Graduate Admissions

Graduate admissions standards are competitive and based on evidence of an outstanding record in art history. USC requires that Ph.D. students be admitted to both the Graduate School and the Department of Art History. 

Applicants should review the Frequently Asked Questions, page of the Graduate School’s admissions website (and international students should also consult the additional Frequently Asked Questions for International Students, page for additional information.

For more specific information about Art History graduate admissions, contact Professor Ann Marie Yasin, Director of Graduate Studies,


Please insure that all portions of the application (including recommendation letters, GRE scores, transcripts, etc.) are received by the Dec. 1 deadline, midnight, Eastern Standard Time


Application for admission must be completed by December 1st, midnight, Eastern Standard Time, and it must be completed online. A completed graduate admissions application consists of the following:

  1. USC Graduate Admissions Application
  2. Three letters of recommendation 
  3. Personal statement 
  4. Resume or CV 
  5. Writing sample (20-25 pgs. max., plus images)
  6. One set of official transcripts of all prior college and university work 
  7. One set of unofficial transcripts of all prior college and university work 
  8. GRE Scores, no older than 5 years--USC's Institution code is 4852
  9. TOEFL, IELTS or PTE Academic scores--if applicable
  10. The Department of Art History also requires a supplemental application be submitted via the USC Dornsife Art History website.

The fee to submit the graduate admissions application is non-refundable. Please see the graduate admissions site for fee waiver guidelines.


1. Graduate Admissions Application.  Please note that there are two applications to submit; the USC Gradaute application and the Art History supplemental application.  Both applications must be filled out online.

2. Letters of Recommendation. Three letters of recommendation must be submitted online by the recommender to graduate admissions. We do not supply forms for these letters of recommendation. Be sure that all letters are uploaded to gradaute admissions by December 1st. If necessary to meet the deadline, please fax the letter directly to the Department of Art History at (213) 740-8971.

3. Personal Statement. The personal statement should describe your past academic experience, future academic goals, and specifically your interest in the USC Department of Art History.  One to three pages should suffice.  Please submit this statement online under the supporting documents section of the on-line USC application.

4. Please submit online to gradaute admissions your most recent resume or curriculum vitae.

5. Writing sample of your best work.  Please submit one 20- to 25-page (plus images) research paper or portion of an MA thesis (with précis of omitted sections, as needed) under supporting documents of the graduate admissions application. Other acceptable papers include undergraduate essays, seminar papers, and published work. The graduate admissions application allows you to upload files of up to 1000 KB. The upload accepts most files (.doc, .pdf, etc).  Please note that images will increase the size of your file.

Note: If your file is larger than 1000 KB, one option is to  split up the file so that each part is under 1000 KB, as long as you upload the file in consecutive slots the break won't be visible. Also, if it looks like you are not going to have enough slots combine the smaller files that would add up to 1000 KB so that you can free up more slots. 

6. Official Transcripts.  Official transcripts of all prior college and university work are required.  Please send directly to the USC Office of Graduate Admissions.  All transcripts must be sent to graduate admissions by December 1st.

7. Unofficial Transcripts. Please upload unofficial copies of your transcripts into the supporting document section of your USC Graduate Admissions online application.

8. GRE Scores. According to University policy, GRE scores must have been taken within the last 5 years. 



Graduate students accepted into our program are given funding packages, which includes a combination of Fellowship and Teaching Assistantships, renewable each year up to five years if the student continues in good standing.

Graduate Admissions Committee
Department of Art History
University of Southern California
3518 Trousdale Parkway, VKC 351 
Los Angeles, CA 90089-0047