Concordia University

Art History PhD

Admission Requirements

Those applying for either full-time or part-time admission should possess a Master of Arts degree or its equivalent in Art History. Applications must include a thesis research project accompanied by a letter of support from the proposed supervisor in the department. Prospective students should therefore contact individual professors, or the Graduate Program Director, to find the right supervisor for their doctoral research project.

Language Requirements. This is a bilingual interuniversity program, offered jointly with the Université de Montréal and the Université du Québec à Montréal. Students may successfully complete all of its various components in English, in French, or in a combination of both languages. Applicants are therefore required to be fully proficient in English or French. Please refer to the Graduate Admission page for further information on the Language Proficiency requirements and exemptions.

Requirements for the Degree

  1. Credits. A fully qualified candidate entering the program with a Master’s/Magisteriate degree is required to complete 90 credits. These are apportioned as follows: courses and seminars, 12 credits; research tutorial, 6 credits; doctoral forum, 3 credits; comprehensive examinations, 9 credits; and thesis, 60 credits.

  2. Courses. The courses offered through the interuniversity program are open to all students, regardless of the university at which they are enrolled. All students must take at least 3 credits from Block A. The remaining 9 credits are normally chosen from Block A or Block B. Requests to register in a seminar outside the program require the approval of the supervisor and the Graduate Program Director.

  3. Comprehensive Examinations (ARTH 808). Each student must successfully complete one oral and one written examination, which are evaluated by the three professors constituting the student’s thesis committee. These examinations are based on a pre-established list of readings focused on the theoretical and methodological issues which inform the student’s specific area of research. The exams are intended to verify whether the student is sufficiently prepared to undertake the writing of a thesis. Students determine the language or languages for the examinations. Students who fail these examinations must take them a second time during the following semester. Those failing the second attempt will be withdrawn from the program.

  4. Research Tutorial (ARTH 820). This tutorial is directed by the thesis advisor and is oriented to the student’s thesis topic. Its objective is to allow the student to articulate a detailed research project, define its corpus, and develop its theoretical and methodological hypotheses with a view to obtaining the approval of the thesis committee. This project, including an activity calendar, must be submitted at the end of the student’s first year. Students should register once work is completed and a grade has been assigned.

  5. Doctoral Forum (ARTH 807). In the interests of promoting the development of an intellectual community within the program, a forum consisting of professors and students in the program is held twice a year. Each student, at some point during their degree, must give a paper based on their thesis research. This paper will be evaluated by a committee consisting of three professors and accorded a pass or fail grade. The doctoral forum is bilingual, with translation provided when necessary.

  6. Thesis (ARTH 830). The doctoral candidate must submit a thesis which makes an important and original contribution to knowledge in Art History. The thesis is defended orally before a committee composed of five individuals: the thesis advisor, the two other members of the thesis committee, one examiner from a department or program within the university other than the candidate’s, and one external examiner from outside the four universities.

  7. Language Proficiency. In addition to the requirements for admission, candidates are required to demonstrate their understanding of another language relevant to their doctoral studies.

Academic Regulations

  1. Academic Standing. Please refer to the Academic Standing section of the Calendar for a detailed review of the Academic Regulations.

  2. Residency. The minimum required residency is three consecutive semesters.

  3. Time Limit. Please refer to the Academic Regulation page for further details regarding the Time Limit requirements.

  4. Graduation Requirement. In order to graduate, students must have a cumulative GPA of 3.00.  


Block A Seminars: Methodology

The language of discussion in Block A seminars is the same as the language of instruction, with the understanding that students may express complex ideas in the program's other language.

A1: ARTH 809 Art History and Its Methodologies (3 credits)
Students reflect critically on the theoretical and methodological foundations of current art historical practice. This seminar is offered in English.
Note: Students who have received credit for ARTH 800 may not take this course for credit.

A2: ARTH 810 Problématiques de l'histoire de l'art (3 crédits)
Analyse des bases théoriques de la discipline et réflexion critique sur les questionnements actuels des diverses méthodologies appliquées à l'étude des oeuvres d'art. Ce séminaire est offert en français.
Note: Students who have received credit for ARTH 800 may not take this course for credit.

Block B Seminars: Art History and Its Object

Instructors determine the language or languages of instruction and discussion for Block B seminars.

B1: ARTH 801 Periods and Territories (3 credits)
B2: ARTH 802 Classification - Genres, Artistic Disciplines (3 credits)
B3: ARTH 803 Thematic Questions (3 credits)
B4: ARTH 804 Writings on Art (3 credits)
B5: ARTH 805 Critical Examination of Artistic Context (3 credits)
B6: ARTH 806 Formal and Semantic Studies (3 credits)

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