge of a least one foreign language appropriate to the field of specialization is required. Proficiency in foreign languages may be demonstrated by:

  • One year’s coursework or equivalent learning at accredited institution
  • Proficiency examinations or other equivalencies acceptable to the graduate faculty of the Department. Applicants who have not fulfilled this expectation can be admitted on a conditional basis.

Applicants who are considered lacking in preparation may be admitted as Conditional and will be required to make up specified deficiencies. Courses taken to fulfill prerequisites cannot be counted toward a degree. Conditional students cannot be considered for assistantships until they have officially advanced to regular status. An applicant to the M.A./Ph.D. program with a Bachelor's degree will be admitted into the M.A. program.

  • Scanned copies of official paper transcripts issued by your institution’s registrar. You must include scanned copies of transcripts from ALL institutions where college credit was earned.
  • Three (3) Letters of Recommendation
  • Personal Statement (1-2 pages)
  • Writing Sample (ideally 15-35 pages in length)
  • CV
  • GRE scores not required

The Ohio State University's Graduate School is the centralized university resource governing graduate education. Applicants must meet departmental criteria as well as the criteria for admission to the Graduate School.  

Applicants apply for their intended graduate program through the centralized Graduate and Professional Admissions office. 

Success at Ohio State depends upon your ability to converse in, write and understand English. The university requires official TOEFL, Duolingo or IELTS Academic test scores from applicants:

  • whose native language is not English,
  • who have been educated primarily outside of the U.S., or
  • who have held U.S. permanent resident, asylee or refugee status for less than one year from the first term of enrollment.

To be official, score results must be received directly from the testing agency (ETS or IELTS) by the December 1, 2023 deadline. 

Please review all of the information under the International tab of the Graduate and Professional Admissions site.

Graduate Teaching Assistantships (GTAs)

Each year we offer a limited number of Graduate Teaching positions to our current and incoming graduate students. Incoming students are guaranteed 4-6 years of GTA funding when they are accepted (depending on whether or not they already have earned their MA prior to their enrollment at OSU). These GTA positions include a fee waiver for tuition and fees, a 100% subsidy of the student health insurance premiums, and a monthly stipend. The teaching assistantships also provide an opportunity to gain valuable teaching experience. The GTA opportunities range from grading and/or leading “recitation” sections for a large lecture course taught by a faculty member to being the co-instructor or instructor of record for a class of one’s own. Assignments rotate every semester and are based on the student’s ability, level of experience, and class schedule.

University-Wide Fellowships

The History of Art Department is allowed to nominate 3-4 of its most promising applicants in the University Fellowship competition which is administered by the Graduate School. These prestigious awards include both single- and multiple-year fellowships, and are designed to attract those students who bring academic excellence to the department. If you meet the eligibility requirements, the Graduate Studies Committee will determine the nominations for the University Fellowship competition -- applying by the deadline ensures you will be considered for nomination. 

Graduate Enrichment Fellowships

The History of Art department is allowed to nominate promising applicants to the Graduate Enrichment Fellowship competition. This fellowship competition has been expanded in recent years to single and multi-year packages to attract new and incoming graduate students who bring diversity to the Graduate School. Applicants should indicate in the application how they could contribute to diversity. If you meet the eligibility requirements, the Graduate Studies Committee will determine the nominations for the Graduate Enrichment competition -- applying by the deadline ensures you will be considered for nomination.

Departmental Grants

(The Aida Cannarsa Snow Endowment Fund, The Sara Jane Pyne Memorial Scholarship Fund, and The Cathleen M. Murnane Travel Scholarship Fund)

The Department of History of Art awards $10,000-$15,000 each year to our current graduate students to conduct research and present their work at conferences. Calls for applications for these grants occur twice a year (Fall and Spring). The applications are reviewed by the department’s graduate studies committee.

Other University Grants

The College of Arts and Sciences offers the Arts & Humanities Graduate Research Small Grants Program.

The Graduate Research Small Grants Program is designed to enhance opportunities for graduate students in Arts & Humanities to conduct research by offering supplemental financial support of up to $600 on a competitive basis. Applications may be submitted at any time, but they should be received by the Arts & Humanities office at least eight weeks before the date when the funds are to be used.