USC School of Architecture Expo 2015


Our curriculum provides a training in a broad range of materials and approaches to art history. To this end, students take courses not only in their area of specialization but also within the larger field of art history and in related disciplines.  Graduate students tailor their course of study in close consultation with the Director of Graduate Studies and their major and minor field advisors.

How to apply to the Ph.D. program in Art History at USC

  • Please adhere to the application deadlines to ensure that your application is evaluated.  All portions of the application (including recommendation letters, GRE scores, transcripts, etc.) should be received by the December 1 deadline, 11:59 pm, Eastern Standard Time (8:59 pm, Pacific Standard Time).

  • The USC Graduate Admissions application consists of four sections: Personal Information, Academic History, Supporting Information and Program Material.

    Please fill out all the mandatory sections of the USC Graduate Admissions application.  The sections of particular interest to the USC Department of Art History graduate review committee are indicated below:

    • Personal information
    • Academic History
    • Colleges Attended
  • Whenever possible, you must upload scanned copies of official transcripts to the online application. Please note that these must be official transcripts printed on university letterhead. Print-outs from online student portals are not acceptable.

    After you submit your application and received your 10 digit USC ID number, you must also mail in official transcripts from all colleges, universities, and other post-secondary institutions you have previously attended.

  • Standardized Tests – Only scores received electronically from the testing service are considered official. USC’s ETS school code is 4852. No department code is required.  Applicants sending any tests administered by ETS should use this code to ensure that USC receives your official test results. GRE test scores are considered valid only if earned within five years of your intended first term at USC. While TOEFL scores are considered valid only if earned within two years of your intended first term at USC. The first term for those admiitted into the USC PhD program in Art History is the fall semester of the upcoming academic year.

    • Experience – List any experiences related to the field of art history, beginning with the most recent, in the following categories:
      • Employment
      • Extracurricular
      • Internship
      • Leadership
      • Research
      • Teaching
    • Achievements – List any achievements related to the field of art history, beginning with your most recent, in the following categories:
      • Awards
      • Honors
      • Presentations
      • Publications.  Please list with exact titles, co-authors, dates, and publication data.
      • Scholarships
      • Conferences Attended
      • Memberships (professional)
    • Documents
      • CV/Resume – Please submit your most recent resume or curriculum vitae, with date of last revision.
    • Three letters of recommendation – Three letters of recommendation must be submitted online by the recommenders to graduate admissions.  Be sure that all letters are uploaded by December 1st.
    • Additional documents
    • Writing sample of your single best work. Please submit approximately 20 to 25 written pages of a research paper (please submit images in addition to the written pages) or a portion of an MA thesis (with précis of omitted sections, as needed).  Other acceptable papers include undergraduate essays, seminar papers, and published work. There is a limit of 5mb per upload.
    • Personal Statement. The personal statement should describe your past academic experience, future academic goals, and your interest in the USC Dornsife Department of Art History and should be one to three pages in length.
    • Art History Supplemental Questions
  • USC is home to over 27,000 top-caliber graduate and professional students —more than half the entire USC student population— who represent all 50 states and 135 countries around the world. We are proud to host one of the largest numbers of international students in the United States. We offer over 400 highly regarded graduate and professional programs in our liberal arts college and 20 professional schools. We encourage you to review our website to learn more about the graduate student experience at USC and to discover which of our academic programs is best suited for your interests.

    USC Graduate Admissions

  • USC Dornsife Department of Art History does not accept applicants for a terminal Master of Arts degree in art history, although students may be eligible for the MA if they do not complete the doctoral program.

    Check out the USC Graduate Admissions FAQ page