How to Apply to the PhD Program


Academic Requirements

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 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.

Admission Criteria

  • Official transcripts from all colleges attended
  • Three (3) Letters of Recommendation
  • Personal Statement (1-2 pages)
  • Writing Sample (ideally 15-35 pages in length)
  • GRE scores are optional

All application materials for the OSU Graduate School are available online at the Graduate Admissions Webpage.

Information about funding can be found here.

For general information about the OSU Graduate School please visit the Graduate School Webpage. If you have further questions, contact

In studying the cultures of many regions and eras, Ohio State’s 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.

Additional Instructions for International Applicants

The Graduate School is temporarily allowing the submission of the Duolingo English Test to fulfill the English Proficiency requirement. See the full memo here. Note that students who submit a Duolingo score for admission will need to take the TOEFL at a later date upon arrival.