Graduate Studies

So, You are Considering Grad School

Are you wondering if graduate school is right for you? It can be incredibly rewarding to spend time studying fascinating objects in close detail, but it takes a lot of time and energy to be successful. Talk to your art history teachers, ask them about their experiences in grad school, investigate area programs, and spend some time thinking about your long term plans.

Getting In

First things first, there are no guarantees.  Smart professional prospective students get rejected every year, and acceptance is based on factors that you won’t even know such as the number of students that professor has already.  But, you should still do everything you can to send out the best application possible.

  • Enroll in a wide variety of upper level art history courses.  This will help you discover your interests, expose you to different ideas, and provide opportunities to build relationship with faculty (who you will need to write letters on your behalf.)
  • Be the captain of your own career path.  Look for activities to expand your skills, your CV, your network, and your knowledge. TAKE THEM!
  • Never stop learning and seek out ways to expand the skills you already possess.
  • Impressions matter.  Put forward the most professional, poised, focused, and succinct application you can.  Find a mentor who can guide you through the process.
  • Most applications include an assortment of the following: application letter, GRE scores, a writing sample, letters of recommendation

Things to Know Before You Go

Grad life is hard, but it can be worth it.

  • Work/life balance is important. Take time and space to care for yourself.
  • Write your own definition of success.
  • Build a professional network. Attend conferences, meetings, and events where you are likely to meet your peers at different institutions.
  • Be prepared for the possibility that plan A doesn’t work out. Have a plan B, C, D, T, and X.
  • Think and plan in long AND short terms. Figure out how your two week plan fits into your two year plan.

Area Programs

Art History graduate school comes in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Talk to your mentor/s about the differences between an MA/PHD vs a terminal MA and public vs private.

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