Texas Tech University

Fine Arts Doctoral Program (Art)


About the Program:

The art track of the Fine Arts Doctoral Program centers on art praxis, which we define as theoretically-informed action aimed at creating change in academic, social, and community contexts. We have chosen the word "praxis" instead of "practice" to signal a different relationship to theory than assumed by the theory-practice binary, and to indicate a fundamental difference between MFA programs in studio practice and the PhD. For Aristotle, praxis meant an action that is valuable in itself, as opposed to that which leads to creation, and for scholars of modernity from Marx to Lefebvre, praxis was, and remains, infused with an ethical and political imperative, and designated a more grounded and intentional mode of social and political transformation.

Students conduct interdisciplinary research integrating methodologies from a home discipline related to art (from the list supported by faculty expertise) with methodologies from disciplines housed elsewhere in the J.T. & Margaret Talkington College of Visual and Performing Arts or the university at large. Such interdisciplinarity is not simply additive, but transformative, blurring the chosen disciplines and even fundamentally altering them.

This program is for studio artists who want to transform their approach to making into a methodology for research; for scholars who want to intervene in their home discipline by proposing novel ways of conducting research; for curators and cultural practitioners who want to do community-engaged projects; and for educators who want to rethink inquiry and develop meaningful practices organized around art and images that transform engagement through interdisciplinary initiatives.

The art track is part of a College-wide Fine Arts Doctoral Program, which includes students focusing on music, theatre, dance, and visual art. All areas of the Fine Arts Doctoral Program require a series of core courses that bring together students from across the College for innovative interdisciplinary and collaborative inquiry. These core courses support the art area's commitment to blurring disciplinary boundaries through original modes of investigation.

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.  Applicants who have not taken at least 15 hours of art history, art criticism, art education, arts administration, aesthetics, and/or visual culture courses at the college level may be required to meet the 15-hour minimum in the form of leveling courses taken here at TTU, which will not count toward the 60-hour minimum in the doctoral degree plan.

How to apply

Interested candidates applying for admission to the Fine Arts Doctoral Program for Fall 2020 can do so through the Texas Tech University Graduate School portal.

A complete application - via the Graduate School application portal - will include the following:

• Official transcripts of all previous college-level study
• Official G.R.E. score report (The GRE score requirement has been waived for Fall 2022-entering applicants)
• 3 letters of recommendation
• Current resumé or curriculum vitae
• A scholarly writing sample (10-30 pages of academic writing)
• Art portfolio (optional)
• Statement of intent (800 words maximum; see tips on writing statements of intent). Please indicate in your statement the faculty members in the FADP(Art) program (see below) with whom you would like to work.
• For international students: passport and additional documents that prove your eligibility to study in the United States
• Registration fee

Please contact Dr. Kevin Chua at kevin.chua@ttu.edu for all questions regarding the application, as well as inquiries regarding the program.

While the Fine Arts Doctoral Program (Art) takes applications year-round, please take into consideration the following dates:

  • JANUARY 15th for Fall semester entry, with full financial consideration.
  • OCTOBER 15th for Spring semester entry, with available/limited financial consideration.


Fine Arts Doctoral Program Coordinator
Kevin Chua, Ph.D.,
Associate Professor

Art History
Kevin Chua, Ph.D.,
Associate Professor
Janis Elliott, Ph.D.,
Associate Professor
Jorgelina Orfila, Ph.D.,
Associate Professor
Lesley Wolff, Ph.D., Assistant Professor

Interdisciplinary Arts
Heather Warren-Crow, