The Department offers a program leading to a doctor of philosophy degree (Ph.D.) in art history with specialization in Ancient, Medieval, Renaissance/Baroque, Modern, and Asian art, and in the history of architecture. Normally, work in the doctoral program commences after completion of a Master’s degree in art history.
Forty-eight graduate credits beyond the M.A. are required, but more credits may be required to gain the necessary background to complete the exams and dissertation. Among the credits:
- four hours in ArH 611 (Graduate Studies in Art History)
- a minimum of 12 hours is required in graduate research seminars
- a minimum of 18 hours credit is required for the dissertation itself (dissertation hours)
- up to eight hours credit may be approved for special coursework involving a year’s independent research in this country or abroad.
A committee of three history of art and architecture faculty members will be appointed for each incoming Ph.D. student and will oversee the work to be completed in light of the student’s academic background and objectives.
The committee will meet with the student at the beginning of fall and spring terms to review the student’s progress. The student’s advisor will be responsible for calling the meeting and for recording the results in the student’s file.
Doctoral Examinations and Procedures
1. General Qualifying Examination
Students entering the doctoral program who have not completed a Master’s degree in Art History may be required to pass a general qualifying examination in art history during the first term in residence.
2. Language Requirements
The department requires that PhD students demonstrate reading proficiency in one or more foreign languages, as pertinent to their field of study.
The chosen language(s) must be approved by the student’s advisor and should be relevant to the student’s scholarly interests. Students must have demonstrated proficiency in one language by the end of the first year of study. In the event the student is unable to pass this requirement within the stated time, he or she will not be allowed to continue history of art and architecture coursework toward the degree, nor will he or she be eligible for a GTF award until the language requirement is successfully met.
Language proficiency is typically demonstrated in one of several ways: (1) by passing a written language exam given by the department; (2) by providing an official transcript from the University of Oregon or elsewhere that shows satisfactory completion of the third year of the language; (3) or by presenting evidence of having achieved equivalent results on a standardized foreign-language placement test. (NOTE: Students who have completed a high-school or higher degree that employed the target language as the primary language of instruction are deemed proficient in that language.)
3. Candidacy Examination
A two-part written examination is required for admission to candidacy for the Ph.D. It must be taken after other requirements are substantially completed, but before any dissertation proposal is officially accepted.
This exam should be viewed as a rigorous examination of the student’s knowledge and should involve substantial independent study outside of the completed coursework.
It will test factual knowledge, critical and writing abilities, and awareness of current methodological issues in the discipline. Each part of the exam will contain slide analysis and essay sections.
The first part will cover two contiguous categories from the list below, including the field of the student’s proposed dissertation. It will test the student’s general knowledge of the civilization as well as of the fine arts in the area covered. It will consist of a four-hour exam on one day, followed by a 24-hour long period beginning the next day, during which answers will be prepared to questions requiring use of the library.
The second part will be a minor-field examination in one other, unrelated category listed below or in a discipline outside of but related to art history, with departmental approval. It will consist of a three-hour exam.
Categories for examination in ASIAN ART: Indian, Chinese, Japanese.
Categories for examination in WESTERN ART: Mediterranean Bronze Age, Greek, Roman, Early Christian and Byzantine, Early Medieval through Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance (Southern and Northern), Baroque (Southern and Northern), European and American 1700-1850, Modern, 1850 through 20th century.
4. Examination procedures
The process leading to the exams begins when the student decides in which areas s/he wishes to take the exam. At that time an examination committee will be formed consisting of the three faculty members. The student’s advisor will serve as committee chair and will call a meeting to determine the exact areas for which the student is responsible.
The student will be sent a letter by the committee chair specifying for what areas the student is responsible and the student will consult with individual faculty members to develop reading lists for each area, which will also be placed in the student’s file. Examination dates will be set based on discussion between the student and the examination committee.
