PhD Browser

PhD in History and Theory of Architecture or Art

Massachusetts Institute of Technology MIT
School of Architecture + Planning
Cambridge, Massachusetts
United States
History, Theory & Critic
Overview

HTC currently offers two tracks of study within the PhD program: History and Theory of Architecture and History and Theory of Art. Degree requirements and admissions procedures for both tracks are the same.

 

The program in History, Theory and Criticism (HTC) draws upon the unique range of disciplines and professions within the Department of Architecture. The program emphasizes the study of art, architecture, and urbanism, past and present, produced in a broad range of geographic areas, as well as methodological issues that inform or link the history of ideas and practices. HTC was founded in 1975 as one of the first PhD programs in a school of architecture. Its mission is to promote critical and theoretical reflection within the disciplines of architectural and art history. HTC differs from other programs in that it has art historians on its permanent faculty. Visiting scholars are annually invited to teach, supplementing the core faculty.

 

Continuous registration is required until completion of the dissertation. Generally all subject work is completed by the end of the second year of residency and all other requirements, except for the dissertation, are completed by the end of the third year. The final two years are devoted to dissertation research and writing culminating in a defense at the conclusion of the fifth year.

 

Islamic Architecture and Urbanism

 

Within the History and Theory of Architecture PhD track, there is a concentration in Islamic Architecture. The History, Theory and Criticism Section at MIT is one of the foremost Ph.D. programs in architectural history and theory in the US. Its mission is to encourage advanced historical research and to promote critical and theoretical reflection within the disciplines of architectural and art history. The concentration on Islamic architecture and urbanism is an integral part of the HTC section. Usually, one student a year is admitted to work on an Islamic subject and is funded through the Aga Khan Program endowment.

 

Research projects vary in scope, method, and range from the classical period to the present. Recent Ph.D. topics can be found on the HTC Dissertation and Theses section of this website.

 

Faculty Advising

 

Each student will be assigned an HTC faculty advisor upon admission. Generally it is the same faculty member designated to supervise research work. The advisor will consult on the initial plan of study and on each subsequent term’s choice of subjects. He or she will monitor the student’s progress through each phase of the degree and will assist the student in selecting a dissertation committee. This committee should be in place by the end of the fourth semester of residency.

 

 

 

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Admission Requirements

ADMISSIONS FOR PHD IN HISTORY, THEORY & CRITICISM

 

Admission is based on an examination of applicants’ graduate academic records and samples of their work. Many of our applicants already have a master’s degree, although this is not a strict requirement. However, unlike other institutions, successful completion of the PhD program does not confer a master’s degree for partial coursework.

 

The applicant’s statement of purpose and letters of recommendation are very important. Previous academic work should demonstrate the applicant’s intellectual and scholarly goals and achievements.

 

Four funded applicants are accepted each year in the Department of Architecture’s PhD program in HTC. Successful PhD applicants are admitted with funding packages through MIT and the Department of Architecture (one in art history and two in architectural history). One additional architecture (or art) history placement is funded by the Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture. Candidates should expect to complete the degree in six years.

 

Applicants do not need to obtain an academic advisor from the HTC faculty in order to apply to the program.Faculty advisors are assigned to students once admissions decisions have been made.

 

GRADUATE PROGRAMS ADMISSIONS REQUIREMENTS (FOR ALL GRADUATE APPLICANTS)

 

The Application Deadline is December 31 at midnight for all applications. Application material must be submitted by the deadline. Late applications will not be reviewed. It is the responsibility of the applicant to be sure that the application is completed. Applications will be reviewed using the information provided by applicants. Please do not call or email to check if official test scores have arrived. We will contact you if we do not receive them. Be sure to watch the application for notifications of application errors between December 31 and January 10. We will also email applicants if we notice something wrong with the application.

 

Three letters of recommendation. Letters from instructors are preferred unless you have been working for several years, in which case supervisors may be included. The application can be submitted on the deadline with fewer than three letters, but be sure to remind your instructors to complete their letters before January 10. Applications still missing two or more letters when review begins will not be reviewed. Review the instructions for letter submission in the «Letters Status» section of the application system. Applicants will send prepared emails to the recommenders containing a secure link to the recommendation form. We prefer that letters be submitted through the online application, and not a third-party letter distributor.

 

Transcripts for all relevant degrees, official or unofficial, must be uploaded to the application system. PDFs must be clearly readable and oriented correctly on the screen. Only those applicants who are accepted for admission will be required to send a hard copy of an official, sealed transcript (with English translation) from each school attended. Please do not have official copies of transcripts sent to our office unless you are admitted. Certificates, study abroad, and community college transcripts do not need to be sent unless the courses are not also listed on your primary college transcripts. Non-English transcripts must be translated into English, and if necessary, signed by a licensed notary and accompanied by the original version.

 

In addition to transcripts, applicants should complete the Subjects Taken section with any relevant course work. If you have taken studios, indicate this on the Test Scores/Experience/Electronic Portfolio section.

 

 

IELTS or TOEFL Score.

 

Applicants whose first language is not English are required to submit either an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score (Academic test) or a Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), regardless of citizenship or residency in the U.S. while attending other educational institutions. No exceptions are made. The admissions committee regards English proficiency as crucial for success in all degree programs. In order to meet the admissions deadline, it is recommended that candidates take the IELTS or TOEFL on the earliest possible date.

