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Ph. D. Program in Art History

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Ph.D. in Art History

The OU School of Visual Arts at the University of Oklahoma offers a unique Ph.D. Program with four areas of emphasis: Native American Art History, Art of the American West, European Art, and Critical Issues in Art History.

The OU School of Visual Arts is the largest, most comprehensive art school in Oklahoma and is the only institution in the state to offer a doctoral program in art history.  The school serves approximately 400 undergraduate and graduate level students in art history, media, studio and visual communications with a faculty of 28 full-time artists, designers, scholars, a full-time Sculptor-in-Residence, the H. Russell Pitman Professor of Art History and the Charles Marion Russell Memorial Chair of Art in the American West.  The School is dedicated to promoting and supporting creative activity and scholarly research in the visual arts on both the graduate and undergraduate levels.

The OU School of Visual Arts houses extensive research material through the Indigenous Art Resources including books, publications, journals and articles, many of which are out of print; the Slide/Media Resources include more than 250,000 slides, digital images and videos; and the Charles M. Russell Center for the Study of Art of the American West.  These resources are combined with the University of Oklahoma’s Libraries, including a Fine Arts Library and the Western History Collection Library.  

In addition, the University is home to two museums, the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History and the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art.  The University’s Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art houses significant holdings of Western American and Native American art, while strengths of the 8,000-object permanent collection also include works of French Impressionism, American painting (especially Taos and Santa Fe) and sculpture (including 20th-Century, Modernism and Southwestern), contemporary art, Native American art, Byzantine icons, Asian art, and photography.  Both museums have significant holdings of Native American weaving, pottery, painting, beading and sculpture from Indian nations throughout Oklahoma and the United States.  

The University of Oklahoma is only thirty minutes from the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, approximately two hours from the Gilcrease and Philbrook Museums in Tulsa and about three hours from the Amon Carter Museum in Fort Worth.  Under construction on the south side of Oklahoma City is a Native American Cultural Center and Museum.  Oklahoma has thirty-nine federally recognized tribes and is rich in tribal culture, art and historic resources.


We require: 

  • Official transcripts from your previous institutions
  • A resume or CV
  • A statement of purpose
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • A writing sample of 25 pages or less
  • The GRE requirement is currently waived.
Please use the link below to apply through the Graduate College.

Ph.D. Application                        

Art History Graduate Coordinator Contact

Dr. Alison Fields

Dr. Alison Fields serves as the Coordinator of Art History Graduate programs.

Prospective students may contact Dr. Fields at with questions or to schedule a meeting on campus.