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Ph.D. Program in Art History


Founded in 1971, the Ph.D. Program in Art History at The Graduate Center of The City University of New York is one of the foremost programs of its kind in the United States. Dedicated to the development of scholars, teachers, museum curators, art critics, and other arts professionals, our program provides students with a general background in the history of art to prepare them to serve their discipline and their communities in all areas of cultural endeavor.

In Fall 2019, we were awarded a $650,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to fund New Initiatives in Curatorial Training (read about the initiative here), a five-year project in the Ph.D. Program in Art History that aims to enhance the diversity of curatorial training at the Graduate Center and ensure the sustainability of the initiative beyond the end of Mellon funding.

We are proud to have produced a robust network of alumni, many of whom hold senior positions at esteemed universities, museums, and cultural institutions across the country and abroad. For more information about our program, its faculty and students, as well as our alumni, please follow the links below.

Anti-Racism Task Force

The Anti-Racism Task Force positions itself as a resource to the Department of Art History in its effort to uphold The Graduate Center’s stated mission to serve those who have been underrepresented in higher education, to address our discipline’s systemic biases surrounding race, and to create a diverse academic community that is conducive to students’ ability to thrive as art historians. This task force seeks to support the existing department committees by providing recommendations and helping to develop initiatives for anti-racist practices.

We commit to developing and supporting initiatives that advance the following objectives:

  • We recognize the critical role that people of all social, cultural, ethnic, and racial backgrounds play in shaping our department and its future. We therefore strive to ensure that these voices are welcomed, respected, and amplified. 
  • We seek to support students and teachers of art history in their work to dismantle the oppressive and exclusionary structures of our discipline by providing resources that advance anti-racist pedagogy. 
  • As academics in the country’s largest urban public university system, we aim to expand our outreach to student and faculty candidates from underrepresented groups, and keep the admissions and hiring committees accountable to these goals. 

The Anti-Racism Task Force welcomes feedback, questions, and suggestions. Please be in touch with us by email or through our anonymous Google Form.


Our Program

Located in the heart of New York City, our doctoral program provides students with a general background in the history of art to prepare them to serve their discipline and their communities in all areas of cultural endeavor. Click to read more to learn about us and our department.



The doctoral faculty consists of professors drawn from The Graduate Center and from the CUNY senior colleges. Courses given at The Graduate Center cover the broad spectrum of the history of art; courses given at the senior colleges in their master’s degree programs are also open to doctoral students, as are courses given at universities within the Interuniversity Doctoral Consortium.


Prospective Students

Are you interested in pursuing your Ph.D. at The Graduate Center? Here you will find useful information about the application process, including up to date announcements about our Open House for Prospective Students. Come visit at us at The Graduate Center to learn more.


Students and Alumni

Find out more about our current doctoral students, their research interests, academic accomplishments, and professional careers, as well up to date information about our alumni. We work closely with our students to assist them with professional placement upon graduation. Many of our graduates hold prominent positions at cultural and educational institutions in the U.S. and abroad.