Doctoral Program in History of Art


The Doctoral Program in Art History aims to train highly qualified researchers in the field of Art History.

Its objectives are:

- To train and guide students to acquire the technical, intellectual, and theoretical skills necessary to carry out quality scientific research, the culmination of which will be the presentation and defense of a doctoral thesis or unpublished research work that constitutes a contribution to the advancement of knowledge in this field of study.

- To inform students about the latestArt Historyresearch procedures and results, particularly those that are specific to the research topics in the fields of ancient and medieval art; modern art; contemporary and current art; cinema and other audiovisual media; historical/artistic and cultural heritage; museology; musicology; and arts outside of Europe (Islamic art, Japanese and Chinese art, American, pre-Columbian and Hispanic art, African art) and their intercultural relationships.

- Introduce the doctoral student into the research groups and academic networks in which the research related to their work is carried out and enhance their interaction and internationalization.

To achieve these objectives, the program offers a wide range of outstanding specialized teachers, and includes a series of both cross-disciplinary and field-specificactivities, a crucial component in comprehensively training students as researchers.

The Program can lead to a range of career opportunities:

  - University professors or professionals at research institutes or specific research centers.

  - Museum curators, assistants, and technicians specialized in image (photo library, film libraries, etc.) and music (music library, etc.)libraries.

  - Technicians and managers of historical/artistic and cultural heritage in an institutional and business environment (professionals linked to the protection, conservation and dissemination of heritage, cataloging of movable and immovable cultural property).

  - Professionals linked to the art market and/orart exhibitions and diffusion in institutions and cultural centers (public or private), art galleries, auction houses and antique dealers.

  - Professionals linked to art criticism, curating exhibitions and producing, documenting and disseminating content from the History of Art and Musicology (design of activities and cultural programs such as art seminars; film, video, and musicseries; conferences; and editorial management of specialized catalogs, art books, journals and content definition on specialized websites, etc.).


Basic Skills

The students of the program acquire the basic competences indicated in article 5 of Royal Decree 99/2011 on doctorate. They are the following:

  1. Systematic understanding of their field of study and mastery of research skills and methods related to that field.
  2. Ability to conceive, design or create, implement and adopt a substantial process of research or creation.
  3. Ability to contribute to the expansion of the frontiers of knowledge through original research.
  4. Ability to perform a critical analysis and evaluation and synthesis of new and complex ideas.
  5. Ability to communicate with the academic and scientific community and with society in general about their fields of knowledge in the modes and languages commonly used in their international scientific community.
  6. Ability to promote, in academic and professional contexts, scientific, technological, social, artistic or cultural advancement within a society based on knowledge.

Personal Abilities and Skills

The RD 99/2011 highlights the high professional training of doctors in various fields, especially those that require creativity and innovation. Therefore, the doctors of the program will have acquired, at least, personal skills and abilities to:

  1. Develop in contexts in which there is little specific information.
  2. Find the key questions that must be answered to solve a complex problem.
  3. Design, create, develop and undertake innovative and innovative projects in their field of knowledge.
  4. Work both as a team and independently in an international or multidisciplinary context.
  5. Integrate knowledge, face complexity and formulate judgements with limited information.
  6. The criticism and intellectual defence of solutions.

General Information


The requirements for access to doctorate studies are set in RD 99/2011 and can be consulted in the corresponding Instruction of the Doctorate School (pdf). In general, an official Spanish Bachelor's and Master's degrees or equivalent are required, with a minimum global extension of 300 ECTS credits.

Candidates with university degrees issued by a country of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) may request admission directly (info). If the degree is issued by a country outside the EHEA, the application for access with a non-homologated foreign degree must be submitted (info).

Those interested can expand their information in the administrative section of the Doctoral School (web) or the administration of the program (see contact data in the program general information section).


The Doctoral School will establish in the academic calendar of the year the period of application for admission in its programs. The application for admission will include a motivation letter indicating the research line(s) of interest. It may also include the proposal of a researcher for thesis director. In the resolution of admission, if this is favorable, the Academic Committee will appoint the tutor and the director of the thesis and assign the research line, or lines (up to two), of the thesis. It will also establish the type of dedication of the doctoral student (full or partial time) and, if appropriate, the training complements that must be completed. Exceptionally, the director's appointment may be postponed until three months after the date of the doctorate's enrollment in the program. The Academic Committee may declare a candidate as unsuitable for the program, based on the information contained in the candidate's motivation letter.

