Art History PhD Policies and Procedures
A. Administration of the Ph.D. Program
D. Minimum Grade Point Average
E. Time Limitation
F. Leave of Absence
1. Semester Hours Required: The candidate must complete 96 semester hours beyond the baccalaureate degree, and 64 credits beyond the MA degree. Of these hours, 32 semester hours must be in 500-level graduate seminars, of which 18 semester hours must be taken in the department. Of the 64 semester hours required beyond the masters degree, a maximum of 24 semester hours of dissertation research is allowed.
2. Transfer Credit: Students may petition to receive credit for courses taken at other universities.
3. Course Work: Candidates must complete at least 64 semester hours of course work beyond the master’s degree. Of this amount, 32 semester hours must be in graduate seminars, of which 16 semester hoursmust be taken in the department. At least 32 semester hours of credit beyond the MA degree must be at the 500-level. Of the 64 semester hours required beyond the master’s degree, a maximum of 24 semester hours of dissertation research is allowed.
Required Core Courses: AH 510 and 511; AH 513
The PhD program has two major areas of focus:
- Art of the Americas
- Architecture, Design and Urbanism
Students may also pursue topics that cross both areas of focus or expand beyond them. Each student will select 16 hours from seminars AH 441, 460, 463, 464, 465, 470, 471, 513, 522, 530, 540, 550, 560, 561, 562, 563, 570, and directed readings courses in the area of focus, as approved by the director of graduate studies.
Students who have taken equivalent course work as part of an MA degree may petition the director of graduate studies for a waiver of specific requirements; no course credit is given for a waived course.
4. Dissertation Research: AH 599. Ph.D. Thesis Research. May be taken for 0–16 hours on pass/fail option only. Prerequisites: Consent of advisor and the DGS.
B. Language Requirement
Students must present evidence of advanced knowledge of a language other than English as it relates to the student’s chosen area of research. Evidence of the ability to pursue research in additional languages may be necessary, depending on the availability of literature in the field selected, and the selection of those languages must be approved by the student’s advisor or the DGS if the student does not have an advisor.
1. Selection of Language: Reading knowledge of a foreign language relevant to the student’s plan of study is required. The Director of Graduate Studies or faculty advisor will approve the selection of a language. French and German are the languages most frequently selected for those pursuing the degree, but the study of any language important to the student’s area of research interest willbe considered.
2. Proof of Language Competence: The student must do one of the following:
a) Receive a grade of B or better in a UIC foreign language reading course for graduate students (or its equivalent at another institution, with the approval of the DGS). These courses will not count toward the 36 credit hours required for the MA or PhD degree.
b) Pass a language exam administered by a language department at UIC. The department recommends that students take the language exam during their first year of graduate study. In case of failure, the student may repeat the examination until it is passed. The foreign language requirement must be satisfied before the student registers for thesis research.
c) A test administered by or through the Department of Art History of no more than two hours. The language test usually consists of a translation of a passage into English with the aid of a dictionary.
d) 4 semesters of college/university language study, with a grade of B or better. Courses where readings are in translation may not be used. The last semester of study can be no more than 5 years prior to the student’s first year of graduate study.
e) The equivalent of the above (determined by the Director of Graduate Studies) in workshops, summer programs, fieldwork or research in a foreign language, or other language-learning activities.
f) A degree from a foreign university where English is not the primary language of instruction. In cases of languages, such as some Native American languages, where there is not a significant body of written material in the language, courses focusing on grammar and conversation, or spoken fluency as demonstrated by testing, may be used.
g) Native speakers with advanced reading skills as determined by the Director of Graduate Studies are exempt from the language requirement as are those students who have completed: 1) study in a foreign language at a foreign university, 2) field work conducted in a second language, or 3) summer intensive second language programs at an advanced level.
h) A test of language proficiency from the MA degree (must be noted on transcript).
C. Preliminary Examination
The purpose of the doctoral exam is to determine the candidate’s readiness to undertake dissertation research and passing it constitutes formal Admission to Candidacy.
1. Examination Committee: The student forms an Examination Committee when coursework and the language requirement are completed. The committee will be composed of at least five members of whom at least three are UIC graduate faculty with full membership, and two of whom must be tenured. It is recommended but not required that one member be from outside the Department of Art History, either from another UIC department or from outside the university. The chair of the committee must be a full member of the UIC graduate faculty. Committee members must be approved by the Dean of the Graduate College who will appoint them. The committee recommendation form is located here.
2. Exam Areas of Specialization: Each student will propose two areas of specialization for the preliminary examination. In most cases, one will be chronological or geographic such as Renaissance art, or American art, and one will be thematic such as gender and art, or landscape or furniture design. The student will also give an indication of the proposed dissertation subject matter. The suggested areas of specialization and subject matter for the dissertation will be submitted to the Examination Committee at least three months prior to the potential date of the preliminary exam so that the committee and the student can negotiate the areas to be covered by the exam.
The Examination Committee will meet (part of the time with the student), elect a chair, set up the test schedule and approve the two fields of concentration and the reading list. Students are expected to prepare for the exam on their own and cannot assume that courses taken in the department will necessarily prepare them for it. They are strongly encouraged to consult those members of the graduate faculty who are responsible for their examination fields in order to become familiar with the expectations of those individuals. They are also encouraged to consult previous doctoral exams, which are available from the DGS. Doctoral candidates are expected to have a reading period of three to six months to prepare for the examination.
D. Doctoral Dissertation
7. Dissertation Defense: A defense is scheduled after the Dissertation Committee members have tentatively approved the dissertation. The committee may accept the dissertation as it stands, accept it conditionally pending certain revisions, or reject it. Revisions can range from minor editorial changes to a major recasting of a substantial portion of the text. Normally the committee delegates to the chairperson of the committee the responsibility for ensuring that these revisions are made. All dissertations must meet the format and stylistic requirements of the Graduate College. There will be an oral defense of the dissertation attended by the doctoral candidate and the members of the dissertation committee, advertised and open to the academic community of the university and announced at least one week prior to its occurrence. The committee vote is pass or fail. A candidate cannot be passed if more than one vote of fail is reported.