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Detailed information on the rules and regulations governing the Rackham School of Graduate Studies  may be found in the Policies & Procedures section of the Rackam website. Contact information for all Rackham offices can be found here.

Applications for admission to the Graduate Program in the History of Art are reviewed by the departmental Graduate Admissions Committee. The committee makes admission decisions for domestic students and makes recommendations to the Rackham School of Graduate Studies for international students. Admission decision letters are sent directly by the Department to applicants from late February through the month of March.

The number of admissions that may be offered each year is limited by the Department's facilities and to some extent by the University's resources. In recent years the percentage of applicants accepted has ranged from 5%-10%. Competition for places in the program is thus keen, and many well-qualified applicants cannot be offered admission.

The selection process aims to find students who not only have excellent qualifications and are likely to succeed in the doctoral program, but who also have interests and goals well-matched to the strengths of the faculty and resources of the program. Toward this end the Graduate Admissions Committee reviews applications with attention to a variety of considerations. Criteria that weigh heavily in the committee's deliberations include the applicant's academic statement of purpose, prior language preparation, letters of recommendation, the overall quality of the applicant's academic record, and the writing sample.

Not all successful applicants to the program have an undergraduate degree in art history. If some of the applicant's training in art history has occurred outside the classroom, the statement of purpose should give an account of that training. The department does not require that students complete a certain undergraduate curriculum prior to successful application. Instead, each applicant's background is individually evaluated based on the professional goals and intellectual interests shown in the statement of purpose. Normally, prior to admission, a student will be expected to have taken at least one course in some combination of at least four cultural areas (African, Chinese, European/American, Near/Middle Eastern, Japanese, South/Southeast Asian) and/or chronological areas (Ancient, Medieval, Early Modern, Modern). Otherwise strong applicants who lack such breadth may be offered admission, but they will be expected to meet the distribution requirements outlined above during their first four terms in the program.

It is the Department of the History of Art's policy not to comment on specific admissions decisions. The factors that affect decisions to admit or reject applicants are the nature of the proposed project (as articulated in the academic statement of purpose) and its fit with the work of relevant faculty members, language preparation, letters of recommendation, GPAs, and the writing sample(s).  Financial need is not a consideration, as we admit only full-time students who are funded by the department.

For complete Rackham admissions information, please see the Rackham Graduate School admissions website.

For funding information, please click here.