Should the student fail any part of the exam, s/he will have one opportunity to repeat the entire examination (with a different set of questions). The student may not be examined in another field without having passed the previous examination. If the student fails any part of an examination more than once, or fails in more than one field, s/he will be disqualified from completing the Ph.D. degree.
The student will be notified of the results of each section of the exam normally within two weeks of the completion of that section. The exam will be kept in the student’s file and within two weeks of successful completion of the examination the department shall recommend to the Graduate School that the student be advanced to candidacy.
A dissertation represents independent and original research which makes a significant contribution to the current body of knowledge in the field. It must show a mastery of the literature of the subject, be written in acceptable literary style, and conform to the standards outlined in the University of Oregon Style and Policy Manual for Theses and Dissertations (available at the Graduate School web site).
1. Committee Selection
Following advancement to candidacy, the dissertation committee’s membership is proposed to the dean of the Graduate School who, after approving it, appoints the committee. The committee includes at least four instructional faculty members with the rank of assistant professor or higher. Three of the members are from art history and one is from outside the department. (Further stipulations about the eligibility of faculty for service on the committee are found in a document available in the department office and Graduate School.)
The committee should be formed within one month after advancement to candidacy and its first function is to approve the dissertation proposal.
2. Doctoral Dissertation Proposal Development
The proposal is an initial statement of intentions, and forms the basis for further development of the project. In the proposal the student states the goals of the dissertation, the proposed methodology, the anticipated schedule, and his or her preparedness for the study. All members of the committee should indicate their support for the general nature of the proposal prior to the scheduling of a meeting to approve it.
The proposal is developed with the assistance of the student’s advisor and is a maximum of four to eight pages in length (plus the Bibliography and Approval Form), and shall follow this format exactly, including all of the headings listed below:
a. Cover Sheet with the following information. Art History Dissertation Proposal, Dissertation Title, Student’s Name, Date Submitted for Approval, Names of Committee Members.
b. Introductory Statement. One paragraph describing the topic in general terms.
c. Major Goals Objectives. What contribution do you expect the dissertation will make to the current body of knowledge in the field of art history? What are the key questions to be asked and answered?
d. Reason for Engaging this Particular Topic. Describe why the proposed project is appropriate for you (the personal reason).
e. Key Questions and Issues. Is there a tentative assumption which underlies the thesis and which the dissertation will clarify? What are the key questions to asked and answered?
f. Scope and Limits of the Topic. The most frequent criticism of a proposal is that the proposed scope is too large or too ill defined. What are the topic’s parameters, its limitations and exclusions, as well as inclusions?
g. Students’ Current Level of Preparation for this Topic. Are you prepared to begin immediately, or is additional coursework, travel, etc. required?
h. General Description of the Method to be Employed. Describe the conceptual approach, phases of the study and specific tasks.
i. Available Resources and Selected Preliminary Bibliography: What are the known references and similar you anticipate using?
j. Time Schedule for Completion of the Work. List approximate dates for completing the major phases of the dissertation, including the public presentation, and final delivery to the Graduate School. Do not underestimate the time necessary for final editing and production. A minimum of two full weeks must be allowed for secondary readers to review the draft submitted prior to the public presentation.
k. Thesis Proposal Approval Form. This form is available from the Department of the History of Art and Architecture Office and is to be prepared by the student and attached to the file copy of the proposal only.
3. Approval of Doctoral Dissertation Proposal
The student shall present the proposal to a meeting of the dissertation committee. It is the student’s responsibility to schedule a time and place for this meeting, in consultation with the members of the committee. This meeting is scheduled after the proposal has been reviewed by members of the proposed committee. At least a week before the meeting, the student shall make copies of the proposal available in the department office for review by other students and faculty who are encouraged to attend the meeting. At the meeting the student will make a brief presentation (fifteen to twenty minutes in length) to emphasize major aspects of the proposal and discussion will follow. Four outcomes of this meeting are possible:
a. Approval – If all members of the committee agree that the proposal is satisfactory as submitted.
