How to Apply

Deadline | Required Materials for the Application

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Please submit the following on-line:


Please upload the following required items:

  • As part of the online application process, applicants are required to electronically upload copies of transcripts (or equivalent documents for institutions outside the United States, e.g., degree/study certificates, diplomas, etc.) from all post-secondary institutions attended, in the language of instruction (and copies of an official English translation if English is not the language of instruction).  Applicants recommended for admission who accept an offer through the online graduate admission system will be notified by the Graduate School that official/original transcripts/documents must be sent from the originating institutions in the official language of the institution(s) attended (and if the language of instruction is not English, an official English translation must also be sent).  The Graduate School will review all official documents to finalize the offer of admission.  An offer of admission will be revoked if official/original documents are not received by the Graduate School within specified deadlines, or if official/original documents differ from the copies uploaded by the applicant prior to the offer of admission.  For applicants whose degree conferral is in progress at the time of uploading copies, the deadline specified for receipt of official/original documents will allow for the passage of the reported date of degree conferral, and that conferral must be confirmed on the official/original documents received by the Graduate School, in order for the offer of admission to be finalized.
  • Statement of Purpose: This should be a concise statement of your preparation for graduate study in art history, your reasons for attending graduate school, and your professional goals. Appropriate topics for this statement include: Why are you interested in graduate study in art history? What are your specific areas of interest in art history and why? What is your background in the study of the history of art, including course work, study abroad, travel, internships, assistantships, etc.? Have you had any employment or done volunteer work in museums, galleries, historic sites, archaeological sites, etc.? Discuss your background and any future plans of study in foreign languages. Have you presented any public lectures or do you have any publications in art history? Do you have any teaching experience? What relevant awards, honors, and scholarships have you received? If you are applying for the M.A. program, do you plan to continue on for a Ph.D.? If you are applying for the Ph.D. program, in what field of art history do you intend on writing a dissertation, or do you already have a specific topic in mind? What are your ultimate career goals? Why is the graduate program in art history at Penn State of particular interest to you?
  • a list of college/university courses taken in art and architectural history (this is in addition to your official transcript[s]). Please include in this list art and architectural history courses completed, in progress, or that will be taken before fall 2016. Please list institution, course number, full title of course, number of credits (semester or quarter), and grade (if completed). This list gives you opportunity to include the topics of independent studies, internships, study abroad, etc. that may not be fully described on your transcripts.
  • a sample of your writing in art history, such as a term paper, a chapter of a thesis, or an article


Mailing Address:

Graduate Program
Department of Art History
The Pennsylvania State University
240 Borland Building
University Park, PA 16802


Additional Information for International Applicants


  • Visa. International applicants will be asked to apply for a U.S. visa after they are accepted into our graduate program. At that time, they will also be asked to supply Penn State with financial documentation. 
  • T.O.E.F.L. score. International applicants (for whom English is not their first language) should ask that their official TOEFL scores be sent to The Pennyslvania State University Graduate School.  For consideration for entrance into Penn State the minimum acceptable score for the TOEFL is 550 for the paper-based test, 213 for the computer-based test, or a total score of 80 with a 19 on the speaking section for the Internet-based test (iBT).  For more information, please visit