The Department of Art History and Archaeology at Columbia University is one of the best in the country, rated top in the NRC study of Research-Doctorate Programs in the United States. It offers the doctoral degree program in a wide range of fields from Ancient Near Eastern art and archaeology to contemporary art and critical theory: Aegean, Greek, Roman, western Medieval, Byzantine, Italian, French and British Renaissance and Baroque, eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth-century European art, and the history of photography. Students intending to study for the doctoral degree should apply directly to the Ph.D. program. There are also several independent M.A. programs, with duration of approximately two or one and a half years. (website: http://www.columbia.edu/cu/arthistory/html/dept_grad_phd.html)
The Department of Art History at New York University is rated in the Top 2 departments nationally. It offers courses in the history and criticism of the visual arts in major world cultures.
Ranking of top universities in Art History Doctoral Programs:
7. Johns Hopkins
Source: National Research Council 1995
* Suggested Reading:
Top History Graduate Programs
MA in Art History by Top Schools
World of University Ranking and League Table
In UK there are some university league tables published every year by The Times, The Independent, The Daily Telegraph, The Sunday Times and The Guardian. In Australia the Good Universities Guide rating is a very useful handbook for anyone choosing a tertiary institution. For more information please see University Ranking by Country.