 

Applicants must request that an official copy of their test results be sent directly to MIT by IELTS International or Educational Testing Service. IELTS and TOEFL Scores must be no older than two years as of the date of application. To avoid delays, please use the following codes when having your TOEFL scores sent to MIT:

 

– Institutional Code: 3514

 

– Department Code: 12

 

– The minimum score required for the IELTS is 7 and the minimum TOEFL score is 600 (250 for computer-based test, 100 for Internet-based test). While either test score is accepted, the IELTS score is preferred. (HTC PhD requires a TOEFL score of 115.)

 

All students whose first language is not English are required to take the English Evaluation Test (EET) prior to registration at MIT. Even students who satisfy the IELTS/TOEFL requirement for admission may be required to take specialized subjects in English as a Second Language (ESL), depending on their EET results. These subjects do not count toward the required degree credits.

 

Curriculum Vitae, uploaded to the system.

 

A portfolio of work, uploaded to the application. See program-specific instructions for portfolio requirements.

 

An Essay of one or two pages must be uploaded to the application system. Indicate why you are applying, and describe your qualifications for the degree.

 

A non-refundable Application Fee of $75 USD. You will need to submit a credit card number on the Architecture Graduate Application to process this fee. If you have a financial hardship, you may apply for an Application Fee Waiver: http://gradadmissions.mit.edu/feewaiver

 

Submission of completed application form by the application deadline.

 

You may apply to two different programs within the Department of Architecture. If you are considering two programs, discuss your plans with our admissions staff to save yourself unnecessary fees. Multiple applications are allowed, but are not necessary in many cases. The link to apply is: http://gradapply.mit.edu/architecture/apply.

 

Be sure to review the Application Instructions.

 

PHD HTC OR AKPIA – SPECIFIC ADMISSIONS REQUIREMENTS

 

HTC English Proficiency Requirement

 

Applicants whose first language is not English are required to submit either an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score or a Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), regardless of citizenship or residency in the U.S. while attending other educational institutions. No exceptions are made. The admissions committee regards English proficiency as crucial for success in all degree programs. In order to meet the admissions deadline, it is recommended that candidates take the IELTS or TOEFL on the earliest possible date.

 

Applicants must request that an official copy of their test results be sent directly to MIT by IELTS International or Educational Testing Service. IELTS and TOEFL Scores must be no older than two years as of the date of application. To avoid delays, please use the following codes when having your TOEFL scores sent to MIT:

 

– Institutional Code: 3514

 

– Department Code: 12

 

– The minimum IELTS score required for PhD candidates in History, Theory and Criticism is 7.5 and the minimum TOEFL score is 650 for the paper-based test; 280 for the computer-based test; and 115 for the Internet-based test. While any of these test scores are accepted, the IELTS score is preferred.

 

All students whose first language is not English are required to take the English Evaluation Test (EET) prior to registration at MIT. Even students who satisfy the IELTS/TOEFL requirement for admission may be required to take specialized subjects in English as a Second Language (ESL), depending on their EET results. These subjects do not count toward the required degree credits.

 

Graduate Record Examination

 

Applicants are required to submit Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores. In order to meet the admissions deadline, it is recommended that candidates take the GRE on the earliest possible test date. Test scores must be no more than five years old. To avoid delays, please use the following codes when having your scores sent to MIT:

 

– Institution Code is 3514

 

– Department Code is 4401

 

Writing Sample/Portfolio

 

All applicants should submit evidence of recent work: scholarly and/or professional. A 15 to 30 page writing sample is required of all HTC or AKPIA PhD applicants. In addition to the writing sample, a portfolio can be submitted when it reveals the potential student’s intellectual direction, scholarly interests, design capability, or prior degrees. Writing samples should illustrate research interests and capacities.

 

The portfolio should include evidence of recent creative work, whether personal, academic or professional. Choose what you care about, what you think is representative of your best work, and what is expressive of you. Work done collaboratively should be identified as such and the applicant’s role in the project defined. Your name, and program to which you are applying should also be included. We expect the portfolio to be the applicant’s own work. Applicants whose programs require portfolios will upload a 30-page maximum), 15MB (maximum) PDF file to the online application system. The dimensions should be exported for screen viewing. Two page «spreads» are counted as one page.

 

Interview

 

Interviews with faculty in person or by phone are highly recommended, but not required. Because of the diverse background of our applicants, it is advantageous for them to discuss their interests with at least two members of the HTC faculty; applicants are also encouraged to sit in on an HTC class if an in-person visit is possible. Faculty schedules vary so it is best to contact the HTC office directly at least two weeks prior to an intended visit or phone appointment. Please send an email to htc@mit.edu listing the names of the HTC faculty with whom you would like to meet, the date(s) that you are available, and any classes you might like to attend. Members of the Admission Committee cannot see candidates after February 1.

 

Decisions and Notifications

 

Applicants will be notified by mail of the Department’s decision by April 1. Decisions cannot be given by telephone.

 

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General information
Length
2 years full time / 5 years part time
Language
English
Director
Kristel Smentek
Fee
Not Confirmed
Email
arch@mit.edu / smentek@mit.edu
Telephone
+1 (617) 253-4401
Address
77 Massachusetts Avenue - Cambridge, MA 02139
Website
Campus Location
The information of this PhD was extracted from the Official Website of the program.
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