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PhD in Art History and Education


The Art History and Education PhD program (Art Education is a new track, spring 2010) provides an interdisciplinary, theoretically informed, methodologically diverse, two track PhD program: with one track in Art History and one in Art and Visual Culture Education. Graduates will be prepared to contribute to research, theory, and practice within their respective fields in university, museum, community, and other arts leadership positions. As a leading public research university, the University of Arizona has exceptional professional and academic resources available to graduate students. These include the Center for Creative Photography, the University of Arizona Museum of Art & Archive of Visual Arts, university art galleries, and numerous interdisciplinary study centers including the Southwest Institute for Research on Women, the American Indian Studies Program, the East Asian Studies Program, and the Latin American Area Center among others.

Expected Learning Outcomes: 

1. Graduates in the PhD Art History track should have an in-depth knowledge of the monuments, literature and historiography of a specialized field within the discipline of Art History.

2. Graduates in the PhD Art History track should have well-developed research and writing skills appropriate for a professional environment or that demonstrate readiness for entering the field.

3. Graduates should have advanced skills in analysis and critical thinking.

4. Graduates should be excellent scholars of art history who will be uniquely competitive in the professional world of university teaching, museum and related careers.

Assessment Activities: 

Assessment Tool # 1

PhD student outcomes (#1, 2, 3) are assessed through a comprehensive written examination that takes place during the fifth semester of the student’s course of study. The examination assesses a broad knowledge of art history and an in depth knowledge in the student’s major and minor areas. Required foreign language reading comprehension is assessed through the foreign language exam where the student must demonstrate a high level of proficiency.

Assessment Tool #2

An oral examination follows within six months that assesses the student’s research and critical thinking skills (Outcomes #3, 4). At the oral examination, the candidate proposes his or her dissertation topic, which is then assessed by a committee selected by the student. The dissertation defense is their final assessment before awarding the doctorate and is the culmination of the degree program.


Use of Assessment Tool #1 + 2: Art History faculty regularly assess outcomes of their PhD candidate examinations and coursework leading up to their dissertation writing, and discuss their ability to successfully complete the doctoral program in a timely manner. Faculty are actively involved serving as committee members on PhD committees, and mentor students through the writing phase and final defense of their dissertations.

Changes: The new PhD track in Art Education was added in spring 2010 to prepare artist/teacher/researchers who contribute to the research, creative scholarship, knowledge, theory and practice of art and visual culture education in university, school, museum, community, and other arts leadership positions. This second track fills a void in PhD programs with an emphasis in Art Education in the United States, especially the western region, and further compliments the Art History track.

Additional Coursework approved by the UA Curriculum Committee for this track include:

  • ARE ARE 535, 631, ARE 632, ARE 695A
Updated date: Wed, 12/02/2015 - 10:52