PhD Art History

Graduate Student Association Trip to Marfa, 2012
Study in an internationally recognized, interdisciplinary center for art and architectural history, theory and criticism

UIC's PhD program in Art History is an internationally recognized, interdisciplinary center for the study of art and architectural history, theory and criticism housed at a public research University situated in the dynamic city of Chicago. We offer a rigorous and innovative academic education in critical and analytic thinking, research, writing, and visual literacy. Students leave the program with the necessary skills to enter the academic job market or to work as professionals in an array of settings. 

The program in Art History takes a global, interdisciplinary approach to research and education. Our faculty is committed to critical theory, historiographical inquiry and interdisciplinary work drawing from literary studies, political philosophy, anthropology, archaeology, histories of technology and religion, and translation studies. Faculty work collaboratively with other academics and institutions around the world to investigate the local and intertwined visual cultures of the United States, South America, Europe, the Middle East and the Mediterranean, and West and South Asia. We are also invested in interrogating the changing place of art in a rapidly globalizing capitalist economy. 

Cross-disciplinary work with UIC's distinguished programs in languages and literature, philosophy, film studies, women's studies, history, and the social sciences is strongly encouraged. A student may also opt for a more formal relationship with other departments through the Interdepartmental Concentrations in Gender and Women’s Studies and Violence Studies.

We also take advantage of the fact that we are located in Chicago, a city with world-renowned libraries, museums and institutions for art and architecture, including the Art Institute, Museum of Contemporary Art, Graham Foundation for Architecture, Chicago Architecture Foundation, Newberry Library, Field Museum, Renaissance Society, and UIC’s Gallery 400 and the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum. Our students have the opportunity to take classes from Northwestern University and the University of Chicago as part of their coursework, and to draw on faculty from other universities for their advisory committees.

Approximately four students are accepted each year to the PhD program with full funding for four years (tuition and stipend). These fellowships, dependent on students’ good academic standing, often involve teaching or other types of departmental service. Our students have also been successful in obtaining further support from various university fellowships and positions in Gallery 400 and the Hull-House Museum. The department also supports travel for research and archival work, and conference presentations.