Graduate Handbook

Administration

Director of Graduate Studies

Professor Brigid Doherty

223 East Pyne

[email protected]

Professor Doherty's Calendly 

 

Graduate Program Administrator

Gina Migliaccio-Bilinski

3-S-17 | Green Hall 
[email protected]
 

Department Chair

Professor Nathan Arrington
3-S-19 | Green Hall
[email protected]

 

 

Professor DeLue leads studetns in study of Audobon plates

Introduction

The graduate program in Art and Archaeology is designed to prepare students for teaching and research at the university level, curatorial positions in museums, and other careers in the visual arts. The department’s intimate size, together with Princeton’s commitment to teaching, ensures scholarly flexibility and close working relationships with faculty. Interdisciplinary study thrives at Princeton, and students are encouraged to take courses in related fields of the Humanities, Social Sciences, and Architecture. A number of interdisciplinary programs sponsor lectures and conferences; they also offer opportunities for graduate students to present their research. The department is committed to representing a full range of approaches to the history of art, from object-based research to many varieties of theory and criticism. Graduate study today necessarily involves the acquisition of specialized skills, notably foreign languages, and in-depth training in specific fields. The following fields count among the department’s particular strengths:

  • East Asian Art and Archaeology
  • Ancient Art and Archaeology
  • Byzantine and Medieval Art
  • Renaissance and Baroque Art
  • African and African Diaspora Art
  • Modern and Contemporary Art, including American Art and the History of Photography
  • The History of Architecture in all periods
  • Islamic Art

Our department has excellent facilities and resources, such as Marquand Library, the Princeton University Art Museum, the Index of Medieval Art, and the Visual Resources Collection. Princeton is also well located between two major cities, Philadelphia and New York City, with good transportation. Washington D.C. is less than three hours away by train. Prospective applicants interested in visiting our department during the fall term prior to the application deadline should contact Gina Migliaccio-Bilinski, the Graduate Program Administrator.

Application Process

The Department of Art and Archaeology graduate program usually has an enrollment period of five years. The actual time to degree is usually somewhat longer. The graduate program is for Ph.D. candidates only. The M.A. degree is incidental and cannot be applied for separately.

The graduate program is small, with about 9–12 students entering each year. There are approximately thirty-five students in residence at one time. The seminars are small, with an enrollment of approximately three to ten students. 

Admission

The application deadline is December 1. The deadline is for the receipt of applications and all supporting material for the academic year, as well as the application fee. The application fee is $75. Although an undergraduate major in art history will be helpful, it is not a requirement. GRE score submission is now optional and not required. An advanced placement examination in art history is not given. A writing sample of 25 pages is required when applying to our program. If you have specific questions, email Gina Migliaccio-Bilinski at [email protected]

Graduate School Online Application

Course of Study

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Department Distribution Requirements

The graduate program in art and archaeology is a five-year program. This five-year period is referred to as regular enrollment. Graduate study is carried out within one of seven broad fields:

  • Ancient
  • Byzantine and medieval
  • Renaissance and Baroque
  • Modern and contemporary
  • East Asian
  • Islamic
  • African and African diaspora

Students in ancient and East Asian will take a total of 15 courses. All other students will normally take four full semesters of coursework totaling 12 courses. One-half of all courses must be at the 400 level or higher. If a graduate student chooses to take a 200- or 300-level course within the department, the course will be designated as a reading course (700 level). If a student chooses to take a 200-level course outside of the department, the student must show that she or he is performing at the graduate level. Students are expected to take courses with each faculty member within their particular field of specialization. Students in all fields are required to take ART 500. In their first two years in the program, all graduate students, in all areas of study, are required to register and participate in the Graduate Seminar, ART 502 (a no-credit course). ART 502 meets on the mornings following talks given by speakers in the department's lecture series. These seminars will focus on topics and/or readings chosen by our invited lecturers. Attendance at both the lectures and the seminars is a requirement. Students are encouraged to consult with their advisers in selecting classes in other departments or at other institutions (see Graduate School Cooperative and Reciprocal Arrangements below).

For descriptions of the ancient art and archaeology and East Asian art and archaeology programs, see the specific sections below.

  • Graduate students in the department must not take graduate seminars as pass/fail courses unless these seminars are offered only pass/fail (as is the case in the departments of history and Classics).
  • Graduate students in the department may audit courses beyond the 12 or 15 mandatory classes.
  • Reading courses may not be audited.
  • If a graduate student chooses to take a 200- or 300-level course within the department, the course will be designated as a reading course (700-level) in consultation with the instructor. A reading course requires that you and the instructor submit a complete outline of the additional readings along with a weekly syllabus of the course. (Note: if the instructor is an interim faculty member, you must contact the Graduate Administrator ahead of time for approval by the dean of the Graduate School.)
  • You may sit in on a course but do not enroll via the TigerHub system as an auditor or for a grade. If you need access to Canvas, the Graduate Administrator will assign you special permission.

Degrees

Advanced degrees are conferred five times each academic year—in September, November, January, April, and June—by the trustees of the University. A master's degree is awarded as an incidental degree for which doctoral students may apply after passing the general examination. For students in the ancient and East Asian programs, the general examination timeframe is spring of the third year; for all other students, the general examination timeframe is spring of the second year or fall of the third year. Ph.D. candidates are required to pass the general examination, present an acceptable dissertation, and pass the final public oral examination. A vote to advance the student to degree candidacy is made at the conclusion of the general examination by the faculty present.

“To be awarded an advanced degree, the candidate must fulfill the requirements of the department or program concerned and submit an application for the degree to the Graduate School office. When these obligations are met, the degree is recorded on the transcript. For a degree to be conferred at Commencement in June, the student must submit the degree application before the deadline established by the Graduate School.” See the Graduates School’s Standard Requirements and Graduate School’s degree deadlines.

Departmental Language Requirements

Students in all fields except ancient and East Asian must satisfy the department's language requirements by passing a reading proficiency exam as soon as possible after enrolling, taking at least one exam early in their first term, and completing all language requirements before taking the general examination.

The language requirements are two modern languages (excluding English) necessary for reading the secondary literature in your subfield. These languages must be approved by your adviser. It is also expected that graduate students will be competent in all languages necessary for their dissertation research. For this reason, it is typical that students will demonstrate competency in one or more languages beyond the two required languages.

Students may take one of the language exams offered each fall semester by the Department of German, the Department of French and Italian, and the Department of Spanish and Portuguese. The Graduate Administrator will inform students when the language tests will be held. Those who fail a language exam in the fall may petition to take a comparable exam offered in the spring.

The successful completion of summer language courses taught on the Princeton campus will also count toward satisfying the language requirement. An examination from another institution does not fulfill the Princeton requirement.

Ancient Art & Archaeology Program

Students in the ancient art and archaeology program will take a total of 15 courses, which shall include:

  • whichever ancient art/archaeology seminars are offered in at least four of a student's first five terms. Some of these may be audited, with approval of the student's adviser, considering the student's specific program of study and course load.
  • ART 502 (a no-credit course); ART 500; and, ideally, one non-Western course.
  • For those working in the Greek and Roman fields, both the Greek and the Roman history proseminars (offered by the Department of Classics).
  • For those working in the Greek and Roman fields, at least one 300-level literature course in Classics (i.e., a text-based course in either Greek or Latin literature).

Modern Languages

Candidates for the Ph.D. in ancient art and archaeology are required to demonstrate a reading knowledge of German and another modern language appropriate to the student's special field. Language examinations shall be arranged by the department, or may be satisfied in certain instances by coursework.

Ancient Languages

Students are expected to acquire proficiency in ancient languages.

Those working in Egyptian art are expected to have proficiency in Middle Egyptian, along with another area (i.e., Old or Late Egyptian, hieratic, or Demotic) as it is relevant to their dissertation research. Those working in Greek or Roman art are required to pass sight exams in both Greek and Latin (administered by the Department of Classics) or to satisfy the proficiency requirement by coursework (a 300-level course).

