Individuals seeking admission to the graduate program are encouraged to explore this website and, if seeking further information, to consult the Graduate Bulletin which explains in detail the graduate program. Prospective students are also encouraged to contact the Graduate Group Chair and to speak or correspond with faculty in their field of interest. A visit to Penn, when possible, is also a terrific way to explore the department in person.
Applications for admission to the M.A. and Ph.D. programs are submitted directly to the Graduate School ON-LINE. It is not necessary to send any materials directly to the department.
Applications are reviewed by a committee headed by the Graduate Group Chair. The chair then makes recommendations on admission to the Dean of the Graduate Division, who may approve or reject the recommendations. The Dean also determines the number of students admitted in any given year, based on the Graduate School’s financial resources. All admitted students receive full fellowship packages, which include tuition remission, five years of stipend, and several summers of supported research.
The committee reviews each application very carefully and weighs all aspects of a candidate’s preparation for graduate study. The primary elements of the application include: academic transcript, letters of recommendations, GRE scores, personal statement (1000 word maximum), and writing sample (30 double-spaced pages maximum). All offer insights into a student’s past achievements and prospects for future development. It is normally expected that students have a solid background in art history, but it is not necessary to have majored in art history. In addition, applicants should demonstrate good proficiency in at least one foreign language; both German and French will be required of all Ph.D. students before they advance to candidacy.
Fall 2015 Application deadline ~ December 15, 2014 11:59 pm E.S.T