Art History

University of California, Berkeley

About the Program

The Department of History of Art offers a two-stage integrated master's and doctoral program (MA/PhD) in preparation for college teaching, writing, and specialized curatorial careers. Students are not admitted to work for a terminal MA degree, though students may apply for the MA after meeting Stage I requirements toward the PhD. Students work closely with faculty in courses, seminars, and on independent research projects to develop independent thought and a thorough knowledge of the field and its critical methods. Cross-disciplinary work in Berkeley's distinguished departments of languages and literature, philosophy, rhetoric, film studies, women's studies, history, and the social sciences is strongly encouraged. A student may opt for a more formal relationship with other departments through Designated Emphases programs, including film studies; folklore; women, gender, and sexuality; and critical theory.

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Admissions

Admission to the University

Minimum Requirements for Admission

The following minimum requirements apply to all graduate programs and will be verified by the Graduate Division:

  1. A bachelor’s degree or recognized equivalent from an accredited institution;
  2. A grade point average of B or better (3.0);
  3. If the applicant comes from a country or political entity (e.g., Quebec) where English is not the official language, adequate proficiency in English to do graduate work, as evidenced by a TOEFL score of at least 90 on the iBT test, 570 on the paper-and-pencil test, or an IELTS Band score of at least 7 on a 9-point scale (note that individual programs may set higher levels for any of these); and
  4. Sufficient undergraduate training to do graduate work in the given field.

Applicants Who Already Hold a Graduate Degree

The Graduate Council views academic degrees not as vocational training certificates, but as evidence of broad training in research methods, independent study, and articulation of learning. Therefore, applicants who already have academic graduate degrees should be able to pursue new subject matter at an advanced level without need to enroll in a related or similar graduate program.

Programs may consider students for an additional academic master’s or professional master’s degree only if the additional degree is in a distinctly different field.

Applicants admitted to a doctoral program that requires a master’s degree to be earned at Berkeley as a prerequisite (even though the applicant already has a master’s degree from another institution in the same or a closely allied field of study) will be permitted to undertake the second master’s degree, despite the overlap in field.

The Graduate Division will admit students for a second doctoral degree only if they meet the following guidelines:

  1. Applicants with doctoral degrees may be admitted for an additional doctoral degree only if that degree program is in a general area of knowledge distinctly different from the field in which they earned their original degree. For example, a physics PhD could be admitted to a doctoral degree program in music or history; however, a student with a doctoral degree in mathematics would not be permitted to add a PhD in statistics.
  2. Applicants who hold the PhD degree may be admitted to a professional doctorate or professional master’s degree program if there is no duplication of training involved.

Applicants may apply only to one single degree program or one concurrent degree program per admission cycle.

Required Documents for Applications

  1. Transcripts: Applicants may upload unofficial transcripts with your application for the departmental initial review. If the applicant is admitted, then official transcripts of all college-level work will be required. Official transcripts must be in sealed envelopes as issued by the school(s) attended. If you have attended Berkeley, upload your unofficial transcript with your application for the departmental initial review. If you are admitted, an official transcript with evidence of degree conferral will not be required.
  2. Letters of recommendation: Applicants may request online letters of recommendation through the online application system. Hard copies of recommendation letters must be sent directly to the program, not the Graduate Division.
  3. Evidence of English language proficiency: All applicants from countries or political entities in which the official language is not English are required to submit official evidence of English language proficiency. This applies to applicants from Bangladesh, Burma, Nepal, India, Pakistan, Latin America, the Middle East, the People’s Republic of China, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Southeast Asia, most European countries, and Quebec (Canada). However, applicants who, at the time of application, have already completed at least one year of full-time academic course work with grades of B or better at a US university may submit an official transcript from the US university to fulfill this requirement. The following courses will not fulfill this requirement:
    • courses in English as a Second Language,
    • courses conducted in a language other than English,
    • courses that will be completed after the application is submitted, and
    • courses of a non-academic nature.

If applicants have previously been denied admission to Berkeley on the basis of their English language proficiency, they must submit new test scores that meet the current minimum from one of the standardized tests. Official TOEFL score reports must be sent directly from Educational Test Services (ETS). The institution code for Berkeley is 4833. Official IELTS score reports must be mailed directly to our office from British Council. TOEFL and IELTS score reports are only valid for two years.

