Texas Tech University

Fine Arts PhD

January 15th for Fall with full financial consideration
October 15th for Spring semester

About the Program:

Texas Tech University's Fine Arts Doctoral Program is a unique interdisciplinary degree administered through the J.T. & Margaret Talkington College of Visual & Performing Arts. The ART specialization with a concentration in Critical Studies and Artistic Practice recognizes that the arts in the 21st century often involve questions, problems, and topics that are too broad or complex to be addressed adequately by a single discipline. Our program seeks to deal with this complexity by drawing on multiple disciplines in an effort to integrate their insights and develop more comprehensive understandings within the arts. To that end, TTU's program is not a doctorate in studio, art education, or art history alone. Instead, students create an individualized combination of coursework within the arts and beyond as relevant to their dissertation projects.

The degree requires a minimum of 60 hours beyond a (30-hour) master's. This includes 12 hours of dissertation research and writing. All students must take a 15-hour Fine Arts Core that provides interdisciplinary research methods and historical approaches to the arts, as well as a consideration of contemporary issues that confront the Visual Arts, Music, and Theater. Beyond these required courses, focused coursework is available in art history, art education, arts administration, critical studies, popular culture, arts and technology, philosophical aesthetics, transmedia, and with permission of the instructor, studio arts. Furthermore, students may take advantage of the broad range of offerings available in Texas Tech's other graduate programs, such as Anthropology, Literature, Museum Law, Museum Studies, Music, Theater, Architecture, Landscape, and Business Administration, as they work toward integrating insights from various disciplines in the creation of interdisciplinary dissertation projects. The curriculum is designed to accommodate students' interdisciplinary interests and to prepare them to engage critically and imaginatively with a complex and changing world. To view examples of interdisciplinary dissertation projects, see Graduates of the Fine Arts Doctoral Program.

The School of Art doctoral faculty is composed of two faculty with interdisciplinary degrees, a communication designer, a digital/transmedia artist, seven art historians, and four art educators, all of whom have crossed disciplinary boundaries in research and creative activities.

Entrance Qualifications

For acceptance into the doctoral program, the applicant must have completed a master's degree, or its equivalent, with emphasis in some area of the visual arts. Every effort is made to select candidates who show strong scholarship and professional competence. Art doctoral faculty will evaluate each applicant's professional goals and any evidence of progress toward these goals; a personal interview is recommended. Applicants who have not taken at least 15 hours of art histories, art criticism, art education, art leadership, and/or visual culture courses at the college level, and performed well, may be required to meet the minimum as "leveling" courses, which will not count toward the 60-hour minimum in the doctoral degree plan.

How to apply

Applying for admission to the Fine Arts Doctoral Program is a two-part process. SlideRoom facilitates the School of Art part. Texas Tech University Graduate Admissions also plays a part; visit Graduate School - How to Apply to learn more about those requirements.

A complete Graduate School application will include the following:

  • Application (completed via Graduate School - How to Apply).
  • Official transcript(s), sent directly from institution(s)
  • Official G.R.E. score report  
  • Fee ($60 for domestic applications)

A complete School of Art application will include the following:

  • School of Art application. 
  • Transcripts of all previous college-level study
  • Official G.R.E. score report
  • A required Slideroom fee ($10.00)
  • 3 letters of recommendation
  • Current resume
  • A scholarly writing sample (10-30 pages of academic writing)
  • Statement of intent for graduate studies:
    • Elaborate on your academic interests and goals specific to the program of study you wish to pursue.
    • Briefly describe the aspects of your background relevant to your interest in applying to this program. This might include your undergraduate studies, and any other graduate study or relevant professional work if applicable.
    • Why does this program at Texas Tech interest you and how did you hear about it?
    • How do you hope to utilize your degree after graduation?
    • The Fine Arts Doctoral Program offers a unique interdisciplinary education in Art, Music, Theatre, and Philosophy, and provides a comprehensive approach to doctoral study of the arts and of aesthetic principles. Describe your interest in the interdisciplinary core of our doctoral program. See: Fine Arts Core

Ph.D. Handbook

Current Doctoral Students:

Ph.D. Coordinator: Francisco Ortega Ph.D.