College of Visual and Performing Arts – Graduate Program


Admission to graduate programs in the College of Visual and Performing Arts is a two-step process with requirements established by both the Graduate School and the school or department in which the student plans to study. The student should note carefully any particular requirements for admission established by the school or department in which he or she plans to major and contact the graduate advisor of the unit for more detailed information.


Ph.D. in Fine Arts

Faculties in the College of Visual and Performing Arts offer an interdisciplinary program leading to the Ph.D. in Fine Arts. Aims of this program comprise providing a comprehensive approach to doctoral study of the arts and of aesthetic principles, and fostering leadership in the arts for emerging and established institutions.

The program requires a minimum of 48 semester hours of graduate coursework beyond the master's degree. Students engage a core curriculum of 15 hours that emphasizes interdisciplinarity among the arts, including a colloquium that explores disciplinary formation and types of interdisciplinary engagement, arts histories, arts in a contemporary context, and one of two courses in philosophical aesthetics; additional topics courses and offerings in philosophy complete a student's core program. Thirty-three hours of coursework in the field of specialization (art, music, or theatre) and 12 hours of enrollment in dissertation constitute the remaining minimum hours required for the degree. The residence requirement for the fine arts doctoral program is fulfilled by satisfactory completion of 18 semester hours of graduate coursework during one 12-month period. Work in the field of specialization ordinarily involves required coursework along with an individualized curriculum that allows the candidate to pursue a professional goal relating to personal interests and competencies.

Each candidate will write a formal dissertation, ordinarily in the field of specialization; however, students with appropriate backgrounds may be permitted to complete interdisciplinary dissertations. The nature of the dissertation project may vary among three plans: traditional or interdisciplinary research, research devoted to solving a professional problem, or research based on an internship experience. Regardless of the project chosen, however, the research will culminate in a formal document submitted to the dean of the Graduate School.

In addition to meeting the Graduate School's minimal requirements for admission, applicants must also be approved by their major departments and by the Visual and Performing Arts Graduate Committee. All applicants for the program must have completed a master's degree or its equivalent with emphasis in some area of the arts.


Course Descriptions

Course descriptions for the college's various specializations can be found within the catalog information for each department. Those courses with a VPA prefix that are common to many disciplines within the college can be accessed by clicking on the link below.

Visual and Performing Arts (VPA)