PhD Art History

The doctoral program in the History of Art at Stanford is relatively small, and affords the graduate student the opportunity to work intensively with individual members of the faculty.

  • PhD in Art History


    The Doctor of Philosophy degree is taken in a particular field, supported by a strong background in the general history of art. Doctoral candidates also undertake collateral studies in other graduate departments, or in one of the University's interdisciplinary programs. The Department of Art offers M.A. and Ph.D. degrees, although the M.A. is only granted as a step toward fulfilling requirements for the Ph.D. The Department does not admit students who wish to work only toward the M.A. degree.


    Size of Program


    The Department admits four to seven students each year.


    Financial Aid


    The level of funding for Art History graduate students varies from year to year. One may normally expect to receive some amount of financial aid through the first five years of study if entering with a B.A., and four years if entering with an M.A.  Funding sources include departmental fellowships, teaching assistantships and research assistantships. Once a student advances to candidacy, students are encouraged to apply for grants and fellowships. Information on pre-doctoral grants, summer work funds, and funds for special research and travel connected with the writing of the dissertation may be obtained at any time from the Student Services Administrator.


    Time to Completion


    The Ph.D. student's formal progress is reviewed at the end of the second year (first year for those entering with an M.A.). By the end of the third year, a dissertation topic should be selected and a proposal written. After all course requirements are met and the proposal is approved, the student begins research and writing of the dissertation. The dissertation must be completed within five years from the date of the student's admission to candidacy for the Ph.D. degree.


    Doctor of Philosophy Degree Requirements


    For university requirements, information and course listings see:





    Scott Bukatman, Professor

    Film Studies


    Morten Steen Hansen, Assistant Professor

    Italian Renaissance



    Pamela M. Lee, Professor, Director of Graduate Studies

    Modern & Contemporary Art


    Please note that Professor Lee will not be accepting graduate students working in postwar and contemporary art history for the current admission cycle/entering class of academic year 2014/15. If you apply to Stanford to work in contemporary art, you will need to identify another faculty member to serve as a potential advisor.


    Pavle Levi, Associate Professor

    Film & Media Studies


    Jean Ma, Associate Professor

    Chinese Cinema


    Michael Marrinan, Professor 

    European Art, 17th - 19th Centuries



    Jody Maxmin, Associate Professor

    Greek Art

    Richard Meyer, Professor
    20th-Century American Art and Visual Culture

    Alex Nemerov, Professor
    American Art


    Bissera Pentcheva, Associate Professor 

    Medieval Art


    Nancy Troy, Professor, Chair

    Modern Art


    Richard Vinograd, Professor

    Chinese Art


    Bryan Wolf, Professor

    American Art




    Rev. 10/21/13

The French Ambassadors of King Henry II at the court of the English King Henry VIII

Oil on canvas

Holbein, Hans the Younger (1497-1543)

Photo credit: Erich Lessing / Art Resource, NY

Liberty Club #2


Acrylic and water-based oil

Enrique Chagoya

Off the Charts: the Song-Poem Story

A film by Jamie Meltzer

Courtesy: Joshua Forney



Acrylic on Shaped Canvas

Matt Kahn