College of Letters & Science

Ph.D. Programs


The Doctor of Philosophy is intended for students intent on an academic career or in curating. It is the highest degree offered in the field, and students must be able to demonstrate the highest proficiency in their principal area of concentration (the major field) and from one or more related fields (called minor fields). The program typically includes several years of coursework followed by completion of a book-length manuscript based on primary research conducted over multiple years. Funding priority is given to Ph.D. students.

Students may enter the Ph.D. directly (without an M.A.) provided they commit to that path of study. Students with an M.A. in Art History may apply to count some of their M.A. coursework toward the Ph.D.



The Architectural Option is a Ph.D. curriculum within the Art History Department designed for students whose research is focused on historical study of architecture. The Option offers training in specialized skill areas for students working in this area. It also takes advantage of a collaborative relationship between UW-Madison faculty and faculty in the School of Architecture & Urban Planning at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) that enables students to take courses at both campuses (known as the Buildings-Landscapes-Cultures companion program). Many students involved in the Option also participate in the Material Culture Program. The Architectural Option was approved in June of 2008; the first class matriculated in 2009.

The Ph.D. Architectural Option allows students flexibility in their coursework that enables them to meet requirements of the Ph.D. in Art History while also taking specialized coursework necessary for them to work effectively in the specific study of architectural history. Core requirements include an advanced, specialized methods/historiography course in architectural history that also includes students from UWM (to be taken during the student's 2nd semester in residence) and a fieldschool class (usually taken in the summer). Because work in the field of architectural history requires training not only in art history but also in related fields (such as landscape history, design, material culture, and cultural geography), students also take some of their required coursework outside of Art History. Students may also enroll in the Material Culture certificate program, and they are encouraged to take material culture courses as part of their coursework.

For more information, contact Anna Andrzejewski, Director (