Exams

Typically, students in the ancient art and archaeology program spend the first two and a half years in coursework. General exams are usually taken in the latter half of the third year. The general examination tests the candidate by means of an eight-hour written exam in ancient art and archaeology, and a four-hour written exam devoted to the general area of the dissertation; these are followed by a two-hour oral examination covering materials related to both written exams.

East Asian Art & Archaeology Program

The Department of Art and Archaeology and the Department of East Asian Studies cooperate in offering a program at the graduate level leading to the Ph.D. in East Asian art and archaeology. The program combines East Asian studies with the history of art and museum training. Students take a total of 15 courses, including both Japanese and Chinese art and archaeology seminars as well as courses in cognate fields of East Asian studies. Students are encouraged to take at least two non-Asian courses (as part of the required 15) in the Department of Art and Archaeology. Individual programs will be determined in consultation with the candidate's adviser. Requirements for students in East Asian specializations outside the regular Chinese and Japanese tracks are set in consultation with program faculty.

A candidate for the Ph.D. in Chinese art and archaeology is required to show proficiency in classical and modern Chinese and a reading knowledge of Japanese. A candidate for the Ph.D. in Japanese art and archaeology is required to demonstrate proficiency in classical Japanese and/or kanbun, as appropriate to the candidate's specialization, and modern Japanese, and a reading knowledge of Chinese or a European language. Elementary language courses may, at the discretion of the adviser, count toward the 15 required courses.

The general examination, which normally takes place no later than May of the third year, is designed to test the candidate's ability to integrate general, topical, and area knowledge in related fields chosen from Art and Archaeology and East Asian Studies. It consists of a first-day examination in the general field of Chinese and Japanese art history and archaeology, with six hours of writing in response to questions submitted by Department of Art and Archaeology faculty; a second-day examination in the field of the student's dissertation, with questions and length to be determined by the student's principal adviser; and a third-day examination in a related area of East Asian studies given by a faculty member in East Asian Studies with whom the student has studied, with the faculty member determining the questions and length.

Coursework & Precepting

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Course Enrollment

Students enroll in courses via TigerHub. Students meet with their advisers for guidance on the selection of courses, and then make an appointment with the director of graduate studies, who provides additional advice on course selection.

Incompletes

See the Graduate School’s policy on incompletes.

The department encourages students to complete all course requirements by the deadlines specified by the instructor for the submission of papers (whether dean's date or some other date). Students are discouraged from taking grades of incomplete, except for reasons of ill health or extraordinary personal circumstances.

Students are permitted to have only one incomplete in a departmental course on their record at any given time. The rules governing incompletes in departmental courses (i.e., courses taught within the Department of Art and Archaeology) are as follows:

  • Incompletes are granted by the course instructor. However, a student who is taking an incomplete in a course must notify the DGS by the last day of classes.
  • For a fall-term course, the extension may not go beyond the end of the second week of the spring semester. For a spring-term course, the extension may not go beyond September 1. The student's grade in the course will be based on the work submitted as of the extension. If the deadline arrives and a paper is still unfinished, it should be submitted in its unfinished state. If no paper is submitted by the deadline, the grade for the paper will be an F.
  • Students from other departments enrolled in Department of Art and Archaeology courses cannot, of course, be held to our one-extension-per-semester policy. In any course taught by the department, however, they should have exactly the same right to an extension as the art and archaeology students in the course, no more and no less. It would be unfair to our own students to hold them to a two-week deadline if their work was going to be graded side-by-side with the work of students who had an extra month.

We recognize that courses offered by other departments and programs sometimes have built into them the expectation that students will continue to work on their research papers beyond the term in which the course is offered, and we do not wish to put our students at a disadvantage when they take those courses. We therefore place no restriction on incompletes in courses taken outside the Department of Art and Archaeology. However, a student who takes an incomplete in an outside course must so notify the DGS by the last day of classes, specifying exactly when the outstanding work will be submitted, and may not take an incomplete in any departmental course while carrying an incomplete outside the department.

All incomplete grades must be removed from a student's record before they take the general examination.

Note, finally, that instructors are under no obligation to give extensions. If, at the beginning of the course, the instructor states that it is their policy to give extensions only in case of illness, the two-week fall-term/four-week spring-term extension is not available to any (healthy) student, departmental or non-departmental. In other words, the purpose of the department's policy on incompletes is to set a limit on the extensions our faculty may grant; it does not oblige the faculty to grant extensions.

Precepting

All students are required to precept at least once in order to acquire teaching experience. The application deadline is mid-May for the fall term, late October for the spring term. Students are encouraged to precept during their second or third year in the department. 

As stipulated by Graduate School policy, first-year students shall not precept.

Students who precept while in coursework are offered a one-time reduction in their course load. Preceptors must be present and available throughout the entire semester to assist with teaching and grading. Preceptors may not take the originals of student written work away from Princeton. At the beginning of each semester, the McGraw Center for Teaching and Learning provides a required AI (assistants in instruction) orientation for students who have never precepted.

The process that leads to precepting assignments involves variables and unknowns (enrollment size), and three criteria that are potentially in conflict with one another: student interest, faculty interest, and funding issues. The most important point, however, is that the decision is made by the faculty course instructor.

Some courses, such as ART 100, always require preceptors. Even in this case, however, we do not know in advance how many preceptors will be needed. In the case of other courses (ART 209 would be an example) we know whether preceptors will be needed only after the undergraduates have preregistered.

Well in advance of preregistration, all enrolled graduate students are asked whether they are interested in precepting. At this time, they are given a list of courses to be offered in the next term that we know will need preceptors. When preregistration figures justify it, students are advised of any additional courses that may require preceptors.

It is important to understand that students must apply in advance to be considered as preceptors. When possible, the pool of preceptors for each course is determined by the students who indicate their interest on the application. When applying to precept, students must have their advisers send a supporting note.

The role of the department’s Graduate Office is limited to distributing applications to the graduate students and furnishing individual instructors with the information that appears on the application forms. If requested, the chair, department manager, or DGS may offer advice to a faculty member regarding precept assignments, but they do not make the decisions that assign students to precepts in specific courses; those decisions are made by the instructor responsible for the course.

Faculty make informed decisions based on an awareness of all students interested in precepting for a given course. If some of the students who have expressed an interest are in Dissertation Completion Enrollment status (DCE) (see Dissertation Completion Enrollment Status (DCE)), the faculty will know this, just as they will know if a student has a grade of incomplete on her or his record.

The criteria that the faculty may take into account include the following:

  • Considerations of quality (who will make the best preceptor[s], based on field, course work, experience, etc.)
  • Considerations of equity (for example, if two students have applied for one position, if one has already had an opportunity to teach, while the other has not)
  • Considerations of funding (in a similar case of two students applying for one position, if one student is in the third year of enrollment and the other is in DCE status, a decision might be made to offer the position to the DCE student on the assumption that the third-year student will have other opportunities to precept)

This precepting process leaves the ultimate decision where it belongs, with the faculty instructor.

Enrollment Status

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Re-enrollment

The Graduate School defines re-enrollment as "the annual process in which every department and the Graduate School evaluate the academic progress of graduate degree candidates. The re-enrollment process, which is conducted during the latter half of the spring term, is often supplemented by other departmentally specific evaluations conducted at different times during the academic year. Students are encouraged to participate actively in the annual readmission process by preparing their written statement of academic progress during the current year and goals and objectives for the coming year. All students eligible for re-enrollment, including those writing dissertations, must make a formal application each year through their departments. Students who have satisfied all academic requirements within their departments and have demonstrated their readiness for continuing graduate work will be offered re-enrollment no later than June; others will be notified about re-enrollment when a basis for judgment is available."

The Graduate Administrator will notify students when the re-enrollment period begins. Students apply for re-enrollment via TigerHub, entering their Princeton credentials and navigating to: Student Self Service > Academic and Personal Info > TIGERHUB > Graduate Re-enrollment.

