Requirements for the Ph.D. in Art History


Comprehensive Examination

The comprehensive examination is taken with the approval of the doctoral committee when the candidate has substantially completed course work for the Ph.D. degree and must be taken before the end of the fourth semester. It consists of slide and written preliminary area examinations in one major field and two minor fields in art history, followed by the official comprehensive oral exam with the entire doctoral committee.

Preliminary Area Examinations:

For the Major Field: a written or oral slide examination (20 slides) covering individual works; one major essay (3 hours) that deals with a significant problem within the field in question, designed to test the candidate’s grasp of the nature of the problem, familiarity with the relevant literature, the divergent viewpoints, and the candidate’s own conclusions; and two shorter essays (90 minutes each), discussing artists, themes, and concepts of importance to the field. These essays should be designed to elicit knowledge of the literature in the field under discussion.

For Each Minor Field: a written or oral slide examination (10 slides) covering individual works; two essays (90 minutes each), choice of two out of three questions, designed to demonstrate a sound general knowledge of the field and its literature.

The Comprehensive Oral Examination:

A critical discussion of the major field and two minor fields, along with the relationship of art history to the field of the outside committee member. For the purposes of the Graduate School the comprehensive oral examination with the doctoral committee is considered the official comprehensive examination, while the slide and essay exams of the major field and two minor fields are considered preliminary "area" examinations administered within the department and leading to the comprehensive examination.

The three preliminary area exams should be scheduled during a two-week period. The comprehensive oral examination should be scheduled about one week after the last preliminary exam. It is the responsibility of the graduate student to find agreeable dates, times, and locations for the preliminary exams with the individual art history members of his/her doctoral committee and an agreeable date, time, and location with the entire doctoral committee for the comprehensive oral examination.

The Graduate School must be officially notified of the date of the comprehensive oral examination at least three weeks prior to the date of the oral exam: please ask Christine Cooper well in advance to notify the Graduate School of the date, time, and location of the oral exam.

Christine Cooper 240A Borland Building 865-4873