Art History

  • Please note that the application period for Winter 2023 has closed
  • Fall 2023 application deadline for international students is January 15, 2023 (or earlier, if specified by the department below)
  • Fall 2023 application deadline for Canadian students varies by department (see below)

Art History


  • Department of Art History and Communication Studies
  • Arts Building, Room 155-B
  • 853 Sherbrooke Street West
  • Montreal QC H3A 0G5
  • Telephone: 514-398-4933
  • Email: graduate.ahcs [at]
  • Website:

About Art History

The graduate program in Art History offers M.A. and Ph.D. degrees and is extremely active. The programs cover a wide range of areas of study delimited by the Department's fields of specialization, which include the following:

  • Ancient;
  • Medieval;
  • Renaissance;
  • the 17th, 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries;
  • Contemporary;
  • Canadian;
  • East Asian;
  • Architectural History;
  • New Media;
  • Print Culture;
  • Gender and Sexuality;
  • Race and Representation;
  • Art historical methodologies, notably Feminism, Postcolonialism, and Queer Theory.

All of our faculty members are outstanding scholars in their respective fields and are involved in a wide range of major collaborative and individual research projects, many involving faculty from other universities, departments, and programs (such as Communication Studies, English and Literary Studies, Histories of Science and Medicine, Religious Studies, Classics, History, and Women’s Studies). These research projects allow us to offer relevant research training opportunities and assistantships to our graduate students.

McGill is situated in one of the most vibrant cities in North America, and Montreal offers myriad opportunities for graduate students to engage with local arts institutions, either officially, through internships and research fellowships, or unofficially, through volunteering. Local institutions range from large-scale public museums (such as the Musée d'art contemporain, the Musée des beaux arts, and the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa) to smaller alternative galleries (such as feminist arts spaces La Centrale Galerie Powerhouse and Studio XX). There are also university-based venues such as the Redpath Museum on campus and the McCord Museum of Canadian History (which houses the McGill University Archives), and independent contemporary art galleries such as DHC and the Darling Foundry. The Canadian Centre for Architecture, with its archives and exhibitions, and the Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec also offer grants and research opportunities for local graduate students. A close relationship with the other three major universities in Montreal (Concordia University, Université de Montréal, and Université du Québec à Montréal) affords students access to a broad network of additional courses, lectures, and colleagues across the city.

To obtain financial aid information, please consult the Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies website at or email graduatefunding.gps [at]

Further information on the Department of Art History and Communication Studies is available on our website.

Residency Requirements

For students entering the master's program in Art History, three semesters of full-time resident study at McGill University are required to complete the degree. “Residence” means that the student is enrolled on a full-time basis during this period (i.e., it does not refer to housing or accommodations). This residence period represents the minimum time required to obtain the degree; however, there is no guarantee that the required coursework can be completed within this time. Students may register for additional semesters to complete the program, and most students take four semesters (see University Regulations & Resources > Graduate > Regulations > Registration > Time Limitation). A typical timeline and further details regarding completing the M.A. may be found at


Before classes begin, each student will meet with either the Graduate Program Director or with their supervisor to determine an appropriate selection of courses which, when considered in relation to the student's previous record, will provide a balanced breadth of coverage and specialization.

The candidate is required to pass, with a mark of 65% (B-) or better, all those courses that have been designated by the Department as forming a part of their program. These are the courses that have been entered on the registration form. A few extra courses may be taken, but it is then the responsibility of the student to see that these courses are clearly marked “not required” on the registration form.

Master of Arts (M.A.) Art History (Thesis) (45 credits)

Please see the Departmental website for more information about this program.

Master of Arts (M.A.) Art History (Thesis): Gender and Women's Studies (45 credits)

M.A. students who have selected the Graduate Option in Gender and Women's Studies complete a GWS coursework component as part of the total credits required for the M.A. degree. All course selection must first be approved by the supervisor/graduate program director.

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) Art History

Please see the Departmental website for more information about this program.

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) Art History: Gender and Women's Studies

Ph.D. students who have selected the Graduate Option in Gender and Women's Studies complete a GWS coursework component as part of the total credits required for the Ph.D. degree. All course selection must first be approved by the supervisor/graduate program director.

Taken from Programs, Courses and University Regulations 2022-2023 (last updated Aug. 23, 2022).

Art History Admission Requirements and Application Procedures

Admission Requirements

Entrance into either the M.A. or Ph.D. programs is limited to the best qualified applicants. A minimum CGPA of 3.3 or the equivalent, i.e., 75%, is highly recommended. The Department requires a research statement of at least 250 words outlining the candidate's particular research interest in Art History as well as a sample of their written work such as a seminar paper or, in the case of Ph.D. applicants, all or part of the M.A. paper or thesis. For a complete list of materials required, see Application Procedures below.

For international applicants whose first language is not English, please see

M.A. Program

To apply to the M.A. program, candidates are normally expected to have a B.A. degree in Art History or in another closely related field; candidates may come from other fields such as literary studies, comparative literature, ethnic studies, Canadian studies, architecture, urban planning, film studies, history, performance studies, or philosophy/aesthetics, but must have taken at least 10 courses relating to the history and theory of some aspect of the visual arts, preferably covering a wide range of historical time periods and geographical regions. In exceptional cases, applicants without a strong background in art history may be admitted but with additional requirements arranged in consultation with the Director of Graduate Studies to be completed before matriculation in the M.A. program.

Ph.D. Program

In order to apply to the Ph.D. program, candidates must hold an M.A. degree preferably in Art History or in a closely related field together with an appropriate number of art history and related courses such as are described for entrance into the M.A. program. All candidates for the Ph.D. program are strongly advised to contact a potential supervisor well in advance of submitting the application in order to establish a relationship. Applicants who have not vetted their research proposal (application statement) with a potential supervisor are unlikely to be admitted.

Application Procedures

McGill’s online application form for graduate program candidates is available at

See University Regulations & Resources > Graduate > Graduate Admissions and Application Procedures > Application Procedures for detailed application procedures.

For any admissions problems, please contact Natasha Klein-Panneton, the Graduate Administrative Coordinator:

  • Telephone: 514-398-4933
  • Email: graduate.ahcs [at]

Additional Requirements

The items and clarifications below are additional requirements set by this department:

  • Writing Sample (in English or French)
  • Research Proposal (Research Statement)
  • C.V.
  • Note: The section of the application marked “Statement of Purpose” is not strictly required unless the applicant has specific items to remark on their candidacy that are not addressed in the research proposal (research statement).

Application Dates and Deadlines

Application opening dates are set by Enrolment Services in consultation with Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (GPS), while application deadlines are set by the Department of Art History and Communication Studies and may be revised at any time. Applicants must verify all deadlines and documentation requirements well in advance on the appropriate McGill departmental website; please consult the list at

  Application Opening Dates Application Deadlines
  All Applicants Non-Canadian citizens (incl. Special, Visiting & Exchange) Canadian citizens/Perm. residents of Canada (incl. Special, Visiting & Exchange) Current McGill Students (any citizenship)
Fall Term: Sept. 15 Jan. 15 Jan. 15 Jan. 15
Winter Term: N/A N/A N/A N/A
Summer Term: N/A N/A N/A N/A

Admission to graduate studies is competitive; accordingly, late and/or incomplete applications are considered only as time and space permit.

Note: There are no Winter or Summer term admissions for the M.A. and Ph.D. programs.
Taken from Programs, Courses and University Regulations 2022-2023 (last updated Feb. 7, 2022).
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