Art History (Visual Arts)

Art History, Theory and Criticism (VA76)

The Department of Visual Arts offers a PhD in art history, theory, and criticism with specializations in any of the cultural areas in which faculty do research (VA76) and also a PhD in art history, theory, and criticism with a concentration in art practice, for artists whose work engages in art historical and cultural research (VA77). Offering a distinct alternative to other PhD programs in art history, our program centers on a unique curriculum that treats the study of art past and present—including fine art, media and new media, design and popular culture as part of a broad inquiry into the practices, objects, and discourses that constitute the art world, even as it encourages examination of the larger frameworks—historical, cultural, social, intellectual, and theoretical—within which the category “art” has been contextualized in the most recent developments in the discipline.

This program is also distinctive in that it is housed within a department that has been for many years one of the nation’s leading centers of art practice and graduate education in studio, media, and—most recently—digital media. The offering of the PhD and MFA is based on the department’s foundational premise that the production of art and the critical, theoretical, and historical reflection upon it inherently and necessarily participate in a single discursive community. This close integration of art history and art practice is reflected in the inclusion of a concentration in art practice within the PhD in art history, theory, and criticism.

Program Info

Area of Study Division of Arts and Humanities
Specializations

Anthropogeny
Critical Gender Studies
Interdisciolinary Environmental Research

Department Art History (Visual Arts)
Major Art History, Theory and Criticism
Degree Doctor of Philosophy
Admissions Terms Fall
Additional Notes


  • All application materials must be submitted online. We do not accept hard copies of materials.
  • Application Deadlines December 2, 2020 (Fall 2021)
     

    Basic Requirement

    Admissions Tests
    The GRE has been temporariy suspended for the FA2021 admissions cycle.
    English Proficiency Exams

    (international applicants only)

    A test of English language proficiency is required for international applicants whose native language is not English and who have not studied full-time for one uninterrupted academic year at a university-level institution in which English is the language of instruction and in a country where English is a dominant language.

    The following test(s) are accepted by this department:

    TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language)
    IELTS (International English Language Testing System)
    PTE (Pearson Test of English)

    The Visual Arts Department requires TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE scores from all international applicants whose native language is not English. Please make arrangements to take the exam no later than November.

    The minnimum speaking score on each exam
    TOEFL speaking scores of 23
    IELTS speaking scores of 7
    PTE speaking scores of 65

    Request to send your scores from the TOEFL website. Our school code is 4836. The department code is 15.

    PLEASE NOTE:
    English Language Requirement for International Teaching Assistants (TA).

    International students whose native language is not English will be required to demonstrate English language proficiency before they may serve as teaching assistants.

    International graduate students who are nonnative speakers of English must be certified as having requisite language skills before they can serve as teaching assistants (TAs; UC San Diego Graduate Division policy in compliance with Assembly Concurrent Resolution No. 41).

    Evidence of English Language Proficiency: Certification as Teaching Assistant Recommended Scores

    Students may be certified either on the basis of their score on one of the following:

    • have a TOEFL iBT Speaking subscore of 30
    • have an IELTS Speaking subscore of 9.0
    • have a PTE Speaking sub-score of 90,
    • be an international graduate student who serves as a language assistant in courses conducted in their native language.

    Upon admission acceptance, those students with TOEFL speaking scores of 23 – 27, IELTS speaking scores of 7-8, or PTE speaking scores of 65-82 are required to take the English Language Certification Exam.

    Students who do not pass the English Language Certification Exam are given the opportunity to improve their language skills.
    Letters of Recommendation

    Minimum of 3 recommendations required.

    Letters of recommendation should come from individuals, preferably previous professors, who can best explain why you are prepared and would be successful in rigorous academic studies at the graduate level.

    Statement of Purpose

    Required

    Online Statement of Purpose Only. 750-1000 word limit, not to exceed 3 pages

    Resume/CV

    Recommended

    Additional Requirements

    Visual Arts Portfolio Requirements


    All applicants applying to the PhD in Art History, Theory and Criticism program must submit a Writing Sample in their Visual Arts Portfolio. The Writing Sample may be a senior honors thesis, M.A. thesis, or other research or critical paper, preferably in art or media history.

    See the following link to view instructions - https://visarts.ucsd.edu/grad/admissions.html#Portfolio-Requirements

    The Visual Arts Portfolio must be completed prior to finalizing your application in Grad Apply. We strongly suggest that you begin building your portfolio when you begin the application. "Visual Arts Department - Portfolio Submission Information" in their Grad Apply application.

    Contact Info

    Website http://visarts.ucsd.edu/grad/admissions.html
    Email vis-grad@ucsd.edu
    Campus Office Mandeville 216
    Phone (858) 822-3884
    Fax (858) 534-8651
    Mailing Address
    University of California, San Diego
    Mandeville Center
    9500 Gilman Drive, #0327
    La Jolla, CA 92093-0327

    Art History, Art Practice (VA77)

    The Department of Visual Arts offers a PhD in art history, theory, and criticism with specializations in any of the cultural areas in which faculty do research (VA76) and also a PhD in art history, theory, and criticism with a concentration in art practice, for artists whose work engages in art historical and cultural research (VA77). Offering a distinct alternative to other PhD programs in art history, our program centers on a unique curriculum that treats the study of art past and present—including fine art, media and new media, design and popular culture as part of a broad inquiry into the practices, objects, and discourses that constitute the art world, even as it encourages examination of the larger frameworks—historical, cultural, social, intellectual, and theoretical—within which the category “art” has been contextualized in the most recent developments in the discipline.

