Art History Comps

The Art History comps project requires a substantial research paper, between about 8,000 and 10,000 words (including footnotes) in the style of a journal essay. Proposals for papers will be due by the end of the first week of classes in the fall term for students wishing to take any comps credits in the fall. Students who take no comps credits in the fall may submit their proposals as late as the last day of classes before midterm break of the fall term. Proposals will be accepted as early as spring term of the junior year; this may prove useful for students intending to work on projects over the summer. Students will formulate and write sample proposals, as well as practice and discuss research techniques, in ARTH 298 (Junior Seminar), which is usually offered in the winter term. In those rare instances when majors take ARTH 298 as seniors, for reasons such as OCS programs in the winter as juniors, students will work with the department chair or another delegated faculty member to prepare their comps proposals. Incomplete or problematic proposals will be returned to students for revision and resubmission.

Students will be assigned comps advisers after their proposals have been approved. The department will assign advisers based upon workload balance as well as faculty areas of specialization. Each student will devise a series of deadlines in consultation with their adviser based upon their respective schedules and the distribution of their comps credits, but in all cases a final draft of the paper will be required by the end of ninth week in the winter term. Late submissions will not be eligible for distinction and will also be marked down. Students will be allowed to make minor changes to their essays before their final drafts are deposited in the library comps archive in the spring term. Each comps paper will be read and graded by the pertinent adviser as well as a second reader. 

During the spring term the department will arrange a colloquium consisting of one or more panels of student comps presentations. This will occur around fourth week but will depend upon faculty schedules and commitments. Students will each give talks, about 20 minutes in length, which contextualize their projects and summarize the arguments of their essays. Students preparing their comps presentations will continue to consult with their advisers.

ARTH 400 is a variable credit course, meaning that—unlike most courses—students need to select the number of credits (between 1 and 6) being taken in any given term. You cannot take more or less than 6 total credits of ARTH 400, though you may spread these credits across different terms during senior year. Typically students take 1 credit in the spring and split the other 5 in some fashion between fall and winter. Students may choose to take all 6 comps credits in the winter, but they will still need to participate in the spring colloquium and they will not receive a final comps grade until the spring.

Note that the different sections of ARTH 400 correspond to the different faculty members serving as comps advisers. You may switch sections after the drop/add deadline in order to make your section align with your assigned adviser.