Program Overview

After much consultation and reflection, Rice University’s School of Humanities has decided to pause admissions to all five of its Ph.D. programs for one year. We do so as a robust response to the challenges of COVID-19, which has interrupted Humanities research in libraries, museums, and archives and all research travel.

This step will also allow us to offer additional financial support to our continuing Ph.D. students as they contend with these same challenges. Our commitment to graduate education in the Humanities remains unwavering. This one-year pause is, in fact, an expression of that commitment. We also recognize that the study of the Humanities is now, in the face of the multiple crises our society must confront, more relevant than ever.

We will reopen our application cycle in September 2021 for the class of 2022. Please feel free to correspond with us regarding your interest in our Ph.D. programs. We very much look forward to reviewing your application materials next year.


Program requirements include two years of coursework and the demonstration of two language proficiencies in addition to English, as well as the successful completion of a graduate research paper, oral and written qualifying exams, a dissertation prospectus, and a doctoral dissertation.

There are two options for study. Students pursuing traditional, full-time study have the option to participate in teaching opportunities and museum internships. The Museum Professionals part-time program is designed for students who currently hold professional appointments at local museums. While students in this program are not required to complete the teaching assistant duties and have a longer timetable for completion, they must meet the same requirements as traditional study.

Although the department recognizes the added experience of coming into the PhD program with a master's degree, a master's is not required for acceptance to the PhD program in Art History and requirements for the program remain the same.

For information regarding financial support and the application process, please see the following pages:

Prospective students looking to learn more about program details, as well as resources and opportunities beyond the program, may also find the following pages helpful: