Our program is intentionally small and selective, accepting one or two highly qualified, post-M.A. applicants each year. As one of the aims of this program is to advance the careers of individuals working in museums, we welcome part-time working students. 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.

We offer two-year funding packages to full-time incoming doctoral students with a combination of TAships, fellowships, tuition remission, and stipends, after which enrolled students will apply for University fellowships or external funding for the remaining two to three years.

Funding is subject to renewal each year. Financial awards are offered to the most outstanding and eligible, new and continuing students in the Ph.D. program. Award recommendations are made by faculty. Factors considered include academic performance and potential. The Department and the University also offer grants to support conference travel or research trips. The department works with all students to obtain continuous support for the Ph.D. through a combination of resources. For more information about fellowships, see the Graduate School Funding.  

The coursework requirement is a minimum of two courses a semester, to finish the coursework in two years.

The Ph.D. in Arts 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 Director of Graduate Studies 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 research and critical writing abilities. Students are required to demonstrate reading proficiency in languages pertinent to their field of study. Those 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.

  Application Deadlines
Domestic applicants: January 15
International applicants: December 15*

*Please visit the International Graduate Admissions webpage before you apply.
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.

Graduate School Application

Doctoral Checklist for Graduation

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. Please review the Graduate School’s minimum admissions requirements, and prepare your supporting documents before beginning your application. You will need to upload and submit all of the documents at the same time.

For admission into our Ph.D. program in Arts of the Americas, we require the following:

  • Master’s degree from an accredited institution in art history, or an equivalent degree, with a minimum 3.25 GPA

  • Statement of purpose  

  • Writing sample in English that demonstrates critical writing and research abilities


    • 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

  • Application fee

  • 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.)

Describe your goals in pursuing a Ph.D in Arts of the Americas and what you hope to achieve in terms of research in our graduate program. Explain any prior work, experience, or studies that will aid your research in our program. Be sure to also specify which art history faculty member you would like to primarily work with during the course of your studies and dissertation work for the program. Furthermore, we encourage you to state if you are interested in a TA or GA appointment (see below), i.e. if you have specific interests in teaching, museum work, or work in the Visual Resources Center.
This is usually a paper that you have written for a graduate class. It should be written in English and demonstrate your critical thinking/writing and research abilities.
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.
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.
The department’s own resources include fellowships and teaching and non-teaching part-time positions:

We offer full funding for AH PhD students for the first two years of the program, after which they apply for external funding for the remaining two years.

Graduate Assistant (GA) and Teaching Assistants (TA)

  • TAs teach 3 recitation sections of “Global Art and Visual Culture” and “U.S. Art Across Cultures,” large introductory art history courses
  • GAs provide assistance in the department (e.g. the Visual Resources Center)

Each of these types of appointments comes with a salary, 5 (GA) or 9+ (TA) credit hours of tuition remission per semester, and 80% health insurance premium through CU -Boulder.

There is no separate application form for departmental support, but applicants are encouraged to express their interest in GA or TA appointments in their personal statement of purpose accompanying the application. Decisions regarding departmental support are made at the time of admission. Non-departmental financial aid at CU Boulder is handled through the Office of Financial Aid.

Advisors in the Department of Art and Art History are responsible for supervising and approving a student’s curriculum while in the program. It is vital for students to communicate proactively with their advisor throughout their time at CU. It is strongly encouraged prior to each registration period that students visit with the Director of Graduate Studies in art history to discuss their upcoming course load.

Questions about requirements may be addressed to the Director of Graduate Studies in art history, the student’s faculty advisor or the graduate program coordinator.
Annette de Stecher, Director of Graduate Studies for Art History
Graduate Program, art.grad@colorado.edu

Registration: You can enroll in classes through MyCUInfo and by using the class search tool during your assigned enrollment appointment. You will be notified by email of your enrollment appointment. See the Academic Calendar for specific dates and deadlines.

Viewing Your Enrollment Period: Click Your Enrollment Dates in MyCUInfo. The Enrollment Appointments table lists your appointment begin time, appointment end time, and the maximum number of units in which you may enroll. Students who do not register by the third Friday in the fall or spring semester are assessed a $100 late- registration fee.

Adding and Dropping Courses After Registration: Students may add and/or drop courses through MyCUInfo, without penalty, during the drop/add period (i.e., at the beginning of each semester). Students will not be charged tuition for courses dropped during this time, and dropped courses do not appear on their transcript. After the last day to add a class in MyCUInfo, all added classes require the instructor’s signature on a Special Action Form (available at the instructor’s home department). Instructors usually only approve an added course for students who have been attending regularly in a class with space available.

Leaves of Absence: Students who must interrupt studies for a compelling reason—i.e., a medical condition—may be granted a leave of absence. Please see further iInformation on leaves of absence. If you are already an employee of the University of Colorado, you may be eligible for the Employee Tuition Benefit.

For all general inquiries, application questions, and/or to schedule a tour, contact:
Graduate Program Coordinator, art.grad@colorado.edu

Department of Art and Art History
University of Colorado, 318 UCB
Boulder, CO 80309-0318
General email: finearts@colorado.edu

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