About our Degree Programs


The Bard Graduate Center offers MA and PhD degrees in the history of the decorative arts, design history, and material culture. The MA is a two-year program which includes coursework, an internship, an international travel program, and culminates in the submission of a qualifying paper. The PhD at the Bard Graduate Center is envisioned as a 4-5 year track following completion of an MA. It includes coursework, three field exams, and the submission of a doctoral dissertation.

We train students to think about how objects and the material world can be understood in a variety of contexts and how knowledge about them can enrich our own. Our faculty draw from the methodologies of art history, history, archaeology, and anthropology—the departments from which they themselves come—and our fields of special strength include New York and American Material Culture, Modern Design History, Early Modern Europe, History and Theory of Museums, Comparative Medieval Material Culture (China, Islam, Europe), Archaeology, Anthropology, and Material Culture, and Cultures of Conservation.

2014–2015 Academic Programs Online Catalogue »

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Learn More About the BGC

BGC Curriculum

Watch our dean, Peter N. Miller, talk about the BGC’s teaching and research programs.

Meet the BGC Faculty at Our Virtual Open House »

The BGC is an international community of scholars whose teaching and research ranges from the arts of the ancient world to contemporary design practice. Our classes, most of which are seminars, are object-centered, question-driven and draw on multiple methodologies and approaches.

Complete Course Listing »

BGC Faculty Pages »

Current Focus Gallery Exhibition »

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Students

Beyond the BGC

Our MA and PhD students come from diverse academic and professional backgrounds.

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Our campus extends beyond our buildings on 86th Street to include cultural institutions and museums both here in New York City and further afield. Our alumni have not only gone on to a wide range of careers in museums, galleries, historic preservation, and auction houses, but also on to top doctoral programs and academia.

Alumni News »