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Application Instructions for the Ph.D. Program in the History and Theory of Art (English-Language)

School of Arts, Peking University

Beginning in 2020, the School of Arts at Peking University invites international students who would like to study in China to submit applications to pursue a doctoral degree in the History and Theory of Art. Applicants will be evaluated according to several combined criteria. The details of the program are as follows:

1. Program Overview

This four-year Ph.D. program will welcome ten international students in Fall 2023. The program meets the needs of students who want to pursue advanced studies and research in the History and Theory of Art, including the fields of art theory, art history, art criticism, and art management. For further details, please refer to the Peking University International Student Admissions Directory.

2. Program Information

. 1)  Full-time registration required;

. 2)  Four-year program;

. 3)  Language of instruction: English.

3. Admission Requirements

. 1)  Applicants must be non-Chinese citizens with a valid passport. Residents of the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong, Macau, or Taiwan who have emigrated to other countries and are applying to Peking University as international students must present a valid passport or citizenship documents dating from before April 30, 2017, along with proof of cancellation of Chinese nationality.  

. 2)  Applicants for doctoral programs must have earned a master’s degree; those who graduated from a non-Chinese institution must have a master’s degree from an institution recognized by the Ministry of Education of China.

. 3)  Applicants must demonstrate excellent academic performance and must meet the English Proficiency Requirements set by the program.

. 4)  Applicants should be healthy, both physically and psychologically, with no criminal record, be respectful of Chinese culture, and must abide by the laws and decrees of China.  

4. Application Timeline

Please refer to for details.

5. Application Steps

Please refer to for details.

6. Submission of Application Materials

. 1) Peking University Application Form for International Students (doctoral programs) with a photograph affixed. Please visit, complete the application and submit it online, and then download the form and print a hard copy for your reference.

. 2)  Graduation and degree certificates, which must be original documents or notarized copies in either Chinese or English.

. Note: Applicants expecting to graduate in 2023 should provide an official letter from their current university stating their expected graduation date.

. 3)  Official transcripts from the applicant’s most recent academic program, including courses taken and standards achieved. These must be original documents or notarized copies in either Chinese or English.  

. 4)  A personal statement that includes a doctoral research plan of 3,000 words. Please click the link to download the template:

. 5)  Two recommendation letters from professor(s) or associate professor(s) (or equivalent professionals with relevant academic titles) related to the applicant’s major. Click the link to download the template:

. Please note that the recommendation letters must be originals, written in Chinese or English, and must include the signature of the recommender. Recommendation letters may be submitted in either of the following ways:

. (1) Hard copies, each sealed in a separate envelope with the recommender’s signature across the seal;

. (2) Digital copies (preferably in PDF format) sent to directly by each recommender.

. 6)  English Proficiency Requirements:

i. For native English speakers and applicants who completed college education in a country where the only language of instruction was English, no proof of English proficiency is required.

ii. For non-native English speakers, English proficiency must be demonstrated by submitting official test scores from either TOEFL or IELTS. Minimum Scores: TOEFL: 100; IELTS (Academic Test): 7.0.

. 7)  A copy of the applicant’s master’s thesis.

. 8)  One photocopy of the applicant’s valid passport (passport type must be “ordinary”).  

. 9)  Table of contents and abstracts of the applicant’s academic publications and any other original achievements in the applicant’s field of study (if applicable).

. NOTE: Except for the recommendation letters, two sets (one original and one photocopy) of the above-mentioned application materials must be submitted.

Deadline for mailing of hard copies of application materials: February 28, 2023. Acceptance of mailed application materials will be based on the postmark date. The EMS delivery service is recommended.

Address: Room 330, International Student Division, New Sun Student Center, Peking University, Beijing 100871, People's Republic of China

Please note on the envelope: “Graduate student application materials.”

Application materials will not be returned.

7. Application Fees

Please refer to for details.

8. Departmental Preliminary Review

The International Student Office will assess the documents provided by applicants to ensure that they meet the standards set by the program. The documents of qualified applicants will then be transferred to the Academic Affairs Office of the School of Arts before March 10, 2023.

Admission decisions are made by the Admissions Committee of the School of Arts. All aspects of each application are carefully and thoughtfully reviewed by the committee, using a combination of criteria including the applicant’s undergraduate and graduate schools, major, academic performance, character, and potential for development in the applied professional field. After careful consideration, the committee identifies applicants for final review.

9. Departmental Final Review

In March/April of each year, the School of Arts will conduct a final review. The Admissions Committee will comprehensively assess the professional level and English-language ability of the applicants. Applicants will give an oral presentation to the committee describing their academic research experiences, their understanding of the program in the School of Arts, and their plans for doctoral study and research.

Based on the results of both the preliminary and the final reviews, the Admissions Committee will identify and recommend top applicants and then submit the preliminary decision to the Graduate School Admissions Office for further review.

10. Admission Decisions

. 1)  The final admission decision will be announced by the International Student Office.

. 2)  The International Student Office will begin sending out documents such as admission letters and visa application forms to admitted applicants in late June 2023.

11. Academic Calendar

Admitted students are required to register for courses at the beginning of September 2023. Registration dates and deadlines will be indicated in the admission letter. Accepted students must arrive at Peking University to complete their registration in strict accordance with the dates specified in the admission letter.

12. Tuition and Scholarship

The tuition fee for the Ph.D. program is RMB 50,000 Yuan per year (RMB 200,000 Yuan total for four years). Admitted students can apply for the following scholarships:

. 1) Chinese Government Scholarship (Type B): tuition waiver, free accommodations, monthly living expenses, and medical insurance provided in accordance with the scholarship’s regulations.

. 2) Beijing Government Scholarship for International Students: tuition subsidy.  

. 3) Peking University Scholarship for International Students: tuition waiver, monthly living expenses, and medical insurance.

Note: The evaluation of scholarships will be carried out in accordance with the relevant regulations of the government and the university. For more information, please pay close attention to notices posted at

13. Awarding of the Degree

To be awarded your degree, you are required to complete all graduate credit coursework indicated in your “Training Plan” with qualifying grades, successfully complete your dissertation, and pass the oral defense of your dissertation. After review and approval by the Degree Assessment Committee of Peking University, the corresponding degree will be awarded.

 2023 History and Theory of Art Ph.D. Program in the     School of Arts

The School of Arts only accepts     full-time doctoral candidates. Supervisors and their primary fields of     research are listed below. For more details, please consult the “Teaching     Staff” area in the School of Arts website.



Research     Field


History and     Theory of Art

Blake Stevens

European Art Music; Experimental Electronic Music; History of Music     Aesthetics

Chen Xuan

Chinese Art and Archaeology

Dong Lihui

Chinese Contemporary Art; Visual Cultural Study

Jia Yan

Ancient Near Eastern     Art

Liu Annie Yen-Ling

European Art Music; Cross-Cultural Music Studies

Liu Chen

Chinese Art History

Lin Yi

Arts Management; Intercultural Communication of Arts



Aesthetics; Philosophy of Art; Aesthetics of Music

Peng Feng

Comparative Aesthetics; Contemporary Art Theory     and Criticism

Concerning visa requirements and other issues, please refer to "2023 Application Information for International Students (Master's Degree and Ph.D. Degree)".