The Department of Art and Art History supports the statement from the Graduate School acknowledging the disruptions created by the COVID-19 pandemic. We understand the challenges students have been facing, and are dedicated to recruiting and supporting diverse, talented students, employing holistic application review processes and supporting students when they arrive on campus. If you have any questions regarding your personal circumstances, please reach out to us at art.grad@colorado.edu


Our program is intentionally small and selective, accepting one or two highly qualified applicants each year. As one of the aims of this program is to advance the careers of individuals working in museums, part-time, working students will be welcomed. Such students will be mentored carefully to ensure that they make continuous progress through the program, even though they may not always be able to meet the standard time-to-completion requirements.

The Ph.D. program is open to post-M.A. part-time students. The coursework requirement is a minimum of two courses a semester, to finish the coursework in two years.

The Art of the Americas program for part-time students follows the Graduate School requirements for part-time doctoral students:

  • A part-time student must be continuously registered for three dissertation hours each fall and spring semester after passing the comprehensive exam
  • A student must be registered as a full-time student the semester they defend
  • All students must have at least six semesters of full-time registration on the Boulder campus (two part-time semesters equals one full-time)
  • The program must be completed within six years
  • Each applicant’s case will be considered individually. Discussion with the likely advisor and the Graduate Studies Director to develop a plan for a feasible timeline for a student’s specific circumstances is a condition of acceptance into the program.

In addition to fulfilling the University of Colorado’s standard requirements for admission, students will be required to submit a writing sample in English that demonstrates their critical abilities. Students are required to demonstrate reading proficiency in languages pertinent to their field of study. Students whose language preparation is deficient may be admitted provisionally with the stipulation that they receive additional language training in the summer before enrolling in the Ph.D. program.

International Students: December 1

Domestic Students: December 30

The application portal will close at 10:00 pm (MST) on the due date. There is no grace period, and late applications will not be reviewed.

University Doctoral Student Requirements

If you are an international applicant, please visit the International Graduate Admissions webpage before you apply. General information about CU-Boulder’s graduate admissions is also very useful.

General Requirements:

  • For the admission into our Ph.D. program in Arts of the Americas, we expect the following:
  • Master’s degree from accredited institutions in Art History, or an equivalent degree, with a minimum 3.25 GPA
  • GRE & TOEFL/IELTS
    • Permanent US residents: The Department of Art and Art History will not review GRE scores in its evaluation of permanent US residents’ graduate student applications. However, if you wish to be considered for certain merit-based fellowships through the Graduate School, you must submit GRE scores with your application. 
    • International students: International students applying to our graduate program must submit GRE scores and also meet the English Proficiency Requirements as outlined by the Graduate School.
  • Transcripts (including all undergraduate and graduate work)
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Statement of purpose
  • Writing sample in English that demonstrates their critical and research abilities
  • Evidence of ability in a foreign language (students whose language preparation is deficient may be admitted provisionally with the stipulation that they receive additional language training in the summer before enrolling in the Ph.D. program)

Any transfer credit or other propsed substitutions for required coursework should be addressed by petition of the Graduate Committee.
For review and decision purposes you are required to upload an official copy of your transcript(s) in the online application. We require one copy of the scanned transcript from each graduate institution that you attended. While credits from one institution may appear on the transcript of a second institution, official transcripts must be submitted from each institution, regardless of the length of attendance, and whether or not courses were completed. Failure to list and submit transcripts from all institutions previously attended is considered to be a violation of academic ethics and may result in the cancellation of your admission or dismissal from the university.
Three letters of recommendation are required. The electronic submission of letters of recommendation is preferred, and it is part of the online application process.
Describe the goals and objectives you would like to reach while in our graduate program.
This is usually a paper that you have written for a graduate class.
A $60.00 non-refundable application fee ($70 for international applicants) must accompany each application for CU-Boulder graduate degree programs. The fee must be paid online with a credit card, in order to complete the application