Graduate Programs

Art history students in a museum view artwork on a wall.

Art History: Ph.D., M.A.


With programs leading to the degrees of master of arts and doctor of philosophy, the department offers studies in the history of art from ancient to modern times, with special concentrations in art of the Americas and in European art from the Renaissance through the modern eras. Cooperative arrangements with Bryn Mawr College and the University of Pennsylvania permit students to take courses at both institutions. Other arrangements with various institutions enable students to work with original objects and documents and to arrange, under faculty and museum staff supervision, exhibitions on a variety of subjects. The University Gallery, located on the UD campus, has a collection of about 6,000 objects for teaching and student research as well as opportunities for organization of exhibitions. The collections of Gertrude Käsebier photographs and Abraham Walkowitz paintings and drawings are the largest in existence. The University Gallery has received the Paul R. Jones Collection of African American Art, the Frederick and Lucy S. Herman Native American Art Collection and the Mabel and Harley McKeague Alaskan Inuit Collection. There is also a collection of books and ephemera on Italian Futurism. The Mark Samuels Lasner Collection in the University of Delaware Library is especially rich in Victorian materials, including many illustrated books. Periodically, art history graduate seminars have contributed to the research for, and organization of, exhibitions at such museums as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the Delaware Art Museum and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, as well as the University Gallery.

Another university resource is the Center for Historic Architecture and Design (CHAD), a multidisciplinary research and public service group exploring the evolution of historic architecture, engineering and the built environment. Based in the College of Arts and Sciences, CHAD is co-sponsored by the departments of Art History, History and Geography, the College of Engineering, the museum studies program, and the Winterthur Program in American Material Culture. CHAD is the first American university center in this field recognized by the Department of the Interior. Graduate students in art history may pursue a graduate specialization both in architectural history and in historic preservation and may qualify for CHAD grants, internships and assistantships.

The Department of Art History enjoys a longstanding relationship with the Center for Material Culture Studies, a dynamic collaboration of individuals, programs and departments engaged in the documentation, interpretation and preservation of objects and images. The center builds on our collective national reputations and extraordinary strengths in well-established academic, research and public service programs in the fields of material culture, historic preservation, museum studies and historical archaeology. The Center for Material Culture Studies capitalizes on institutional partnerships with the Winterthur and Hagley museums, Historical Society of Delaware, and Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs. The center’s programs reach into its University constituencies, ranging from the humanities to the performing and studio arts, and out to larger public and scholarly communities.

The Winterthur Museum Library, open to graduate students in art history, is especially strong in American art and in Western European art and design, a special concentration in the Department of Art History.

The nearby Delaware Art Museum, preeminent in its collection of pre-Raphaelite art and the art of illustration, includes a comprehensive collection of American paintings, sculpture and prints from about 1800 to the present day, the Samuel and Mary R. Bancroft English Pre-Raphaelite Collection, the John Sloan Collection, the Howard Pyle Collection, and the N.C. Wyeth papers.


Application Deadlines


January 2: Final deadline to apply

UD Tuition

The 2023-2024 UD graduate student tuition rate per credit hour is $1028.

All or nearly all doctoral students receive a stipend and full tuition scholarship.