If the admitted applicant does not enroll in the doctoral program, the admission will expire one month after its concession date. In this case, individuals interested in starting doctoral studies must apply again for admission to the program. Open vacancies will be covered by the Academic Committee according to the corresponding waiting list.

Programs with available places will accept subsequent admission applications, until completion of the number of places offered by the program.

For all purposes, a candidate does not acquire the status of doctoral student at the University of Zaragoza until he/she formalizes his or her enrollment in the corresponding program. PhD students must register annually for academic tutelage.

Program Specific Information

Oferta de plazas: 20

Recommended profile

- Preferably, students with previous training in the fields of Art History and/or Musicology and in their research methods (Proven research experience, Diploma of Advanced Studies, Master's Degree or the requirements established in Article 6 of RD 99/2011).

- Students with previous training in the fields of Art History and Artistic and/or Musical Heritage (Proven research experience, Diploma of Advanced Studies, Master's Degree or assumptions established in Article 6 of RD 99/2011) but who have completed Studies not specifically oriented to training in the field of research

- Students with previous training in the Arts and Humanities branch and in the area of Architecture (Research Sufficiency, Diploma of Advanced Studies, University Master's Degree or the requirements established inArticle 6 of RD 99/2011) who have graduated from programs that include research training credits.

In the latter two cases, the Doctoral Academic Committeewill establish the training-related courses that the student must take.


Together with the mandatory application documents established by the general procedure, the applicant must send the following documents to the Doctoral Academic Committee:

- CV (with supporting evidence of the accomplishments listed)

- Complete and detailed transcript.

- Letter of motivation for pursuing doctoral studies, expressing interest in the program’s lines) of research (may include the proposal of a researcher as a possible thesis advisor).

The applicant who wishes to pursue the part-time doctoral program must submit:

- Documentary justification supporting the need to participate in the doctoral program part-time.

Click on the link for further information on the admission process.

Specific Training Activities

In the case of non-preferred profiles, the Doctoral Academic Committee will establish the training-related courses it deems appropriate once the documentation provided has been studied. The training-related courses will fundamentally consist of the required subjects for the Master's Degree in Advanced Studies in Art History at the University of Zaragoza or those cross-discipline courses offered by the Postgraduate School of the University of Zaragoza or the seminars organized for this purpose by the doctoral program itself. If appropriate, the Academic Committee may conduct an interview with the applicants, to clarify aspects of the documentation presented.

Enrolment Dates, Deadlines and Procedure

Doctoral students, as researchers in training and students of the University of Zaragoza, have to formalize every year the enrollment with the corresponding rights to the academic tutorship while continuing their doctoral training. The enrollment period will be set  in the academiccalendar approved each year by the Doctoral School. 

As a general rule, enrollment will be done online through the Secretaría Virtual ofthe University of Zaragoza. Previously a personal identification number (NIP) and password will have been obtained in the identity management service. Face-to-face registration will be allowed to those who cannot do it online, by going to the doctoral school during public service hours. PhD students must submit every year in which they enroll, documentation about their previous studies, depending on whether they have been taken in countries of the European Education Area or outside that space.

Full and up-to-date information on the enrollment procedure, including key points, is provided on the website of the Doctoral School, as well as prices, discounts and insurance, legalization and translation of documents and some others practical details.

Thesis Supervision

The procedures for the supervision of doctoral students are set in article 11 of Royal Decree 99/2011, which regulates doctoral studies. The doctoral student admitted to the program has to enrol each academic year in academic tutelage at the University of Zaragoza. The Academic Committee of the program will assign a Thesis Director and a tutor, who may or may not be the same. The Thesis Director will be the person in charge of the overall management of the doctoral student's research tasks, of the coherence and adequacy of the training activities, of the impact and novelty in his/her field of the subject of the doctoral thesis and of the guide in other projects and activities where the doctoral student is involved. The tutor is responsible for the adaptation of the training and the research activity to the principles of the program and the Doctoral School and will ensure the interaction of the doctoral student with the Academic Committee of the program, the body responsible for supervising the progress of the research and training and the authorization of the thesis presentation of each doctoral student of the program.

