Graduate Admission Requirements

art history students in museum

General questions about admissions and the graduate programs in general should be sent to Specific questions may be sent to the Department’s Director of Graduate Studies, Dr. Eric Garberson. Applicants are encouraged to contact full-time faculty members in the area in which they wish to study.

Applicants must have a Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college, university, or equivalent and a GPA of at least 3.0. The Department of Art History does not require the GRE exam. While most applicants have degrees in art history, applicants with degrees in related fields (such as history, anthropology, literary studies, religious studies, or gender studies) are encouraged to apply.

In addition to the online application, applicants are required to submit the following

  • Statement of purpose or intent that describes why you wish to pursue graduate study in art history, the general field or kind of topic you wish to study and with which member(s) of the department, how your academic and/or professional experience has prepared you for graduate study, why you chose to apply to VCU art history, and your goals beyond graduate study at the MA level 
  • Writing sample: a research paper in art history or a related field that demonstrates your ability to formulate a thesis and support it with independent research. It should demonstrate strong writing skills and familiarity with basic reference practices in the humanities (i.e. footnotes or endnotes). 
  • 3 letters of recommendation that address the applicant’s preparation and promise for graduate study; applicants to Historical Studies should have three academic references, but one may be from related work or museum experience; applicants to Museum Studies should have at least one recommendation from a museum professional and at least one academic reference 
  • Current CV or resume
  • Transcripts from all colleges or universities previously attended

To learn more about our admissions statistics and student demographics, prospective students can visit the VCU Office of Planning and Decision Support website.