Students will indicate on the application form the status or statuses that they expect to hold for the upcoming academic year, i.e., regular (in residence), in absentia (see In Absentia Status below), leave (see Leave of Absence below), expect to graduate, DCE, etc. Once completed, the application is forwarded electronically to the Graduate Administrator and the Director of Graduate Studies for re-enrollment recommendations. Once the recommendation has been completed, students will be notified via email that their recommendation is ready for them to view and resubmit. The application is then sent to the Graduate School for review. The Graduate School will send students an acknowledgment via the email address on their re-enrollment reply form (student contract). Students must submit their reply, accepting or declining their contracts, before the re-enrollment process is complete.

As you are completing your re-enrollment application, please keep in mind, per the Graduate School guidelines, that only students who have handed in at least one completed chapter of their dissertations will be allowed to enroll on DCE status for the sixth and seventh years. While the department will consider requests for sixth-year funding of eligible students, such support will be predicated on fulfillment of the Graduate School’s enrollment requirement. The department does not provide any funding for the seventh year, but it will consider paying the DCE fee.

In Absentia

Students may be recommended for re-enrollment with in absentia status if they are working full time on degree requirements and are present on campus less than a majority of days per week for an academic term or year. Students must consult with their faculty adviser and the DGS for in absentia approval at re-enrollment time (spring term). This status is normally granted for only one year to students who have completed the general examination and had their dissertation proposal approved. Students are encouraged to seek financial aid outside the University for the time spent in absentia or may use their enrollment stipend. To be in absentia students must reside away from Princeton. New York and Philadelphia are acceptable; Hopewell or New Brunswick would not be.

Termination

The Graduate School may terminate a student's degree candidacy, upon recommendation of the department, when the student has not made satisfactory academic progress. Degree candidacy terminates automatically after a second failure of the general examination or after five years from the date of passing the general exam if the student has not maintained regular contact with the department and dissertation adviser. The department also may terminate a student's candidacy if the student has not fulfilled all the academic requirements before the general examination.

Leave of Absence

Students in good standing may be granted up to one year's leave of absence; an extension of one additional year may be requested. Leaves are granted for personal reasons when the student will not be actively pursuing an academic course of study. If a student does not return to the graduate program after two years, she or he will be terminated.

Voluntary Withdrawal

Enrolled students or students still eligible to be enrolled may choose to leave the University for various reasons. Before making a final decision to withdraw, students should discuss their options with their adviser(s), the department, and the Graduate School. Students who withdraw from the Graduate School lose their degree eligibility and may not resume an enrolled status.

Students considering a voluntary withdrawal should not make such a decision without careful consideration. Specifically, students contemplating a voluntary withdrawal must:

  • Contact their adviser(s) and the DGS to discuss their reasons for a voluntary withdrawal.
  • If eligible, consider a leave of absence, which may allow a student to return to an enrolled status within the same program.
  • Submit a voluntary withdrawal request via the online status system accessed through TigerHub.
  • Attach the completed Student Checkout form.

Dissertation Complete Status (DCE)

The graduate program in art and archaeology is a five-year program. This five-year period is referred to as regular enrollment. This means that all students enter DCE status beginning in year six, regardless of how they were funded during the first five years. In other words, external funding does not extend the program length (as was the case in the past), which also means that year six will always be the first year of DCE for students in art and archaeology.

There are specific circumstances under which the Graduate School would fund the first year of DCE status. No student will be granted regular plus DCE status that exceeds 5 + 2 years, or 7 years total. Example 1 speaks to Graduate School banked funding, whereas example 2 speaks to department funding of a sixth year.

Students eligible for the COVID-19 Graduate Funding Initiative should refer to the document on the A&A Graduate Resources Sharepoint site.

Example 1

A student wins a three-year grant from CASVA at the beginning of the fourth year

  • Year 1: Regular enrollment: Graduate School fellowship (tuition + stipend)
  • Year 2: Regular enrollment: Graduate School fellowship (tuition + stipend)>
  • Year 3: Regular enrollment: Graduate School fellowship (tuition + stipend)
  • Year 4: Regular enrollment or in absentia: CASVA (the Graduate School will pay the $5,800 tuition)
  • Year 5: Regular enrollment or in absentia: CASVA (the Graduate School will pay the $5,800 tuition)
  • Year 6: First year of DCE status: The student has a choice of taking CASVA or Graduate School funding, whichever funding is more attractive. If the student opts for CASVA funding, the Graduate School will pay $5,800 DCE tuition.
  • Year 7: Second year of DCE status: The student is not eligible for funding from the Graduate School or the department (except for the departmental finishing grant, if eligible).
  • Year 8: Student is not eligible to be enrolled in any capacity (regular, in absentia, DCE, etc.). If the student has not graduated, she or he will be put into ET/DCC status, a non-enrolled status.

Example 2

A student requests one year of support from the department during the sixth year:

  • Year 1: Regular enrollment: Graduate School fellowship (tuition + stipend)
  • Year 2: Regular enrollment: Graduate School fellowship (tuition + stipend)
  • Year 3: Regular enrollment: Graduate School fellowship (tuition + stipend)
  • Year 4: Regular enrollment: Graduate School fellowship (tuition + stipend)
  • Year 5: Regular enrollment: Graduate School fellowship (tuition + stipend)
  • Year 6: First year of DCE status: department fellowship, if funding allows.
  • Year 7: Second year of DCE status: Not eligible for funding from the Graduate School or the department (except for the departmental finishing grant, if eligible).

Faculty advisers should plan a course of study that will ensure their students will normally finish within seven years of entering the program.

Students contemplating applying for multiyear external fellowships (such as CASVA or Kress) should do so with the clear understanding that receiving these grants will not extend their period of enrollment (although it might provide a sixth year of funding).

To qualify for Graduate School funding in the first DCE year (year 6), students must have been supported by an external fellowship at some point during the first five years of enrollment. Graduate School funding during the first DCE year covers fees and stipend.

Students in DCE enrollment status are encouraged to apply to be preceptors.

Since the Graduate School covers the fees for students who are precepting for at least two hours per week, all DCE students seeking departmental support should apply for precepting positions. The department will try to cover the DCE fees (first and second year) for all students for whom this is a need.

Enrollment Terminated/Degree Candidacy Continues (ET/DCC)

Students who are continuing to make satisfactory progress toward completing their degree may enter Enrollment Terminated/Degree Candidacy Continues (ET/DCC) status if they are beyond the defined program length; have exhausted DCE status, chosen not to enter it, or must leave it to pursue other opportunities; and have not graduated.

General Exam & Dissertation

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Degree Requirements

To qualify for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy, candidates are required to pass the general examination in their subject, present an acceptable dissertation, and pass the final public oral examination (FPO). The Graduate School requires that all doctoral dissertations be written and submitted in English. The department holds the FPO examination after the Graduate School reviews and accepts the two readers’ reports and is satisfied that all other requirements have been met.

General Examinations

The general examination is designed to ascertain a student's general knowledge of the subject. Students in the ancient and East Asian programs normally take the general examination at the end of the third year, and all others at the end of the second or the beginning of the third year. Before scheduling of the examination may take place, students must have finalized all incompletes and language requirements.

Examinations are normally held during a stated 21-day period in October or January, or during a five-week period in April and May. A student's examination committee consists of three or more members, at least two of whom shall normally hold the rank of assistant professor or higher on the faculty of Princeton University. Any external examiners must be of comparable standing in the scholarly community. Examination committees in ancient, East Asian, and African and African diaspora normally include faculty from other departments. For all others, examination committees are normally composed of departmental faculty members. For a description of the general examination in the ancient and East Asian programs, see Course of Study. For all others, the general examination consists of one six-hour written and a two- to three-hour oral session.

If a student fails the general examination, she or he may stand for reexamination within one year, if recommended by the student's adviser and the department. If the student is unsuccessful the second time, degree candidacy automatically terminates.