The supervisory functions of the doctoral students will be documented in the Doctorate Letter which, once the registration is made, will be signed by the doctoral student, its tutor and its director, the program coordinator and the director of the Doctoral School. Those interested can expand the information on the thesis supervision in the administrative headquarters of the program (see contact information in the general information of the program) or by consulting the program coordinator.

Student's Follow-up and Evaluation

The follow-up of the training process leading to the presentation of the doctoral thesis is carried out through the research plan and the doctoral student's document of activities. The research plan is presented before the end of the first year of enrolment and includes, at least, the methodology to be used and the objectives to be achieved, as well as the means and the temporal planning to achieve it. The plan may be improved and detailed later and must be endorsed by the Director and the tutor. The document of activities is the register of all the activities -research stays, courses, attendance to congresses, or others- that the doctorate carries out from his enrolment until the presentation of the doctoral thesis. Annually, the Academic Committee of the program will evaluate the follow-up of the research plan together with the document of activities. The positive evaluation will be an essential requirement to continue in the program. In the case of a negative evaluation, the doctoral student must be evaluated again within a maximum period of six months. Those interested can expand this information in the administrative headquarters of the program (see contact information in the general information of the program) or by consulting the program coordinator.

Once the thesis is concluded, the doctoral student must proceed to deposit and defend it according to the dispositions included in the thesis regulation of the University of Zaragoza (info).

Transversal Training Activities

The Doctoral School offers an annual series of voluntary activities for all doctoral students. This formation has a transversal and interdisciplinary nature. The offer is dynamic and covers the following formative aspects: communication (oral and written), access and information management, and skills for a future social and professional performance.  Information about the activities, admission and enrolment can be found in the website of the Doctoral School  (info).

Additionally, other formative activities of interest for a wide range of our doctoral students are disseminated through our web (info).

Specific Training Activities

1. Seminars for methodological and scientific discussion (mandatory)

Organized by the Academic Committee, these are compulsory seminars for all students enrolled in the program. They are organized into two seminars:

- Workshop or seminar for methodological discussion (5 hours). It is held over the first academic year for all doctoral students (FT and PT). Developed by professors, researchers andguest professionals with recognized prestige, they aim to expose doctoral students to the main research methodologies in Art History and Musicology.

- Workshop or seminar for scientific discussion (5 hours). It is held over the second academic year for FT students, and in the third year for PT students. In this activity, doctoral students give a lecture in front of their doctoral program professors and peers on the methodology used in their respective research, the challenges raised, and the initial results achieved. A dialogue and constructive discussion follows each presentation and includes both the professors and the students themselves.

2. Research training conferences, courses or seminars offered by the doctoral program’sresearch projects and groups.

Optional activities. Students must complete a minimum of 20 hours. An extensive range of activities are offered to train doctoral students in the different fields in which they carry out their research.

In addition to the courses, seminars, and conferences organized by the research projects and groups, the Department of Art History also periodically organizes the following activities:

- Pre-Doctorate Research Seminar. The History of Art from Aragon.

- The Symposia on Aragonese Art.

3. Research training conferences, courses or seminars offered outside the doctoral program. Optional activities. Students must complete a minimum of 20 hours.

4. Active participation in research training conferences courses or seminars offered both as part of the program’s research projects and groups, as well as outside it. The student can make a communication/lecture in a scientific meeting, approved by the thesis advisor. The development of the research work presented at a course or seminar will be valued at a total of 25 hours.

 5. Research at leading national and international centers. Optional activity. This research will be carried out with the approval of the advisor and must be previously authorized by the Doctoral Academic Committee. At the end of the research period, a report must be presented to the Doctoral Academic Committee, describing the activities carried out and the results obtained.


Doctoral students enrolled in doctoral programs benefit from mobility aids established in various national and international calls. The calls for the Erasmus + program stand out.

In the Erasmus + Studies mode, doctoral students can choose a wide range of destinations, since most of the agreements signed by the University of Zaragoza with other universities include places for PhD students of all branches.

