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Students seeking admission to the doctoral program normally hold an M.A. degree in Art History from this or some other accredited institution.

Application Deadline:

For fall semester admission, all application materials submitted by: January 15

For spring semester admission, all application materials submitted by: October 15


The History of Art Department requires the following application materials:  

  1. A completed online graduate application.
    In the application, you will be asked to select the European and American or East Asian concentration. Students interested in pursuing a degree that emphasizes international or transnational modern and contemporary art should select the concentration that best aligns with their areas of interest.
  2. Three letters of recommendation (preferably from professors). You will be asked to enter the names and e-mail addresses for three recommenders while completing the online application. Your recommenders will automatically receive an e-mail requesting their letters when you submit the application. It is not necessary for your recommenders to send hard copies of their letters to the department if they submit their letters electronically. Should a recommender feel uncomfortable with the online submission process, please contact Bethany Harris (bethanyharris@ku.edu) for more options.
  3. Graduate Record Examination (GRE) score [KU’s code is: 6871] you should request that official GRE scores be sent to the University of Kansas by ETS.
    Please note: GRE scores that are five or more years old as of the application due date will not be accepted. If your GRE scores are five or more years old, you should retake the GRE in time for the new scores to arrive before the application deadline.
  4. Please attach the following required items to the online graduate application:
  • A list of art history courses taken in chronological order and including (1) the number of credit hours (2) instructor’s name (3) grade received. Note: Applicants typically have completed no fewer than 18 credit hours of art history coursework.
  • Resumé or curriculum vitae
  • statement of personal and educational interests and career objectives; not to exceed 750 words. Please address how the graduate program in Art History at KU would help you to achieve your goals. Applicants to the PhD program should identify a faculty member(s) with whom they would like to work and their field(s) of interest.
  • A writing sample (preferably an art history paper) of no more than 8-20 pages of text (not including the bibliography, endnotes, and images)
  • A copy or scan of official transcripts of all post-secondary education. Copies of official transcripts should be uploaded directly to the online application. If admitted, applicants will be required to submit official, sealed transcripts directly to the Office of Graduate Admissions within the first semester of enrollment in the program.
    *Please watch the video about transcripts on Page 6 of the online application before uploading scans of your transcripts
  • Applicants should not complete the optional video supplement on Page 7 of the online application. The optional video supplement will not be considered by the admissions committee.

To be considered for regular admission status in the program, a student must hold a bachelor's degree and have earned at least a B (3.0) grade-point average in previous academic work. The Office of Graduate Studies requires applicants, international or domestic, whose native language is not English to demonstrate English proficiency. Please review Graduate Studies' English Proficiency Requirements webpage for additional information.


All applicants to the Kress Foundation Department of Art History graduate program will be considered on a competitive basis for departmental and university scholarships/fellowships and Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA) and Graduate Assistant (GA) positions. No separate application is required to be considered for funding; the department makes decisions based upon information provided in the graduate applications.

The Graduate Admissions Committee may nominate, on behalf of the department, exceptional incoming students for Graduate Studies awards. Visit our Graduate Student Funding webpage for additional information.


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