We regret to announce that the Graduate Group in the History of Art at the University of Pennsylvania will not accept applications for the PhD program during the 2020-21 admissions cycle. In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, the School of Arts of Sciences made the difficult decision to focus resources on supporting current students and ensuring that we are in a position to fully support future cohorts of Penn PhD students.  Therefore, we will pause bringing new PhD students into the program for one year, with the expectation of welcoming a new cohort in the fall of 2022. Please note that we will be accepting MA students for the coming academic year and welcome inquiries about the MA program.

For more information, see the Graduate School Admissions Website. (Link is below)

Individuals seeking admission to the graduate program are encouraged to explore this website and, if seeking further information, to consult the Graduate Group Bulletin which explains in detail the graduate program.  Prospective students are also encouraged to contact the Graduate Group Chair and to speak or correspond with faculty in their field of interest.  A visit to Penn, when possible, is also a terrific way to explore the department in person.

Applications for admission to the M.A. and Ph.D. programs are submitted directly to the Graduate School ON-LINE. (Fall 2021 Application will be available October 1, 2020.  MA Applicants ONLY. Application fee is $90.00)  It is not necessary to send any materials directly to the department. Here is a link to the Graduate School Admissions Website.

Applications are reviewed by a committee headed by the Graduate Group Chair.  The chair then makes recommendations on admission to the Dean of the Graduate Division, who may approve or reject the recommendations.  The Dean also determines the number of students admitted in any given year, based on the Graduate School’s financial resources.  All admitted students receive full fellowship packages, which include tuition remission, five years of stipend, and several summers of supported research. 

The committee reviews each application very carefully and weighs all aspects of a candidate’s preparation for graduate study.  The primary elements of the application include:  academic transcript, (3) letters of recommendations, TOEFL scores for international students, personal statement (1000 word maximum), and writing sample (30 double-spaced pages maximum).  All offer insights into a student’s past achievements and prospects for future development.  It is normally expected that students have a solid background in art history, but it is not necessary to have majored in art history.  In addition, applicants should demonstrate good proficiency in at least one foreign language. Two foreign languages will be required of all Ph.D and MA students before they advance to candidacy.


NOTE:  Applicants, if any of your letters of recommendation are in an Interfolio databases, they CAN NOT be uploaded to the application system, Please inform your recommenders that use the Interfolio system, they need to email their letter to Darlene Jackson (dajackso@sas.upenn.edu) and she will upload to the applicant's file.

Fall 2021 Application deadline ~ December 15, 2020 11:59 pm E.S.T