Doctor of Philosophy in Art History

Pursue Temple’s Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Art History in the Tyler School of Art and Architecture and engage with the rigorous academic training required to attain teaching, research and curatorial positions at the highest levels of the discipline. This 30-credit hour PhD program is intentionally small so that each student’s primary advisor can provide one-on-one mentorship and personalized career development. 

Tyler’s Art History PhD students work closely with highly accomplished faculty who have diverse and global areas of expertise, including

  • new and emergent digital technologies,
  • modern and contemporary art, especially in North and Latin America,
  • Renaissance and Baroque Italy, Spain, Germany and the Netherlands,
  • the ancient Mediterranean,
  • the Islamic world, 
  • the art of the African diaspora in the Caribbean, and
  • the history of prints, photography and media theory.

Access both the intimacy and collaborative spirit of a world-class school of art and architecture—with opportunities to study side-by-side with artists and designers—and the resources of a large, public, tier 1 research university. Take full advantage of the research opportunities created by Tyler’s location in Philadelphia—an affordable and vibrant center of art, culture and history situated near New York, Washington, D.C., and Baltimore—and at Temple University Rome, a leading center for interdisciplinary research and study abroad (fellowships are available). 

Students can supplement their Art History PhD with Temple’s Teaching in Higher Education Certificate, Cultural Analytics Graduate Certificate, arts management coursework and more. 

The doctoral program accepts students with a master’s degree in art history or a closely related field. Occasionally, exceptionally well-prepared students with a bachelor’s degree and strong art history background are admitted into our direct track 60-credit hour program without first earning a master’s degree.

Program Format & Curriculum  

The Art History PhD is offered on a part- or full-time basis and must be completed within seven years. All students enter the program with a primary advisor and work closely with them during their studies. 

The art history doctoral curriculum concentrates on Western art history, broadly conceived, including ancient Mediterranean, the Black Atlantic, early modern, Europe, Islamic, Latin America, and modern and contemporary in the United States. Curricula are informed by the historiography and critical theory of art history.  

Some courses you may take include the following.

  • Architecture as Performance: Space, Society and Spectacle in the Ottoman Empire
  • History and Theory of Printmaking 
  • Modern and Contemporary Art in Latin America 
  • Seminar on Arts of the African Diaspora: Black and Indigenous Conceptions of Space, Time and Memory
  • Seminar on Ancient Art: Taking Place: Studying Place-making in the Ancient World
  • Seminar on Contemporary Art: Research Entanglements: Artistic Practice, Curatorial Work and Theory
  • Seminar on Early Modern Art: The Affective Image: Devotional, Erotic, Political
  • Seminar on Problems and Period Style: Ancient Counterfeits, Looting, and the Ethics of Collecting

Learn more about the coursework for the Art History PhD.

Tuition & Fees

In keeping with Temple’s commitment to access and affordability, this Doctor of Philosophy offers a competitive level of tuition with multiple opportunities for financial support.

Tuition rates are set annually by the university and are affected by multiple factors, including program degree level (undergraduate or graduate), course load (full- or part-time), in-state or out-of-state residency, and more. These tuition costs apply to the 2023–2024 academic year.

Pennsylvania resident: $1,053.00 per credit
Out-of-state: $1,449.00 per credit

You can view the full Cost of Attendance breakdown on the Student Financial Services website.


Additional Program Information