The following areas apply to the written part of the general examination for all students except those in the ancient and East Asian programs. For the purpose of the general examination, the student is to select from one of the following:

  • Byzantine and medieval
  • Renaissance and Baroque (1400–1750)
  • Modern and contemporary (1750–present)
  • Islamic
  • African and African diaspora

If preparing for the general examination in the spring semester, students are still responsible for completing their coursework with deadlines agreed to by the professor. The committee for the general examination, determined by the department’s graduate committee in consultation with the student and adviser, works with the student to set the examination date; the adviser and student consult with the Graduate Administrator on room availability. Students arrange with the Graduate Administrator for the use of office space for the written part of the examination. Examinations must be taken between 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. (with limited breaks). The department will provide a University laptop for the students to take their exams. Students cannot bring cell phones, iPods, or any other internet-capable instrument to the exam.

Students must sign this pledge at the end of the exam: "I have not consulted any notes, computer files, or other materials in writing this exam, except as specifically allowed."

A week before the scheduled date of the general examination, all students except those in the East Asian program provide a brief sketch (no longer than one page, with no more than two pages of selected bibliography) of their plans for a dissertation research proposal, which the committee uses as a starting point for discussion of the oral examination. Students send a copy of the sketch via email to the Graduate Administrator.

A degree application form, indicating the specified deadline dates for receiving the M.A. degree, is sent to the student electronically via the Graduate Administrator. The vote to advance the student to Ph.D. candidacy is made by the faculty present at the general examination.

In accordance with Graduate School policy, to be eligible to participate in Commencement exercises, master's degree students must have taken their general exams and file the degree application form by January of the Commencement year.

Dissertation Topic Proposal

Students must submit a dissertation proposal and present it to members of the department.

The following pertains to students in all areas except East Asian

Students who pass their general examination in April–May must present the proposal within the first month of the following fall term. Students who pass their general examination in October must present the proposal by the end of the fall semester. Students who pass their general examinations in January must present the proposal by the end of the spring semester. They may not be in absentia before having their proposal approved. The dissertation proposal consists of a written statement (approximately five pages) and selected bibliography on a specified topic. The proposal must be approved by the adviser before distribution to the general examination committee. The student obtains a presentation date/time commitment from the adviser/committee and informs the Graduate Administrator, who will reserve a room. Three days prior to the scheduled date, the student submits the written proposal to the Graduate Administrator for announcement to the University public via an email attachment. Once the proposal is approved by the committee, the Graduate Administrator will add it to the list of the most recent department dissertation topics that is submitted to the College Art Association by the end of the year.

The following pertains to students in the East Asian program

Students in the East Asian program must submit a written dissertation proposal to their adviser two weeks before taking the general examination. The proposal should be no more than ten pages long (double-spaced) and should state the research problem, describe the state of the field, indicate the approach to be taken, and describe the expected contribution of the dissertation. No later than three weeks after the general examination, the student must give a public presentation and defense of the proposal. In preparation for the presentation, and in consultation with the student, the adviser forms a committee comprised of the adviser and at least two more members of the general examination committee. The student will set a date for the public presentation in consultation with her or his adviser and committee, and then inform the Graduate Administrator, who will reserve a room. Three days prior to the scheduled date, the student will submit the written proposal to the Graduate Administrator via an email attachment for distribution to the University public. A student may not be in absentia until their proposal has been approved. Each year, the Graduate Administrator provides a list of approved dissertation topics to the College Art Association.

For all students

One year after the acceptance of their dissertation proposal, students must send a first draft of a potential chapter of their dissertation to their adviser and to the DGS. Students will meet with their adviser and members of their graduate committee to discuss this draft. Following this meeting, the adviser should send a short written report to the DGS.

Changing Dissertation Title or Topic

If, after a dissertation topic is presented and approved, a student wishes to change the topic, scope, or title of the dissertation in a significant way, the student's adviser should inform the director of graduate studies. The graduate committee will then consider whether the changes are substantial enough to require the student to present the new topic to the faculty for its approval.

Dissertation Completion Guidelines

  • At least three months before the tentative date for the FPO examination, if not earlier, the candidate consults with her or his dissertation adviser to discuss the exam committee. The committee is normally composed of four members, two of whom are readers. (See below for additional description of the committee and its members.) The adviser is the first reader. The adviser will inform the Graduate Administrator at this time of the tentative date of the exam and the proposed members of the committee.
  • When the candidate has completed a full draft of the dissertation, the candidate submits it to the adviser. The adviser and the candidate set a date by which the adviser will complete a reading of the manuscript and return it with comments to the candidate. The adviser will inform the Graduate Administrator of this date in writing.
  • After revising the manuscript and with the adviser's approval, the candidate submits the complete manuscript to the second reader. This must be done no later than eight weeks prior to the tentative FPO examination date.
  • If both readers feel that the dissertation, with minor adjustments, satisfies the department's expectations for the Ph.D., they furnish the Graduate Administrator with reader's reports. This must be done no later than three weeks prior to the tentative FPO examination date. The two readers should not exchange their reports.
  • If the second reader concludes that the dissertation has serious flaws that prevent it from satisfying the department's expectations for the Ph.D., the reader will not submit a reader's report. Instead, a statement of why the dissertation in its present form is unacceptable will be sent to the candidate, with a copy to the adviser and the Director of Graduate Studies. This must be done no later than three weeks prior to the tentative FPO examination date. The candidate will consult with the adviser and the Director of Graduate Studies to determine how to proceed.
  • When the two reader's reports have been filed with the Graduate Administrator, the candidate submits a copy of the revised dissertation (PDF file on USB stick) to the Graduate Administrator. This must be done no later than two weeks prior to the tentative FPO examination date. Do not email the dissertation (in whole or in part) to advisers or committee members, or to the department office staff for printing. The candidate is responsible for sending hard copies of the dissertation to committee members.
  • At this time, the candidate submits a complete copy of the revised dissertation to each of the two examiners.
  • Also at this time, and in consultation with the candidate and the Graduate Administrator, the committee finalizes the date for the FPO examination and notifies the Graduate Administrator. Students should attend at least one FPO exam before their own.
  • In light of privacy rights, only the student, the FPO examination committee, and the Department of Art and Archaeology faculty may view the reports. The readers' reports should be thought of in the same way as grades: they are written, official, and permanently maintained assessments of a student's work, and, according to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), such records may not be shared with other students without that student's explicit permission. The student may request, in a letter sent to the director of graduate studies, to have the reports made available to the public.

Rules Governing the Committee

The committee ordinarily comprises four members who serve as readers and/or examiners. The adviser, not the student, makes the invitations to be a part of the committee. There are two Readers, who are normally (and at least one must be) members of the Princeton faculty at the rank of assistant professor or higher. Any external Reader must be of comparable standing in a relevant branch of the scholarly community. Both Readers must write reports, which are sent to the graduate deans when the request is made to schedule the FPO examination. The second Reader does not need to be present at the defense, but still must write a written report on the dissertation. The FPO examination requires at least three Examiners, normally members of the Princeton faculty at the rank of assistant professor or higher, at least two of whom have not been Readers of the dissertation. Examiners do not submit written reports. The adviser should choose the Examiners (who are not also Readers) from the department or other University faculty or from local institutions (New York or Philadelphia regions).

The eligibility of staff members of the Index of Medieval Art to serve on the Ph.D. committees is determined by the dean of the faculty. The curatorial staff of the Princeton University Art Museum may serve on Ph.D. committees but must be approved by the Graduate School on a case-by-case basis. Visiting professors holding the rank of assistant professor or higher at their home institutions may be proposed as readers or examiners on Ph.D. committees. Recommendations of emeritus faculty or others to serve as committee members must be approved by the dean of the Graduate School. (Note: If the faculty adviser has emeritus status, the second reader of the dissertation must be an active faculty member of the department.) External readers and examiners on the proposed Ph.D. committee must provide their curriculum vitae for approval first by the department's Graduate Committee and then by the dean of the Graduate School.

FPO Examination

For a step-by-step guide to preparing consult the Graduate School’s Advanced Degree Application Process.

