Academic Calendar 2022-2023

Art History - Doctor of Philosophy


Applicants are accepted under the general regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. Admission to the Ph.D. is normally limited to applicants with an Honours B.A., or its equivalent, and an M.A., the latter with first class standing in all primary courses. Normally both these degrees should be in Art History, but allowance may be made for those candidates one of whose degrees is in Art History but whose other degree is in a related subject (such as Art Conservation, Classics, Fine Art, or History). In all cases, the Graduate Committee of the Department will examine the record of courses taken by applicants in both their graduate and undergraduate programs in order to establish that they have sufficient preparation in the History of Art. The Committee will request that deficiencies in preparation be made up in a first year at Preparatory Status. The Graduate Committee will also ask applicants to submit evidence of advanced research skills and the ability to communicate the results in written form.

Language Requirements

Evidence shall be required of a reading knowledge of those languages other than English which are deemed necessary for a candidate's particular field of study, as determined by the Art History Graduate Committee. Proof of such ability can be established by language tests previously taken at the M.A. level, or by appropriate coursework, and is required in at least one second language at the time or application.

Degree Requirements

The requirements are set according to the General Regulations specified in the calendar of the School of Graduate Studies (Doctoral Degree Programs). Students are required to complete the following sequence:

  • Year 1
    Three term-length courses in Art History during the first two terms, one of which must be taken with the supervisor, and one of which must be taken outside the area of specialization.
  • Year 2
    • Option A: The Field Examinations are normally taken within eight months of completion of the three courses required in the first two terms. They consist of two written Field Essays, credited as ARTH 904 Special Area Examination I and ARTH 905 Special Area Examination II, completed by an Oral Examination.
    • Option B: The candidate will write one Field Essay, completed by an Oral Examination (ARTH 906 General Area Examination III), and complete a substantial internship at a museum or other cultural institution (ARTH 907 Research Project - Art Gallery of Ontario).

Upon the satisfactory completion of either Option A or Option B, the candidate will commence a special Research Seminar, reading with a supervisor in the area of an intended thesis in order to prepare a thesis proposal. This seminar is credited as ARTH 908 Special Research Seminar.


A thesis proposal will be presented to the Graduate Committee upon completion of the above requirements (including Language Requirement). After the proposal is approved, thesis research and writing should commence.


It should be understood that research for most Ph.D. theses will involve travel and even extended residence outside Kingston. Students are reminded that several Bader Fellowships are available each year to Ph.D. candidates in art history for thesis research in Europe. The School of Graduate Studies awards Travel Grants for Doctoral Field Research in an annual competition.