Special Term Course

The Yale Center for British Art offers an annual two-semester, two-credit Undergraduate Special Term Course. The course is designed to enable a student to undertake a focused research project on British visual and material culture in conjunction with a major exhibition at the Center. The student’s project will form part of the intellectual preparation for the associated exhibition; thus the course will allow the student both to develop high-level research skills and to experience firsthand the intellectual and logistical processes involved in the creation of a major exhibition and its associated scholarly programming.


The course of study includes research trips in North America and abroad. The trips are funded by the Center and coordinated with the course instructor. In most cases, field trips are scheduled in the fall and spring recess periods. Funding for Special Term Course travel is generously provided by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.


Sophomores and juniors majoring in any subject may apply. Though the course will be for two semesters, the student’s first semester work must be satisfactory in order to proceed to the second. The course is Cr/Year only.

Please consult the information sheet for the Special Term Course offering for academic year 2014–15. The application deadline is January 31, 2014.

Past Special Term Course Offerings

The course for the academic year 2011–12 focused on an exhibition planned in conjunction with a major UK-based project, “Representing Re-Formation: Reconstructing Renaissance Monuments,” funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. This interdisciplinary project was developed by space scientists, historians, art historians, archaeologists, and museologists at English Heritage and the universities of Leicester, Oxford, and Yale. It focused on a group of Renaissance tomb monuments at St. Michael’s Church in Framlingham, Suffolk. The tombs, which belong to the Howard Dukes of Norfolk, were moved to Framlingham from Thetford Priory in Norfolk, but how their construction may have changed upon the move from Thetford was the issue examined. They were analyzed along with sculptural and architectural fragments excavated from the ruins of the priory in 1934. The instructor was Lisa Ford, Associate Head of Research at the Center, and a member of the project research team. The Special Term Course student for 2011–12 was Lingyuxiu Zhong (BA 2012).