The Department of Art History Graduate Manual offers detailed information about the two concentrations. It also provides program deadlines, updated each semester, and all the administrative forms that students need while completing degree requirements.
Art history graduate admission requires that applicants hold a bachelor’s degree in art history or related field (e.g., fine arts, design, history, literary studies, religious studies). Applicants who have completed at least 18 undergraduate semester credits in art history are preferred.
Applications are reviewed by full-time faculty members who assess an applicant’s overall package of materials, with particular attention to the statement of interest and writing sample. Applicants are accordingly advised to submit a writing sample that has a clearly articulated thesis statement; identifies and interprets primary and/or secondary sources in support of a well-argued thesis; and offers a coherent, cohesive narrative. The statement of purpose, 750-1000 words in length, should
- briefly recount your academic background
- describe an avenue of inquiry that you expect to explore
- note your professional goals beyond graduate study
- explain why VCU art history is suited to your interests
Applicants are encouraged to correspond with faculty members with whom they may wish to work.
While there are no steadfast quantitative criteria for admission, most students have a GRE Verbal score of 155 or higher, a GRE Writing Score of 4.0 or higher, and a GPA of 3.2 or higher on the last 60 hours of undergraduate coursework.
Applicants are also required to submit 3 letters of reference. Applicants to the Historical Studies concentration should solicit letters from faculty members who can assess the applicant’s preparation and promise for graduate work. Applicants to the Museum Studies concentration should solicit 2 letters from faculty members who can assess the applicant’s preparation and promise for graduate work and 1 letter of reference from a museum professional who can describe the applicant’s professional experience and promise.