Where to Apply

Visit the Berkeley Graduate Division application page

Doctoral Degree Requirements

Curriculum

HISTART 200Graduate Proseminar in the Interpretation of Art Historical Materials4
Electives12
Six must be HISTART Electives re specialization
introductory language courses excluded
HISTART 375Seminar in History of Art Teaching2

Courses

Art History

Faculty and Instructors

+ Indicates this faculty member is the recipient of the Distinguished Teaching Award.

Faculty

Diliana Angelova, Assistant Professor. Gender, early Christian art, Byzantine art, late antique art, the Virgin Mary, early Christian empresses, imperial iconography, power and material culture, the empress Helena, the relic of the True Cross, urban development of Constantinople, textiles, ivories, mythology in Byzantine art, myth and genre in Archaic and Classical Greek art, romantic love in ancient and medieval art.
Research Profile

Patricia Berger, Professor. China, buddhist art, East Asian studies, history of art, Asian architecture and art.
Research Profile

Julia Q. Bryan-Wilson, Associate Professor. Contemporary art, feminist theory, queer theory.
Research Profile

Whitney Davis, Professor.

Beate Fricke, Associate Professor. Medieval art and architecture, idolatry, iconoclasm, history of allegory, formation of communities, incest, anthropophagy, animation, emergence of life and procreation, theories and practices in use of images and relics, visual and material culture, Carolingian Art, Gothic Art, Ottonian Art.
Research Profile

+ Darcy Grimaldo Grigsby, Professor.

Christopher Hallett, Professor. Classics, Roman art, visual culture, portraiture, Hellenistic art, Roman Asia Minor, Hellenistic and Roman Egypt.
Research Profile

Imogen Hart, Assistant Adjunct Professor.

Elizabeth A. Honig, Associate Professor. Painting, Rome, baroque, Renaissance, Antwerp, digital humanities, Brueghel, Rubens.
Research Profile

Lauren Kroiz, Assistant Professor. History and theory of photography and new media, race and ethnic studies, the relationships between regionalism, nationalism and globalism.

Henrike Lange, Assistant Professor.

Anneka Lenssen, Assistant Professor.

Gregory Levine, Associate Professor. East Asian studies, history of art, Japanese art and architecture, histories of collecting, history of museums, Buddhist art and architecture, Buddhist visual culture.
Research Profile

Margaretta M. Lovell, Professor. Architecture, design, American art.
Research Profile

Sabrina Sonia Maras, Assistant Adjunct Professor.

Todd Olson, Professor.

Sugata Ray, Assistant Professor. Early modern, visual culture, Hinduism, Islam, architecture, Urban cultures, environmental studies, ecology, aesthetics, globalization, postcolonial studies, colonialism, museums, historiography, art history, India, South Asia.
Research Profile

+ Andrew F. Stewart, Professor. Archaeology, classics, Greek sculpture, ancient art and architecture, the Hellenistic east after Alexander, the Renaissance reception of antiquity.
Research Profile

Lisa Trever, Assistant Professor. Pre-Columbian Art History, Latin American Art History, archaeology, visual studies, historiography, Illustration.
Research Profile

Lecturers

Ivy Mills, Lecturer.

Catherine Mary Telfair, Lecturer.

Emeritus Faculty

+ Svetlana Alpers, Professor Emeritus.

Timothy J. Clark, Professor Emeritus.

Jacques De Caso, Professor Emeritus. History of European art of the XVIIIIth and XIXth centuries.
Research Profile

Loren Partridge, Professor Emeritus. Urbanism, architecture, Italian Renaissance painting, sculpture, Rome, Florence, Venice, Italian courts, churches, palaces, villas, fresco decoration.
Research Profile

Peter Selz, Professor Emeritus.

Anne Wagner, Professor Emeritus.

David H. Wright, Professor Emeritus. Art from Augustus to Charlemagne, palaeography and codicology, late Roman numismatics.
Research Profile

Contact Information

Department of the History of Art

416 Doe Library #6020

Phone: 510-643-7290

Fax: 510-643-2185

art_history@berkeley.edu

Visit Department Website

Department Chair

Whitney Davis

415 Doe Library

Phone: 510-643-7290

wmdavis@berkeley.edu

Graduate Student Services Adviser

Isabel Seneca

416 Doe Library

Phone: 510 642-1416

isabel.seneca@berkeley.edu

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