In the Erasmus + Stays / Practices in companies modality, PhD students access two calls: the one from the University of Zaragoza and the one carried out by the Iberus International Campus of Excellence for the universities that comprise it, the one from Zaragoza among them.

Other mobility calls are specifically designed for Latin American students and for international stays of students with predoctoral contracts. The mobility of doctoral students of the University of Zaragoza is also encouraged with cotutela agreements signed with foreign universities.

Research Lines

  • Culture and artistic and musical heritage: reception, relationships and exchanges, collection and conservation.

Research Teams

Historia del Arte

  • Ana María Agreda Pino
  • Vicente David Almazán Tomás
  • Elena Barlés Báguena
  • María Pilar Biel Ibáñez
  • Juan José Carreras López
  • Rebeca Carretero Calvo
  • Jesús Criado Mainar
  • Cristina Giménez Navarro
  • María Carmen Gómez Urdáñez
  • Ascensión Hernández Martínez
  • Pedro Luis Hernando Sebastián
  • Javier Ibáñez Fernández
  • Natalia Juan García
  • Concepción Lomba Serrano
  • Jesús Pedro Lorente Lorente
  • Juan Carlos Lozano López
  • Amparo Martínez Herranz
  • María del Carmen Morte García
  • José Luis Pano Gracia
  • María Pilar Poblador Muga
  • Fernando Sanz Ferreruela
  • María Josefa Tarifa Castilla
  • Mónica Vázquez Astorga
  • Isabel Asunción Yeste Navarro

Academic Regulations

The Doctoral School of the University of Zaragoza has rules and procedures to achieve its various goals, which have been written with the agreement of the different levels of the Doctoral School, and are published on its website.

The regulations section of the Doctoral School website contains other important regulations, both national and of the University of Zaragoza, such as RD 99/2011 por el que se regulan las enseñanzas oficiales de doctorado, el Reglamento de los Estudios de Doctorado (2012) y el Reglamento sobre tesis doctorales (2014).

PhD Duration and Their Management Rules

Rules of duration and permanence in the doctorate are established in Instrucción de23 de mayo de 2018 de la Escuela de Doctorado relativa al acceso, admisión,dedicación y permanencia en los estudios de doctorado de la Universidad deZaragoza (R.D. 99/2011).

Full-time thesis should be complete in three years, from the date of admission to the doctoral program, although the Academic Committee of the program may authorize the extension of this period for one more year. Part-time doctoral students will have five years from their admission to the presentation of the thesis, and the Academic Committee may authorize an extension for two more years. Exceptionally, an additional year of extension can be added.

PhD candidates may request a change in dedication (full-time / part-time) as well as the temporary withdrawal for justified reasons of the Academic Committee. They can cause a definitive withdrawal and see their file closed in these cases: if the available time to deposit the thesis is exceeded or if they receive two consecutive negative evaluations of the research plan.

These processes are explained in detail on our website (info) and the doctoral students are told how to proceed in cases of temporary withdrawal (info).

Academic Calendar

The academic year is governed by the deadlines established in the specific Doctoral School´s academic calendar.

This calendar sets the periods of request for entry, admission to the programs, enrollment at the University of Zaragoza, as well as how the students must present every year the research plan and the activities document, deadlines for defending doctoral theses, etc.

The Doctoral School website publishes the calendar of the current course as well as the two previous courses (info).

Learning Resources

Our Doctoral students have a series of material resources and services available, including the following:

- Library of the University of Zaragoza (BUZ), specifically the María Moliner Humanities Library.

- Audiovisual Media Laboratory (SEMETA).

-  Laboratory at the School of Philosophy and Letters.

- Other University-related services:

. General Research Support Service (SAI).

. University of Zaragoza International Relations Departmentand Offices and Center for Researcher Mobility (EURAXESS)

. Universa.

It should be noted that the Department of Art History traditionally collaborates with other centers that support the department’sactivities and offer our students their services:

- Museum of Zaragoza.

- Pablo Gargallo Museum.

- Pablo Serrano Museum / Aragonese Institute of Contemporary Art and Culture.

- Film library of Zaragoza.

- Official College of Architects of Aragón