The Department of Art History provides diverse programs for the study of the history and theory of art, leading to the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. Applicants with a BA and applicants who bring an MA in Art History from another institution are both welcome. The program seeks to create a forum for the exploration of the visual arts as manifested in major epochs of European, Near Eastern, Asian, and American civilizations. This is accomplished by encouraging the exploration of diverse approaches and the examination of varied materials. The department seeks to cultivate knowledge of salient works of art, of the structures within which they are produced and utilized, and of the ways in which the visual environment in the broadest sense generates, acquires, and transmits meaning. Ways of addressing and analyzing the range of materials that constitute visual culture are emphasized in lectures, seminars, and workshops through the oral and written presentation of research and inquiry into specific objects, periods, and issues.
Since 1913, the University of Chicago has been continuously accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association.