Dissertation Binding

For dissertation binding, see Smith-Shattuck Bookbinding. The vast majority of Ph.D. students will not be required to submit a printed bound copy of the dissertation to the Mudd Manuscript Library. Students who have removed content from the PDF version of the dissertation to avoid copyright infringement are still required to submit a bound copy to the library with all content included.

Oral Examination Process

The department holds the FPO examination after the Graduate School reviews and accepts the readers' reports and is satisfied that all other requirements have been met. The department is required to post prominently the date, time, and place of the examination for a minimum of three business days (including Saturday) between the dean's authorization and the date of examination. The faculty present at the defense determine whether or not the candidate has passed the examination.

After the Defense

Students are responsible for carrying bound copies of their dissertation to Mudd Manuscript Library after the defense. The Mudd Manuscript Library, in consultation with the Graduate School, determines the submission guidelines and formatting instructions for dissertations.

In addition, final paperwork must be turned in. Once all actions are complete, graduate students must log in to TigerHub to complete the submission of the final paperwork process. All final paperwork is normally submitted immediately following the successful completion of the FPO examination, but in no case later than two weeks after the defense or by the degree deadline, whichever comes first.

The Five-Year Rule

Ph.D. theses which are submitted to the department more than five years after the student has passed the general examination require a positive vote by the faculty in order to be received and read. More generally, the period of "five years past generals" is a timeframe within which certain benefits (e.g., library privileges) are extended even if the student is not formally enrolled.

Ten-Year Rule

If an ETDCC student has not been in touch with the adviser after ten years, the department, with the adviser's permission, will inform the Graduate School to remove them from our list.

Benefits and Status after the Final Public Oral Examination

Funding

Students eligible for the COVID-19 Graduate Funding Initiative should refer to  A&A Graduate Resources.

Financial Support

Students who are admitted to any of Princeton’s humanities doctoral programs are always offered financial assistance in the form of a fellowship and/or assistantship. The University Graduate School will offer Department of Art and Archaeology students a five-year program of full tuition, including health insurance, and an annual twelve-month stipend (including the summer months, as long as academic work is performed).

In addition to regular university support, the department has several endowment funds of its own that can provide limited support for research away from Princeton if external fellowships do not come through.

Travel funding from the department’s Spears Fund is available to every graduate student in our department. Each enrolled student is entitled to one travel grant after successful completion of two years of coursework to be used during their period of enrollment (including DCE status). Students often begin to use this fund during the summer or breaks to visit museums or archives to test out a dissertation topic. This Spears travel grant is used for any type of transportation: air, rail, car rental, bus, metro, etc. Graduate students are also entitled to funding for photographs and/or a digital camera; this may be used at any time after the general exams but before enrollment ends. Applications must be endorsed by the dissertation adviser and approved by a faculty committee. Spears funding is not awarded on the basis of need or relative merit.

For incoming students, the department will provide funding for a Princeton summer language course. For enrolled students, the department will fund the costs to attend professional meetings (including travel, hotel, and registration fees); travel to special collections and archives for research; and seminar trips with a faculty member to New York, Philadelphia, and/or Washington, DC, museums and galleries. All first-year enrolled graduate students receive a fund to purchase books. Funding for books is to be used exclusively for course textbooks or books related to the dissertation research. For students who have won outside grants (CASVA, Kress, Dedalus, DAAD), the department will top up the stipend for research in the Euro-zone.  Finally, the department will offer students who are post-enrolled, on a competitive basis, a one-semester finishing grant.

Students may also augment their stipends with teaching and research assistantships. Although we do not require students to T.A., most do it at least once during their time here; it is an important part of a student’s formation as a future professor. Teaching assistantships are awarded on the basis of student preparation and departmental needs. Financial need does not have to be demonstrated.

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Graduate School Dissertation Fellowships

The Graduate School offers numerous fellowships, listed below (all dates are approximate). Students who wish to apply for dissertation fellowships must have passed their generals and their dissertation proposals to be considered for nomination.

US Fulbright Program

The US Fulbright Program is administered by the Institute of International Education (IIE) for U.S. citizens who must pursue dissertation research in foreign countries with which the U.S. has diplomatic relations. Graduate students typically apply for the Research Grant. Most students apply for one country, although graduate students may propose a multi-country project, provided that the countries selected are within the same geographic region.

Hyde

The prestigious Donald and Mary Hyde Research Fellowships and Research Awards are for research-based study abroad. To be considered for a Hyde Academic Year Research Fellowship, students must complete an application through the Global Programs System (GPS). Application rules and procedures are sent to relevant departments via memo by the dean each year in early February, at which time the applications will be made available on the Global Programs System (GPS) website. Awarding of the Academic-Year Research Fellowships and Summer Research Awards are contingent on the policies for permissible University-sanctioned travel.

The fellowship is to support post-generals dissertation work. Preference is given to projects requiring residence in England, although awards are not limited to that country. Applications should be sent directly to the Graduate School. If students are entering their first year of DCE status, they must have their eligibility verified by the Graduate School. If granted these funds for dissertation research, students must be in absentia for the duration of the award period (academic year and/or summer).

Academic Year Research Fellowship

The Academic Year Research Fellowship provides $44,000 over the 10-month academic year, August through May (this amount is $4,100 greater than the regular academic-year stipend).

Summer Research Award

These fellowships are endowed Graduate School funds that replace the normal University stipend and are not external funds that would qualify a student for a year of Dissertation Completion Enrollment (DCE) funding and provide $11,500 over two months, June and July (this amount is $3,500 greater than the regular summer stipend).

Honorific

Students must be nominated by their department to be considered for an Honorific Fellowship. The department is informed in February. The deadline is April.

Eligibility

Applicants must be Ph.D. students still in their first five years of regular enrollment in one of the eight departments listed above, must have passed their general exams by the time the award period begins and must be eligible for guaranteed University stipend support.

Ph.D. students entering their first year of DCE status are eligible to hold a Hyde Academic-Year Research Fellowship and/or Summer Research Award if they qualified during regular enrollment to defer a year of their guaranteed University Fellowship support to their first year of DCE under the external fellowship policy.

In addition, Ph.D. students currently enrolled in their first year of DCE status may apply for the Hyde Summer Research Award if they are otherwise eligible to hold University Fellowship funding during the summer months of their first year of DCE status.

Students entering or currently enrolled in their first year of DCE status may wish to verify their eligibility by contacting Lisa Franzman in the Graduate School before submitting their Hyde Fellowship applications.

Students may apply for and receive both an academic-year and a summer research award, as relevant for their research plans, but each must be applied for separately.  If funds are granted for academic-year dissertation research, students must be enrolled in absentia for the duration of the award period. Students may apply for awards to support research-related travel to any country or group of countries.  Among equally strong applications, priority is given to projects requiring residence in England.

Number of Nominations

Each department may nominate up to two candidates for Honorific Fellowships, if there are eligible students of sufficient distinction. The departments of Art and Archaeology, English, and History will each be allowed up to three Honorific nominees. If nominating more than one student, the department indicates their ranked order with respect to one another.

Nomination and Notification Procedures

Students must login to Global Programs System (GPS) and complete an application.  The application form and required documents (CV, transcript, research proposal, dissertation summary, and two letters of recommendation) for either the Academic Year Research Fellowship or Summer Research Award must be submitted in GPS.

Department procedure: In February, the Graduate Program Administrator informs students and faculty of the fellowship rules and how to be nominated by the adviser. The department graduate committee decides on the nominee. The coordinator notifies the nominee and gives instruction on the application procedure and the deadline date.

Notification

All applicants will be notified of the award decision by mid-April.

Dean's Completion Fellowship/Postgraduate Research Associate (DCF/PGRA)

The department may nominate a certain number of candidates for the DCF/PGRA each year.


External Fellowships

Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts (CASVA)

The deadline to CASVA is October 15. The department is informed in late August.

