UC Berkeley History of Art Department

Applying to the Doctoral Program


The Department welcomes applications for advanced study in the fields, periods, and specializations of the faculty in History of Art. We encourage prospective applicants to read carefully the graduate program description, familiarize themselves with the teaching and research areas of the faculty and related departments, and adhere precisely to application deadlines and requirements.


Applications are reviewed by the Graduate Admissions Committee, which is comprised of five faculty members assisted by the Graduate Affairs Officer, in consultation with the faculty at large and in accordance with UC Berkeley's Graduate Division. Applicants awarded admission, with or without fellowship support, will be notified by the University's Graduate Division by late March, and must accept or decline any award by April 15.

Your application will be kept on file in the Department for two years. Please note that supporting materials cannot be returned and will not be retained beyond the two-year limit. For information on reapplying, or reactivating a past application, please consult the Graduate Division.


Important Factors  

  • The faculty seeks exceptional candidates whose academic and professional preparation and achievement demonstrate that they will be able to make rapid progress toward a doctorate degree in History of Art and to complete their studies with distinction.
  • We do prefer previous study in a discipline in the humanities or social sciences, involving historical content and the acquisition of research and interpretive skills, as well as effective writing abilities.
  • We welcome applications from those with B.A. degrees who have a strong foundation in the humanities and a set of clear intellectual interests in History of Art.
  • We also welcome applications from students who have received an M.A. at UC Berkeley or other universities.


The Department does not offer a terminal master’s program, and students who have yet to establish a field or fields of proposed study, who lack previous study in fields with historical content, or who have yet to begin study of a primary research language may be better served by applying to an MA program at another University or an MA program in a cognate department at UC Berkeley.

Admission to this program follows a thorough review of each applicant's complete dossier; no individual component, score, or statement will ensure admission. The Department does not report on the results of prior admissions.

After careful review of this page, the graduate program description, as well as their own prior study and experience, prospective applicants may wish to contact individual faculty with specific questions regarding the doctoral program. Please keep in mind that faculty may not respond in detail to such inquiries due to the volume of applications.