Course Requirements

 
Academic Standing and Satisfactory Progress

The necessary (but not necessarily sufficient) condition for students to remain in good standing in the History of Art and Architecture Department is that they receive a minimum GPA of 3.5 (B+) in all departmental courses. At the end of each term the faculty discuss the progress of each student; if there are problems, a letter is sent at that time.

On the basis of grades and written evaluations (i.e. grades are not the only criteria), the department may vote that a student's degree candidacy be terminated or that a warning letter be sent which will specify the department's expectations for the following term or year. Suitability to the program is a major factor and may be grounds for terminating candidacy. If the student fails to meet these expectations, the department will ask the Graduate School to terminate the student's degree candidacy.

 

Requirements for Satisfactory Progress

    • First-year students may not receive any grades of Incomplete.
    • No G2 and above students shall be permitted more than one grade of Incomplete per term. If not completed within the following term, the grade becomes Incomplete on the permanent record. No more than two permanent Incompletes will be permitted. A student who accumulates more than two will be required to withdraw, unless the faculty determines by a two-thirds' majority vote that extraordinary circumstances warrant an extension, which shall in no case exceed one term.
    • For students to remain in good standing, the History of Art and Architecture Department requires that they must receive a GPA of 3.5 in all departmental courses.

 

Registration

In the fall term, a few days before the beginning of classes, students must complete a formal registration procedure. Visit the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences for more information.   On Study Card Day, one week after classes begin, students will enroll in classes or research and teaching categories. In the first and second years, students fill in the course and instructor numbers (in the back of the History of Art and Architecture section of the Courses of Instruction) for courses listed and approved on the Plan of Study submitted to the Department (including HAA 300 "Reading and Research"). Students who need to fill the fourth slot on the Study Card can select either Time-C for course-related work, with a catalog number 8899, or Time-R for acting as a research assistant, with a catalog number 7700. In later years, those primarily engaged in work on the dissertation can select HAA 399 "Direction of Doctoral Dissertations" (catalog number 6575). Teaching Fellows can select Time-T (catalog number 8811) and would list this for as many sections or tutorials as they are teaching (i.e., if teaching two sections of a course, a student would list Time-T twice and HAA 300 or HAA 399 twice).

The Department currently offers instruction in the following broad fields of the history of art and architecture:

    • African
    • Ancient
    • East Asian
    • Islamic
    • Latin American
    • Medieval/Byzantine
    • Modern (nineteenth and twentieth centuries)
    • Renaissance and Baroque (fifteenth through eighteenth centuries)
    • South Asian

The graduate curriculum is designed to ensure breadth across the discipline, both in terms of field distribution and methodology. Students must take one course in at least three fields of art and/or architectural history other than their own. For students in Western art, one of those courses must be in Asian, African, Native American, or Islamic art. For students in Asian, African, or Islamic art, one of the required courses must be in Western art. Non-field-specific courses such as HAA 201, "The Study of Architectural History: Issues and Methodology," or HAA 206, "Science and the Practice of Art History," may be taken in place of one of the three field requirements. In non-field-specific courses, a topic should be studied which promotes extra diversification methodologically and geographically.

Students may instead wish to develop a minor field in which a cluster of three courses must be taken. In that case, the regular field distribution requirement is waived, but one course outside the double fields is required to ensure breadth. As above, in non-field-specific courses, a topic should be studied which promotes extra diversification methodologically and geographically.

If a course falls between two fields, it is important to specify the field, and to clarify the arrangement with the DGS during the term the course is taken. In such cases the requirement may be considered as fulfilled if the main paper assignment is in the field of the requirement; individual cases are to be presented to the DGS in consultation with the instructor, and when relevant with the adviser. It is the student's responsibility to clarify such special arrangements with the DGS.

On the basis of course work done at their undergraduate institution, students may petition to have one of the three distribution requirements waived. Following discussion with the Graduate Adviser, and only upon her or his recommendation, the student should submit a petition to the faculty documenting the previous course work in the field. Ordinarily this will be two courses at the undergraduate level. Should a distribution requirement be waived, the total number of courses required for the degree is not altered. This is the only context in which undergraduate courses are considered.

    • A=4.00, A-=3.67, B+=3.33, B=3.00, B-=2.67, C+=2.33, C=2.00, C-=1.67, D+=1.33,D=1.00, D-=0.67.
    • The requirements for languages should be met by the end of the fourth term.
    • The completed and approved qualifying paper (with signed QP cover form) should be filed in the department office not later than June 1 of the 4th semester in residence.
    • Students are expected to take the general examination in the third year of residence and a preliminary dissertation proposal is required at the time of petition to take the general examination. A final and approved dissertation proposal is required within three months of passing the general examination.
    • G4+ students are required to submit a progress report to the department of dissertation research and writing by December 15 of each year.
    • The final draft of the dissertation should be submitted to the readers at least six weeks prior to the registrar's deadline. The bound copy with the dissertation acceptance certificate is due at the time designated by the registrar.