CASVA offers nine fellowships for support of dissertation research in the history, theory, and criticism of art, architecture, and urbanism: David E. Finley (Western art, three years); Paul Mellon (Western art, three years); Samuel H. Kress (European art topic before the early 19th century, two years); Wyeth (American art, two years); Ittleson (non-Western art, two years); Andrew Mellon (non-Western art, two years); Robert & Clarice Smith (Northern European art between 1400 and 1700, one year); and two Chester Dale (Western art, one and two years). Most fellowships require residency in Washington.

Applicants must have completed their residence requirements and coursework for the Ph.D. as well as general examinations before the date of application. Students must have certification of competence in two foreign languages. Applicants must be either United States citizens or enrolled in a university in the United States.

The Graduate Program Administrator (GPA) informs the students and faculty in early September of the fellowship rules and how to be nominated by the adviser. The department graduate committee decides on the nominee. The GPA notifies the nominee and gives instruction on the application procedure and deadline date. Student applications must be read by faculty advisers before they are given to the graduate coordinator for final distribution to CASVA.

DAAD - German Academic Exchange Service

Princeton normally offers two DAAD exchange fellowships to students, based upon recommendation from the DAAD. One fellowship pays full tuition and required fees only; the second pays full tuition, required fees, and a standard ten-month stipend. The tenure for both of the awards is one academic year, September through June.

The DAAD permits Princeton to nominate two priority candidates for the Study Scholarship and/or Research Grant program(s). U.S. or Canadian citizens affiliated with colleges or universities in the U.S., in all disciplines, are eligible to apply for six to 10 months of support in Germany. You must first secure the department's nomination and letters of support from appropriate faculty members (director of graduate studies and adviser), provide three original transcripts each from both undergraduate and graduate institutions, and write a project statement. If there are more than two nominees, the Graduate School's fellowship subcommittee will evaluate candidates and choose the two priority nominees. However, the remaining applications may be submitted for the general competition. There are also other grant opportunities offered by DAAD.

A nomination package consists of: (1) a formal letter of nomination from the director of graduate studies, (2) a letter of support from the student's adviser, and (3) a two-page summary of the student's project statement.

You will be notified if your nomination is accepted, and you can proceed with the application at that time.

Dedalus Foundation, Inc. (Robert Motherwell)

The department is informed in mid-September.

The deadline to the apply to the Dedalus Foundation is December 2. Annual stipend is $20,000 for 12 months.

The fellowship is to support research and study of any aspect of the modernist tradition. The department nominates one student. The nominee must have completed all course requirements and general examinations. Students will need two letters of recommendation, one from the adviser.

The GPA informs the students and faculty in September of the fellowship rules and how to be nominated by the adviser. The department’s graduate committee decides on the nominee. The GPA notifies the nominee and gives instruction on the application procedure and deadline date.

Samuel H. Kress Foundation Fellowship Program

The department is informed in mid-September. Only two-year (24 months) History of Art at Foreign Institution fellowships are normally offered. Annual stipend is $30,000.

The Kress is a predoctoral fellowship for completion of dissertation research in association with a foreign institution and is restricted to U.S. citizens or individuals enrolled at U.S. institutions. Students must be nominated by the department.

Department procedure: The GPA informs students and faculty in September of the fellowship rules and how to be nominated by the adviser. The department’s graduate committee decides on the nominee. The GPA then notifies the nominee and gives instruction on the application procedure and deadline date.

Department Funding

Sixth Year Funding

Department funding may be available to students in their sixth year in the program. Students may receive this funding only once. The application, which the student submits to the graduate coordinator in their fifth year, includes a research statement (two pages), a detailed budget, and a letter of support from the dissertation adviser. The graduate committee reviews and determines the recipients of the grants and the funding amounts. The application deadline is coordinated with Graduate School reenrollment, usually in late March/early April. The graduate coordinator will send out the call for applications, and, once decided, will inform applicants of the outcome.

Students in their first year of DCE can be either in absentia or in residence at Princeton. To be eligible for a sixth year of funding, graduate students in residence in the Princeton area (including New York City and Philadelphia) may be required to serve as preceptors.

Students in their second year of DCE are not eligible for funding.

As you complete your reenrollment application, please keep in mind, per the Graduate School guidelines, that only students who have handed in at least one completed chapter of their dissertations will be allowed to enroll for the sixth and seventh years on DCE status. While the department will consider requests for sixth-year funding of eligible students, such support will be predicated on fulfillment of the Graduate School’s enrollment requirement. The department does not provide any funding for the seventh year, but it will consider paying the DCE fee.

Finishing Grant

All enrolled students in the Department of Art and Archaeology with the status of either first- or second-year DCE (that is, in the sixth or seventh year of the program) are eligible to apply for a one-semester finishing grant. University policy stipulates that an unenrolled student may not receive funding; therefore, finishing grants must be paid to students no later than July of their seventh year. If awarded a finishing grant, students must take a leave of absence from their full-time jobs.

Acceptance of a finishing grant should result in scheduling the FPO examination in the semester in which the funding is used or the beginning of the following semester. Each student may receive a finishing grant only once. The number and amount of grants each year depends on available funds. There are two application periods, each preceding the semester in which the grant is to be used.

Students are considered for the grant on a competitive basis. Contact your dissertation adviser before submitting your application to the department and discuss whether your dissertation qualifies for a finishing grant.

Students must have finished, and presented to their adviser, 75% of their dissertation. A table of contents of the thesis identifying the chapters written should be enclosed with the application.

To apply, an applicant submits a two-page statement that provides a status report on her/his dissertation (including a schedule for finishing the dissertation within the time frame described above) and a letter of support from his/her adviser. The letters should be addressed to the director of graduate studies.

Supplement to Competitive Grants

The department will increase funding, as funding allows, for students who receive competitive research grants (University Hyde, CASVA, Kress, etc.) that are not adequately funded. The amount of added funding will depend on the amount of the grant, length of the student's stay abroad, and available funds within the department. Students must apply to the graduate committee, explaining the reason for the needed supplement and providing a detailed budget and a short statement of recommendation from the adviser.

Travel Funding

A&A Summer Travel Funds

Students in their first and second years of study are eligible for departmental summer travel funding of $3,000. Students must be in good standing, with no incompletes. You can apply after your spring papers are completed and turned in to your professor. The funds are to be used for transportation and lodging related to research and are intended to assist students in considering potential thesis topics. Written application must be made to the director of graduate studies. The application should include a budget, an outline of travel plans, and the expected outcome. Students should also ask their adviser to submit a brief note in support of their plans. The funding will be given up front via the SAFE system. Before the fall semester begins, students must submit receipts to the Graduate Administrator. These should match or exceed the $3,000 grant. If you do not use the total amount, you will need to reimburse the department.

Deadline to apply: July 1 (no exceptions beyond that date)

In addition, before the first day of fall classes you must write and submit a paragraph reporting on the research conducted during your trip.

Department Research Funds

The purpose of the Department Research Fund is to support travel for research with accountability and to underwrite certain expenses in connection with research. These expenses include intercontinental travel by the least expensive mode, surface travel, and research photographs. Eligibility has changed over the years, depending on available funds.

Camera Grant

One camera grant of $500 will be issued to all graduate students during the first five years of enrollment. Students are strongly encouraged to consult with the department's photographer, John Blazejewski, [email protected], before selecting a camera and to schedule a training session with him. 

Travel Grant (SPEARS)

Upon successful completion of their course work, enrolled graduate students in the department become eligible to make use of monies allocated to them from the Department Research Fund. The funds available to a student will depend upon the primary geographical area of their research (see below). These funds are to be used to cover transportation and lodging expenses for research travel, and the sum allocated will be available until the allotment is exhausted. Students are encouraged to use these funds for cost-sharing purposes when applying to the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies (PIIRS) or other funding bodies. For example, the Department Research Fund may be used to pay for the cost of transportation and lodging, while other resources might support living expenses. In order to access these funds, a student must first submit a proposal and a letter of endorsement from the student's academic adviser to the DGS and Graduate Administrator outlining the purpose for which the funds are being requested and the amount being requested. Funds will be made available upon approval by the DGS. After approval, the student can plan upcoming travel. Travel receipts are required for reimbursement (receipt dates must reflect upcoming travel, not travel dates before approval). Receipts must be sent to the Graduate Administrator within 30 days of expenditure for reimbursement.

