Graduate Programs

Washington University in St. Louis is an exceptional place to pursue graduate studies in Art History and Archaeology. The Department of Art History and Archaeology has a long tradition of training students in areas of Classical Art and Archaeology, Renaissance and Baroque Art and Architecture, Asian Art and Archaeology, and Modern and American Art (see below). Through our relations with the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts, we also have additional strengths in visual art and design, and in the history, theory and practice of architecture. Our program currently has about 20 graduate students in residence, pursuing both the MA and PhD degrees. We welcome students interested in working at either level, and due to our relatively small size, we are able to mentor our graduate students closely, and help prepare them for exciting professional opportunities. 

Doctoral and Masters Programs

The Department of Art History and Archaeology offers admission to the PhD program to qualified students holding either a BA or MA degree in art history or a closely related field. Students enrolling in the graduate program with the BA degree fulfill departmental MA requirements before being accepted to PhD candidacy; accepted students with an MA degree from another university will immediately enter the PhD program. The Department also offers a terminal MA degree; its requirements are the same as those for students who pursue the MA/PhD track at Washington University.


Moving Stories in the Making: An Exhibition of Migration Narrative

The exhibition will demonstrate how stories can shift entrenched attitudes toward immigration and how art can foster connections between migrants and the communities in which they become a part.

Article default image

Graduate Students Claire Lyman and Mary Sulavik join Dr. Aravecchia in Amheida this January

Department of Art History and Archaeology graduate students Claire Lyman and Mary Sulavik joined Dr. Nicola Aravecchia, Archaeological Director of the Amheida project, on a trip to the ancient site of Amheida in Egypt’s Dakhla Oasis.

PhD Candidate Kirsten Marples giving gallery talk at the Saint Louis Art Museum

The Graduate Experience

Graduate Students Works in Progress Series (WIPS)

The Graduate Students Works in Progress Series (WIPS) provides a forum for the presentation of original research to the department community. The series also includes professional development sessions on topics including: writing conference paper proposals; navigating the academic and museum job markets; and publishing in art history and archaeology. WIPS normally meets four to five times a semester, on Fridays from 2 p.m. - 4 p.m.

contact DGS for more information

Travel Seminars and Field Trips

The Department of Art History and Archaeology provides robust travel opportunities to its students. The Travel Seminar Program enriches the classroom experience through on-the-ground opportunities for students to explore art in the cities and museums where their coursework is centered, including past trips to Mexico City (2015 and 2019) and London (2019), exploring land and eco art in the southwest US (2022), and Rome in spring 2023. The Department also regularly hosts field trips, which in the past have included visits to galleries and museums in New York City, Philadelphia, Seattle, Chicago, Detroit, and Washington D.C., among many vibrant cultural hubs.

Past Seminars and Field Trips

Commitment to Digital Art History

From coursework with our faculty that includes significant digital art history components to the recently established Digital Art History Lab, the Department of Art History and Archaeology is committed helping our students develop 21st century skillsets by providing opportunities to explore the intersection between art history and the possibilities provided by technology.

Learn more about digital art history!

Opportunities & Deadlines

For current graduate students, this section of the website will be updated with opportunities that may be of interest.

For professional opportunites for soon to graduate or recent graduate students, click here.

Annual Update on Professional Development and Extra-Curricular Activities (Deadline Friday, March 1, 2024)

Graduate Teaching Awards (Deadline Friday, March 1, 2024)

Mark S. Weil and Joan M. Hall Professional Development Fellowship Competition (Deadline Wednesday, March 6, 2024)

Funding for Departmental Summer 2023 Research Awards and AY 2024 Weil/Hall Dissertation Grants (Deadline Monday, April 1, 2024)

Department Support for Conference Presentations (Deadline Sunday, October 13, 2024 with rolling deadline thereafter)

Graduate Fellowship with The Writing Center (Deadline Wednesday, March 27, 2024)

Pulitzer Arts Foundation Summer 2024 Curatorial Internship for Graduate Students 

Kemper Museum New Perspectives Talk Proposals (TBA 2024)


Funding & Financial Aid

Our students enjoy the resources of an outstanding research university. These include, but are not limited to, various levels of support for tuition and living expenses, as well as research funding. Students accepted into the PhD program who remain in good standing are guaranteed six years of full funding in the form of Arts and Sciences Fellowships with an annual stipend and full tuition remission.  

Financial Aid, Conference Funding, Research Awards
Dr. Childs and a group of graduate students at the Saint Louis Art Museum

We support our graduate students

Graduate students at Washington University enjoy a professional environment with many benefits, such as subsidy of health insurance costs, and a policy for paid new child leave. Moreover, preferential rates and enrollment priority are given to graduate student parents at on-campus or affiliated child-care centers.

Curricular opportunities are extensive. The Mellon Foundation funds a variety of exciting interdisciplinary seminars, both during the semester and in the summer. The vice dean of the Office of Graduate Studies in Arts & Sciences has offered technology workshops to teach graduate students how to design and compose online course lectures. Summer research grants from the Department of Art History and Archaeology have funded graduate student travel at the PhD level. Students in recent years have received support for travel not only to research libraries and archives in the U.S., but also in Italy, France, Germany, Switzerland, England and Greece, among others.

During the academic year, our graduate students frequently travel to give papers at professional conferences, supported with endowed funds from the Department of Art History and Archaeology. See the Research Financing section on this website for more details about these kinds of opportunities. Students who receive such support from the Department are required to present a “dry run” of the conference paper in our Works in Progress Series (WIPS).

Students and faculty members in the Department have recently taken one or two field trips a year, to introduce our students to museum collections, architectural attractions, private collections, and temporary exhibitions offered by other art centers across the country. Recent destinations include Seattle, Houston, Philadelphia, Boston, Minneapolis, Washington, D.C., Milwaukee, Kansas City and Chicago. The Department typically pays for transportation on these trips, and students join together to make accommodations extremely affordable.

Meet our alumni

Learn how our graduates are impacting the world. 

Contact us

If you have questions, please reach out to John Klein, Director of Graduate Studies.

Contact John Klein