    This program is also distinctive in that it is housed within a department that has been for many years one of the nation’s leading centers of art practice and graduate education in studio, media, and—most recently—digital media. The offering of the PhD and MFA is based on the department’s foundational premise that the production of art and the critical, theoretical, and historical reflection upon it inherently and necessarily participate in a single discursive community. This close integration of art history and art practice is reflected in the inclusion of a concentration in art practice within the PhD in art history, theory, and criticism.

    Program Info

    Area of Study Division of Arts and Humanities
    Specializations

    Anthropogeny
    Critical Gender Studies
    Interdisciolinary Environmental Research

    Department Art History (Visual Arts)
    Major Art History, Art Practice
    Degree Doctor of Philosophy
    Admissions Terms Fall
    Additional Notes

    All application materials, including the Visual Arts Portfolio, must be submitted online. We do not accept hard copies of materials.

    Application Deadlines December 2, 2020 (Fall 2021)
     

    Basic Requirement

    Admissions Tests

    GRE General is required.

    The GRE has been temporariy suspended for the FA2021 admissions cycle.
    English Proficiency Exams

    (international applicants only)

    A test of English language proficiency is required for international applicants whose native language is not English and who have not studied full-time for one uninterrupted academic year at a university-level institution in which English is the language of instruction and in a country where English is a dominant language.

    The following test(s) are accepted by this department:

    TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language)
    IELTS (International English Language Testing System)
    PTE (Pearson Test of English)

    The Visual Arts Department requires TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE scores from all international applicants whose native language is not English. Please make arrangements to take the exam no later than November.

    The minnimum speaking score on each exam
    TOEFL speaking scores of 23
    IELTS speaking scores of 7
    PTE speaking scores of 65

    Request to send your scores from the TOEFL website. Our school code is 4836. The department code is 15.

    PLEASE NOTE:
    English Language Requirement for International Teaching Assistants (TA).

    International students whose native language is not English will be required to demonstrate English language proficiency before they may serve as teaching assistants.

    International graduate students who are nonnative speakers of English must be certified as having requisite language skills before they can serve as teaching assistants (TAs; UC San Diego Graduate Division policy in compliance with Assembly Concurrent Resolution No. 41).

    Evidence of English Language Proficiency: Certification as Teaching Assistant Recommended Scores

    Students may be certified either on the basis of their score on one of the following:

    • have a TOEFL iBT Speaking subscore of 30
    • have an IELTS Speaking subscore of 9.0
    • have a PTE Speaking sub-score of 90
    • be an international graduate student who serves as a language assistant in courses conducted in their native language.

    Upon admission acceptance, those students with TOEFL speaking scores of 23 – 27, IELTS speaking scores of 7-8, or PTE speaking scores of 65-82 are required to take the English Language Certification Exam.

    Students who do not pass the English Language Certification Exam are given the opportunity to improve their language skills.
    Letters of Recommendation

    Minimum of 3 recommendations required.

    Letters of recommendation should come from individuals, preferably previous professors, who can best explain why you are prepared and would be successful in rigorous academic studies at the graduate level.

    Statement of Purpose

    Required

    Online Statement of Purpose Only. 750-1000 word limit, not to exceed 3 pages.

    Resume/CV

    Recommended

    Additional Requirements

    Visual Arts Portfolio Requirements


    All applicants applying to the PhD in Art History, Theory and Criticism program, Art Practice Concentration, must complete both the standard application via Grad Apply AND in the Portfolio section submit an Artist Statement, a Writing Sample, and samples of their body of work.

    See the following link to view instructions - https://visarts.ucsd.edu/grad/admissions.html#Portfolio-Requirements

    The Artist Statement should aim to explain, justify, extend, and/or contextualize your body of work, while placing your work in relationship to art history, theory, and the contemporary world. The Artist statement will be read by the admissions committee and your peers in the program, while the Statement of Purpose is reviewed by the admissions committee only. For this reason, applicants may upload their Statement of Purpose in the Artist Statement portion of the portfolio, given it addresses the prompt.

    The writing sample may be a senior honors thesis, M.A. thesis, or other research or critical paper, preferably in art or media history.

    The samples of your artwork should best showcase your research abilities and current/recent projects. You may create your Visual Arts Portfolio in a number of different formats. Our program is cross-disciplinary and it is not unusual for an applicant to have several different artistic mediums within their portfolio. The admissions committee is interested in seeing your most accomplished, recent work, rather than a chronology of work done over the span of your career. A good gauge would be to include work you've done within the last two years.

    The Visual Arts Portfolio must be completed prior to finalizing your application in Grad Apply. We strongly suggest that you begin building your portfolio when you begin the application.

    Contact Info

    Website http://visarts.ucsd.edu/grad/admissions.html
    Email vis-grad@ucsd.edu
    Campus Office Mandeville 216
    Phone (858) 822-3884
    Fax (858) 534-8651
    Mailing Address
    University of California, San Diego
    Mandeville Center
    9500 Gilman Drive, #0327
    La Jolla, CA 92093-0327

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