b. Approved as Modified – If the student making the proposal and committee members agree on modifications to the proposal, the proposal is approved as modified. These modifications will be written by the Chair of the student’s committee on the file copy of the Dissertation Proposal Approval form, or on a copy of the proposal which is attached to this form.
c. Approved with Instructions to the Student’s Committee – If the student making the proposal and the committee members agree that problems with the proposal are not fully resolved at the conclusion of the meeting but can be satisfactorily resolved by the student’s committee at a subsequent meeting, the proposal is approved, subject to general instructions to the committee about this resolution. These instructions will be written by the Chair of the committee on the file copy of the Dissertation Proposal Approval form, or on a record copy of the proposal which is attached to this form.
d. Resubmit – If major problems are discovered in the proposal, it must be resubmitted and the meeting repeated.
If major problems are discovered in the proposal, it must be resubmitted and the meeting repeated.
At the conclusion of the meeting, all members of the committee will indicate their support for the approved proposal, plus any modifications or instructions, by signing the file copy of the Dissertation Proposal Approval form. This file copy will be kept in the department office.
The student can not register for dissertation credits until after he/she has been advanced to candidacy and the proposal has been approved.
4. Development Defense of the Doctoral Dissertation
a. Supervision Development of the Dissertation :
The committee Chair has primary responsibility for directing all phases of the dissertation after the proposal has been approved. The student should arrange for regular meetings with the Chair to review progress and other faculty members will be given drafts of the chapters as agreed upon by the committee and consulted about any major changes in the proposal.
Students are also encouraged to make informal progress reports to other art history graduate students. Students must be enrolled to receive help on the dissertation and are responsible for requesting leaves of absence from the Graduate School should they not be able to maintain continuous enrollment. Students must bear in mind the seven-year time limit that is imposed on completion of the Ph.D.
b .Defense and Submittal of the Dissertation :
When the committee Chair, in consultation with other readers, feels that the dissertation has reached a final stage, a date for a public defense on campus is set by the Chair and approved by the Graduate School. Four copies of the dissertation abstract (350-word maximum) must also be filed with the Graduate School at this time.
The defense should take place at least three weeks before the deadline of the Graduate School for submission of the final manuscript, in order that any minor problems discovered in the defense can be corrected; it is recommended that the defense take place early in the term of graduation. Tentative approval of the dissertation by the committee is recommended prior to the formal defense. This evaluation is based on copies of the final manuscript, including references and illustrations, which the candidate must provide to committee members at least three weeks before the scheduled defense. The student will work with the department secretary to notify students and faculty and to post announcements in Lawrence Hall at least one week before the presentation. The dissertation committee must be present at the defense. The format for this presentation will consist of a presentation by the student of the work (usually twenty to thirty minutes in length), followed by questions and general discussion.
Within two weeks following the defense, the committee Chair must certify to the Graduate School that the defense was held and each member of the committee must confirm in writing approval or disapproval of the final version. Approval requires a unanimous vote. In the event of a split vote, the dean of the Graduate School determines the review procedure after consultation with the student, the department chair (or the school dean), and the committee.
Following final approval of the dissertation, two copies must be submitted to the Graduate School by the required deadline. Committee members should sign approval of the dissertation only if they have seen and approved what is substantially a final draft and, further, if they are willing to delegate the overseeing of remaining minor revisions to the committee Chair. If this is not the case, they should not sign the final oral form.
If no signed approval form is received by the Graduate School within two weeks following the scheduled oral examination, another oral examination must be scheduled for defense of the dissertation.
If the dissertation is judged satisfactory with the incorporation of suggested changes and other degree requirements are met, the Department Head will submit a statement of completion of requirements to the Graduate School. Following the requested changes, the committee Chair will sign the approval pages of the dissertation and the required number of copies of it and an abstract will be submitted for acceptance by the Graduate School, following their regulations as to timetable and format.