The amount of the grant is set according to the primary geographical location of your research:

  • North America (including the Caribbean): $4,500
  • Europe: $5,500
  • Asia, Africa, Central and South America, Australasia: $6,500

Conference Funding | Travel to Professional Meetings

Upon receiving approval from the student’s academic adviser and the Director of Graduate Study, the department will reimburse students for attendance at one professional meeting/conference per year, for travel up to $1,000. Reimbursable expenses include transportation, lodging, and registration fees. Students are expected to deliver a paper, though--in certain cases and only by prior approval--conference session organization may be considered as well. Meals are not included. Conference travel may not conflict with coursework, including the 502 departmental lecture series and seminar.

Students must apply to the department’s Director of Graduate Study, explaining the reason for attending the conference, and providing a detailed budget and a short statement of recommendation from their academic adviser. The student should also provide an email or conference program confirming their participation. If not presenting a paper, the student must demonstrate that there was a selective process for being chosen as an organizer and provide a detailed account of the work and the timeline involved in organizing the session. 

Museum and Special Travel to Collections/Archives for Course-related Research

The department will automatically disburse $75 per semester in the first and second years of study for course-related travel (New York/Philadelphia) for seminar paper research. The funds will be placed in the SAFE system for the student to accept. This will eliminate the need to apply for this $75 as a reimbursement. This is intended to facilitate travel and reduce staff/student time in processing reimbursements.

To support graduate students' research during the years of coursework (i.e., before their Department Research travel funds are available), the department will reimburse students up to $500 per annum for transportation and lodging expenses relevant to seminar paper research. These funds are not to be bundled with other monies available, either from the department or other University sources. Each application, addressed to the DGS, and copied to the Graduate Program Administrator, must describe the proposed travel and research, provide a budget, and be accompanied by a brief letter of support from the student’s adviser.


Professional Development and Scholarly Travel Grants

Please see Student Activity Funding for various funds that graduate students may apply for from the Graduate School.

Other Funding

Book Fund

All first-year enrolled graduate students receive a fund of $1,500 to purchase course textbooks or books related to dissertation research.

Princeton University Summer Language Courses

Pre-Generals students are eligible for departmental funding to cover the tuition for Princeton University summer language courses. Students may apply to the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies (PIIRS) for funding for summer language courses not offered by Princeton University.

Reproduction and Photography Fee Fund

The fund supports the cost of reproduction and photography fees charged by collections for images that enrolled A&A graduate students publish in peer-reviewed journals or other significant venues. To apply, students email a letter of application to the Director of Graduate Studies that describes the publication venue, a list of images, institutions, and costs, and attach an approval from their adviser. The Director of Graduate Studies and, when necessary, the Graduate Committee will review applications on a rolling basis; if granted, the amount may be full or partial. Approved reimbursements will be processed through SAFE, after students submit receipts to the Graduate Administrator.

Students are encouraged to consult with advisers and colleagues on how to obtain images or permissions and are also welcome to reach out to Visual Resources ([email protected]) for guidance and advice. When requesting image permissions, it is entirely appropriate to identify oneself as a student with limited funding, which may help bring the cost down.

Working/Research for a Faculty Member

An enrolled graduate student may work as a research assistant for a faculty member up to 10 hours per week while receiving a University stipend. The faculty member will notify the graduate coordinator prior to work being performed, and the graduate coordinator will explain the payroll procedure to the student. The faculty member will approve a research assistant's time by email to the graduate coordinator prior to each payment from the department. The office will not make payment for back hours.

Students may not work if they are in absentia or on leave of absence. If in absentia status continues throughout the summer into the fall term, they may not continue to work without permission from the Graduate School.

Graduate Representatives

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A&A Grad Student Representative Positions

Graduate Representative Committee (3)

The members of the Graduate Representative Committee (GRC) work with the Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) as a conduit between the graduate students and the Department. They serve as advocates for the graduate students, communicate important or relevant information about the Department and its ongoing operations to the graduate students, and work with the DGS and Department Chair to address matters regarding the graduate program, including curricular matters, as they arise. The GRC normally includes three graduate student members, two from the G1-G3 years and one post-general-exam student. This configuration may vary from year to year, depending on student interest and availability. Members of the GRC serve a one- or two-year term, with a goal of maintaining some continuity of membership from year to year. Responsibilities are as follows:

  • Meet once a month during the Fall and Spring semesters with the DGS and Department Chair and, as necessary, additionally with the DGS
  • Attend Department meetings twice per semester to report on graduate student events, initiatives, and issues
  • Perform administrative tasks involving graduate students, such as soliciting student feedback on Department initiatives and making nominations for a speaker for the department lecture series
  • Consult and collaborate with other graduate student representatives on an as-needed basis

Graduate Museum Representative(s) (1-2)

The Graduate Museum Representative(s) serve as a liaison between the Department’s graduate students and the Princeton University Art Museum to create opportunities for student engagement with Museum staff, programs, and collections. The Graduate Museum Representative(s), at their discretion, may develop projects with the Museum’s Education Department, including projects that create connections to or collaborations with other areas of the museum, such as curatorial, conservation, and editorial. At their discretion, Graduate Museum Representative(s) may coordinate with the Museum’s McCrindle Interns and/or the Museum’s undergraduate Student Advisory Board (SAB). Depending on student interest and availability, there may be 1 or 2 Graduate Museum Representatives. The Graduate Museum Representative(s) serve a one-year term.

Graduate Library Representative (1)

The Graduate Library Representative acts as a liaison between the Department’s graduate students and Marquand Library to facilitate regular and consistent communication concerning daily operations, service policies, and access issues. At the at the discretion of the Graduate Library Representative, occasional special projects such as exhibitions or events may be proposed. The Graduate Library Representative serves a one- year term.

Total Annual Budget: $3000

The annual budget may be used by any of the above representatives for scholarly or social events, initiatives, and programming. This includes meals for meetings held to facilitate the work of the representatives. Limit per person per meal: $35.

Symposium Organizers

Students who organize and host the art and archaeology graduate student conference, normally held in the spring, send a draft of the proposal of the conference/workshop and a budget to the department's graduate committee for approval each year by October 1 for spring a conference or May 1 for a fall conference. No conference planning may begin prior to the committee's approval. Responsibilities have typically included: designating a conference topic/title; drafting a call for papers and circulating it to other graduate programs; applying for funding from the Graduate School as well as other University academic departments; managing the departmental contribution of $4,000 allotted for the conference (in consultation with the Graduate Administrator); choosing and inviting keynote speakers in consultation with the faculty; reviewing submitted abstracts and inviting graduate student speakers; helping invited speakers arrange travel to and accommodation in Princeton; organizing a dinner for invited speakers; working with the Graduate Administrator to arrange catering services for the event; promoting the event on campus and beyond; and recruiting department students and/or faculty to serve as discussion moderators. Ideally, symposia and workshops should reflect the diversity of fields of the department.

Graduate Student Government (GSG) Department Representative

One student is nominated to serve as the department representative on the Graduate Student Government (GSG). The department representative is required to attend all meetings of the GSG, which are held on the first Wednesday of each month. If the representative is not able to attend a meeting, she or he is expected to select a proxy to attend on her or his behalf. The mission of the GSG is "to advocate the interests of graduate students at Princeton, to provide a forum for free and open discussion of matters affecting graduate students, and to provide financial and organizational support for social events within this community." This mission is carried out through monthly meetings, during which resolutions for new initiatives are proposed and voted upon. In addition to the monthly meetings, representatives are able, but not required, to participate in four subcommittees—campus relations, facilities, health and life, and academic affairs—which allow for greater control and discussion of the nitty gritty of graduate life. The representative has the opportunity to vote on how GSG resources are spent and to participate in the planning and hosting of GSG-sponsored social events.