 

Course Requirements

    • A total of 16 half-courses are required for academic residence.
    • 1 half-course must be HAA 310 (a & b count as one course). 
    • At least 9 half-courses must be chosen from the offerings of the History of Art and Architecture Department. 
    • Students must take one course in at least three fields of art/architectural history other than their own. For students in Western art, one of those courses must be in Asian, African, Native American, or Islamic art. For students in Asian, African, or Islamic art, one of the required courses must be in Western art. Non field-specific courses may be taken in place of one of the three field requirements. In non field-specific courses, a topic should be studied which promotes extra diversification methodologically and geographically. 
    • Students may wish to develop a minor field in which a cluster of three courses must be taken. In that case, the regular field distribution requirement is waived, but one course outside the double fields is required to ensure breadth. A non-Western course must be taken if a Western field is both the primary and minor field and a Western course must be taken if a non-Western field is both the primary and minor field. As above, in non field-specific courses, a topic should be studied which promotes extra diversification methodologically and geographically. 
    • If a course falls between two fields, it is important to specify the field, and to clarify the arrangement with the DGS during the term the course is taken. 
    • Field distribution and 200-level course requirements may be fulfilled by the same course, but may not be counted twice towards the 16. 
    • 5 half-courses, in addition to HAA 310, must be primarily for graduates at the 200-level or the equivalent (e.g. 100 level seminars); partial credit may be given for graduate-level courses from other institutions, in which the student participated while enrolled in HAA.
    • 2 half-courses may be in any language(s) appropriate for your field of research.  SAT/UNSAT courses may not be counted towards the 16 for the Ph.D.   If you take two languages as SAT/UNSAT you may substitute a 300, Time C, or Time R in the total 16 for the two languages.
    • Graduates enrolled in undergraduate lecture courses will not be required to fulfill additional requirements.
    • The examination of graduates enrolled in undergraduate lecture courses will be of the same format as those for the undergraduates, but it may be tailored to graduate level, as long as this does not lead to a quantitative increase. For example: when the examination consists of a written exam, a separate set of questions might be designed for the graduate students; or the questions might be the same, but the results judged by higher standards.
    • Graduate students can request a course upgrade. For this, they will need the consent of the teaching faculty member and the approval of the DGS.
    • Variation in course requirements will be considered only through written request to the department after consultation with the director of graduate studies and a faculty adviser.

Continuing support from the Graduate School is contingent upon maintaining satisfactory progress toward the degree. The Department judges satisfactory progress based on course work, languages and the Qualifying Paper in the first two years; completing an approved dissertation prospectus, successfully completing the general examination and forming a dissertation committee and performance as a Teaching Fellow in year three; then completing the dissertation in the fifth year and beyond. Advisors' reports, G4+ updates are used to discuss each case, generally in the sixth year and above, with the Dean of the Graduate School in February, and as the basis of the Graduate Student Review meeting of the Department in May.

Students in the Department are encouraged to apply for the A.M. degree after completing one year of course requirements, typically at the beginning of the fall term of their second year of graduate study.

 

Credit for Courses Taken Elsewhere

HAA does not give credit for courses taken elsewhere, before coming to Harvard. Only in exceptional cases can the department depart from the rule. This requires: first, the consent of the intended thesis supervisor; second, the approval of the DGS to submit the request to the Faculty; third, the approval of the Faculty. The student must successfully complete two terms of course work in the Department before applying for such credit; no credit for coursework will be granted if there are any incomplete grades. The Department may allow credit for less than the requested amount, according to the Faculty's assessment of the student's progress. The appropriate petition form may be obtained from the Department Administrator.

 

Grading Criteria for Graduate Students

Graduate Seminars

A 

Outstanding performance based on the following criteria, ranked in order of importance:

    • Scholarship is original and advances knowledge of the subject.
    • Written reports are virtually publishable in content and presentation, and are submitted on schedule.
    • Oral presentations are highly effective in regard to delivery, illustrations, and timing.
    • Class participation is informed and constructive.
A- Excellent work in all but one of the above criteria.
B+ Very good work in all but two of the above criteria.
B Acceptable work. Basic content of course has been mastered with evidence of initiative.
B- Marginally acceptable work. Basic content of course has been acquired.
C Fails. Course will not be accepted toward fulfillment of departmental requirements.

 

Proseminars

A

Outstanding performance within the context of course goals; criteria are ranked in order of importance:

    • Scholarship demonstrates ability to conduct independent research.
    • Written reports are insightful, composed with skill, follow correct editorial form, and submitted on schedule.
    • Oral presentations are effective in regard to delivery, illustrations, and timing.
    • Class participation is informed and constructive.
A- Excellent work in all but one of the above criteria.
B+ Very good work in all but two of the above criteria.
B Acceptable work. Basic content of course has been mastered with evidence of initiative.
B- Marginally acceptable work. Basic content of course has been acquired.
C Fails. Course will not be accepted toward fulfillment of departmental requirements.

 

Lecture Courses

A

Outstanding performance as demonstrated by:

    • Indication of original insights and thoughtful consideration of course content as revealed through examinations, paper assignments, and class discussions.
    • Thorough mastery of content of lectures and assigned reading.
    • Informed and constructive participation in class discussions.
A- Excellent work in all but one of the above criteria.
B+ Very good work in all but two of the above criteria.
B Acceptable work. Basic content of course has been mastered with evidence of initiative.
B- Marginally acceptable work. Basic content of course has been acquired.
C Fails. Course will not be accepted toward fulfillment of departmental requirements.