Graduate Studies

Emory Douglas, former Minister of Culture of the Black Panther Party (center), with Dr. Jenni Sorkin (far right) and graduate students, at the "50 Years Strong and Counting: The Revolutionary Art of the Black Panther Party" Reception (MultiCultural Center, UCSB, November 14, 2016)Our Graduate Program trains scholars, critics, and museum professionals who engage visual culture and the built environment with a critical eye. The department offers a combined M.A./Ph.D. degree in the History of Art & Architecture, although applicants holding a Master’s in art or architectural history or a related discipline may be admitted directly into the Ph.D. program depending on qualifications. The department does not offer a terminal M.A. degree. Typically there are about 45 graduate students in residence at any given time. The annual incoming cohort of students is small by design, ensuring the development of a close working relationship with faculty from the beginning. With fifteen full-time professors, two continuing lecturers and five affiliated faculty from outside departments — all of whom are nationally and/or internationally recognized in their respective fields — we offer students highly individualized study in a broad historical and geographical range of topics. Graduate students are also encouraged to take courses outside the department, as UCSB is home to nationally regarded programs in Chicana/o Studies Film & Media Studies , and Religious Studies , among others.

Graduate students at UCSB have access to exceptional resources. As students in the University of California, they have quick and easy access to the contents of every library across the UC system via an online requests system. In our excellent Art, Design & Architecture Museum, students not only explore regularly rotating exhibitions, but can also acquire hands-on training in museum work by curating exhibitions. Housed within the Museum is our world-class Architecture and Design Collection, one of the largest architectural archives in North America. Nearby, the Santa Barbara Museum of Art offers strong collections in classical antiquities, European prints, Asian art, and significant programming in modern Latin American art. And a couple of hours by car or train are the cultural riches of the Los Angeles area, including the J. Paul Getty Museum and Research Institute , the Los Angeles County Museum of Art , the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art , the Fowler Museum at UCLA , the Broad Museum , and the Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens .

Our graduate alumni have proven extremely successful in recent years in finding both faculty and curatorial positions at top institutions. Recent alumni currently hold faculty positions at the University of Texas at Austin; University of Wisconsin–Madison; University of California, Merced; University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign; Pennsylvania State University; University of Alabama at Birmingham; and Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, among many others. Many recent alumni also hold curatorial positions, including positions at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Getty Museum, the Saint Louis Art Museum, the Williams College Museum of Art, the Huntington Library, Peabody Essex Museum, the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum, Wichita Art Museum, the RISD Museum of Art, and the Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University.