Art history dissertation

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Students should discuss potential topics with several faculty members before beginning.

7 Rules For Writing An Art History Dissertation Methodology

The final prospectus should be approved not later than 3 months within the academic calendar -- September through May of passing the general examinations in order to be considered to be making satisfactory progress toward the degree. This is the time when the Thesis Reader and Dissertation Proposal form should be completed and submitted to the department office or DGS.

Three signatures are now required on the thesis acceptance certificate. Two of the three signatories must be GSAS faculty.

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The primary adviser must be in the department of History of Art and Architecture; the secondary adviser need not be. In addition to the primary and secondary advisers the student may have one or more other readers. Two readers must be in the department. At the defense, the student has the opportunity to present and formally discuss the dissertation with respect to its sources, findings, interpretations, and conclusions, before a Defense Committee knowledgeable in the student's field of research.

The Director of the thesis is a member of the Defense committee. A committee is permitted to convene in the absence of the thesis Director only in cases of emergency or other extreme circumstances. The Defense Committee may consist of up to five members, but no fewer than three. The suggested make-up of the members of the committee should be brought to the Director of Graduate Studies for approval.


Two members of this committee should be from the Department of History of Art and Architecture. The Defense will be open to department members only faculty and graduate students , but others may be invited at the discretion of the candidate. Travel for an outside committee member is not possible at this time; exceptions are made rarely.

We encourage the use of Skype or conference calling for those committee members outside of Cambridge and have accommodation for either. A modest honorarium will be given for the reading of the thesis for one member of the jury outside the University. A minimum of one month prior to scheduling the defense, a final draft of the thesis should be submitted to the primary adviser. Once the primary adviser says that the thesis is "approved for defense," the candidate may schedule the date, room, and time for the defense in consultation with the Department and the appointed committee.

This date should be no less than six weeks after the time the Director of Graduate Studies has been informed that the thesis was approved for defense. It should be noted that preliminary approval of the thesis for defense does not guarantee that the thesis will be passed.

Call for Applications: UChicago/Getty Dissertation Workshop in Chinese Art History August 2020

The defense normally lasts two hours. The candidate is asked to begin by summarizing the pertinent background and findings.

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The summary should be kept within 20 minutes. The Chair of the Committee is responsible for allotting time, normally allowing each member of the committee 20 to 30 minutes in which to make remarks on the thesis and elicit responses from the candidate. Special problems with regard to preparation of dissertations should be taken up with the Assistant Dean for Graduate Programs.

Your dissertationn will be filed online.

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Most dissertation advisers will want to see chapters as they are drafted. The process of commentary and feedback is different with each dissertation, and students should work with their advisers, their committees and, if necessary, with the DGS, to be sure they are getting the counsel they need. All members of the dissertation committee should have copies of the finished dissertation complete with table of contents, full citations, page numbers, bibliography and the works at least three weeks before the final exam.

The dissertation must be submitted to the Graduate School office at least seven days before the scheduled final exam. It should be accompanied by a word abstract no longer which will later be sent with the dissertation for microfilming and will be printed in Dissertation Abstracts International. This form, giving the exact title of the dissertation, must be approved by the DGS and the Chair of the dissertation committee.

Note that it must be turned in one month before the dissertation is to be defended, and no later than January 25 preceding the May commencement, July 1 for a September degree, and November 1 for a December degree. If you plan to finish in a specific semester, must be sure to file this form. If plans change and you are unable to finish, simply complete the same form again for the subsequent semester. At the same time, a copy of this notice must go out to each committee member to confirm the time and place in writing.

Students should check with the Administrative Secretary to the Graduate Program to be sure this has been done. A candidate should remind the Chair of the committee that he or she is responsible for picking up this certificate before the exam and returning it to the DGS Office with committee signatures immediately after the exam.

The final exam is normally administered by all members of the supervising committee at least four. Successful completion of the final exam requires at least four affirmative votes. The final oral exam shall be primarily on the dissertation. Except in unusual circumstances approved by the Dean, a final exam will not be scheduled when the university is not in session.

A student who fails the final exam may be allowed to take it a second time, but no earlier than six months from the date of the first exam. Permission to take the second exam must be obtained from the professor who directed the dissertation and from the Dean of the Graduate School.

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Failure to pass the second exam renders the student ineligible to continue work for the Ph. The committee may well accept the dissertation on the understanding that the student will make minor revisions and corrections which will be seen and approved by his or her adviser before the dissertation is deposited with the Graduate School.

In that case they will sign the exam certificate and the abstract sheets and dissertation signature pages. The student will then have up to 30 days after the exam to make the requested changes and improvements.

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