Partnerships & Exchanges

Note: To receive payment for train travel costs associated with an exchange scholar program, the student must submit a written request to the graduate committee prior to the beginning of the course.

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Inter-University Doctoral Consortium

The purpose of the Inter-University Doctoral Consortium (IUDC) is to facilitate doctoral arts and science students taking needed coursework at one or several of the other institutions. The members of the consortium include: Columbia University (see note below), Teachers College, Columbia; the Graduate Center, City University of New York; Fordham University; The New School; New York University; Rutgers-New Brunswick; and Stony Brook University, SUNY.

Guidelines and Eligibility

Students must have completed one academic year of full-time residence in a Ph.D. program in the humanities, social sciences, or natural sciences. Students wishing to take a course at Columbia University should apply through the IUDC exchange, not the IvyPlus Exchange Scholar Program.

Under ordinary circumstances, graduate students can take one course a year away from Princeton in years two and three of the graduate program.

Princeton-Rutgers Exchange Program

A reciprocal agreement between Princeton and Rutgers permits graduate students from one institution to take one regularly offered graduate course per term at the other (with tuition charged by the home institution) with the recommendation of the departmental director of graduate studies and subject to the approval of the dean of the Graduate School and the course instructor.

The University also has exchange programs with the Institute for Advanced Study and Westminster Choir College.

IvyPlus Exchange Scholars Program

The IvyPlus Exchange Scholars Program enables Princeton Ph.D. students to study for up to one academic year at one of the following institutions: the University of California at Berkeley, Brown, Chicago, Columbia, Cornell, Harvard, M.I.T. (School of Science only), the University of Pennsylvania, Stanford, and Yale. The academic experience, including courses taken and/or research conducted with particular faculty at one of the institutions above, is noted on the student’s academic record and official transcript at Princeton.

Students are eligible for this exchange program only after completing one year of residence; post-generals status is preferable in all but the most exceptional cases. Students are regularly registered at their home institution and hold special nondegree status at the host institution. Any financial aid provided must come from the home institution. Participation in the program requires the approval of the director of graduate studies (or the department chair), the student's adviser, and the graduate school dean at both the home and the host institutions.

International Partnerships and Exchanges

The Metropolitan Museum of Art | Alexis Gregory Curatorial Practice Program

The Alexis Gregory Curatorial Practice Program introduces graduate students to diverse aspects of curatorial practice within the context of a museum. Drawing on the richness of The Met’s collections, which represents thousands of years of human creativity from across the globe, as well as the depth and breadth of its staff’s expertise, this program explores the complexities of curating in the present by focusing on object-based analysis, research, exhibition planning, collection building, gallery display, and curatorial methodologies. Course content foregrounds some of the most pressing ethical, social, and political matters facing curators and museums today. Course information and applications are distributed in advance of the fall and spring semesters.

While work with the Curatorial Practice Program does not appear on the student's Princeton University transcript, the department notes student participation (i.e., which semester/year they participated) and the grade received. Participation in the Curatorial Practice Program can be indicated on a graduate student's CV, and the Graduate Program Administrator can also provide a supporting letter indicating participation/the grade received for any future applications. The department also sponsors travel funding from Princeton to the New York City. 

Curatorial Leadership

  • Kelly Baum: Cynthia Hazen Polsky and Leon Polsky Curator of Contemporary Art Sarah Lawrence, Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Curator in Charge of European Sculpture and Decorative Arts

Program Coordinator

  • Laura Corey: Project Manager for Curatorial, Conservation, and Science Initiatives, and Senior Researcher, Director’s Office

 
Please send any questions to [email protected].

Opportunities & Resources

IN THIS SECTION

A&A Graduate Student Conference

Students who organize and host the art and archaeology graduate student conference, normally held in the spring, send a draft of the proposal of the conference/workshop and a budget to the department's graduate committee for approval each year by October 1 for spring a conference or May 1 for a fall conference. No conference planning may begin prior to the committee's approval. Responsibilities have typically included designating a conference topic/title; drafting a call for papers and circulating it to other graduate programs; applying for funding from the Graduate School as well as other University academic departments; managing the departmental contribution of $4,000 allotted for the conference (in consultation with the Graduate Administrator); choosing and inviting keynote speakers in consultation with the faculty; reviewing submitted abstracts and inviting graduate student speakers; helping invited speakers arrange travel to and accommodation in Princeton; organizing a dinner for invited speakers; working with the Graduate Administrator to arrange catering services for the event; promoting the event on campus and beyond; and recruiting department students and/or faculty to serve as discussion moderators. Ideally, symposia and workshops should reflect the diversity of fields of the department.

External Symposia

Annual External Symposia

Annually, the department selects students to speak at the Frick Collection and the Barnes Foundation symposia. Students may submit abstracts for both symposia, but they may speak at only one. Since the rules for each symposium are somewhat different, the selection process is separate for the two talks. Open to enrolled graduate students only.

Frick Symposium on the History of Art

The Frick symposium, normally held on a Friday and Saturday in April, invites the Department of Art and Archaeology to select one student to represent Princeton. The symposium offers an opportunity for students to present original research in any field of art history in a public forum. Students must have the written approval of their adviser. There is no restriction on the subject matter of the paper, but it must not have been previously published or presented at any other symposium or conference. It need not be on the student's dissertation topic. Time limits for each paper are strictly enforced. Preference will be given to enrolled graduate students who have not presented previously at either the Frick or the Barnes symposium. With prior approval, the department will normally reimburse student presenters for transportation expenses and one night's lodging.

Barnes Foundation Graduate Student Symposium/Philadelphia

This symposium brings together graduate students from nine mid-Atlantic colleges and universities to present current research in the field of art history. The Department of Art and Archaeology is able to select one student to represent Princeton. The date for this symposium usually falls in late March or early April. The symposium offers an excellent opportunity for students to present original insight or new interpretation of an art-historical work in a public forum. Students must have the written approval of their adviser. There is no restriction on the paper's subject matter to be presented, although students whose research is interdisciplinary in nature are encouraged to apply. The paper selected must not have been previously published or presented at any other symposium or conference. It need not be on the student's dissertation topic. Time limits for each paper are strictly enforced. A faculty member, normally the student's adviser, must agree to be present at the symposium to introduce the department's speaker. Preference will be given to enrolled students who have not presented previously at either the Frick or the Barnes Symposium. With prior approval, the department will normally reimburse student presenters for transportation expenses and one night's lodging.

Graduate Lounge

A Graduate Lounge with mailboxes and a kitchenette is available for all use by grad students. Graduate students are responsible for cleaning up after themselves. 

Resources

Copyright & Intellectual Property

The department strictly adheres to University policy regarding copyright and intellectual property.

Counseling and Psychological Services

Counseling and Psychological Services supports the psychological well-being of the Princeton University community, and their services are available at no cost to currently enrolled Princeton students and their eligible dependents. 

Davis International Center

The Davis International Center offers specialized support for international students and scholars at Princeton University. Their team of advisers can assist international students with questions about their immigration status.

Graduate Listserv

The department maintains a listserv for informal correspondence among graduate students. To post to the listserv, email [email protected].

Replies to any message sent using the listserv will be sent to the entire group; to contact the sender only, reply directly in a separate email. To unsubscribe from the list at any time, send a blank email to [email protected]

Graduate Resources Sharepoint Site

A&A Graduate Resources is a digital resource library for students in the department. In the Generals folder, students can find PDFs of selected texts. This folder has sub-folders separated by field, and each field's sub-folder has an Excel document that functions as a catalog of the contents. The site also contains examples of successful fellowships and job applications. The site is meant to be dynamic and helpful at various stages of grad students’ academic careers, so please feel free to return often. Additional contributions are also appreciated as we continue to grow this resource for current and future A&A students.

University Health Services

University Health Services provides Medical Services in the McCosh Health Center.

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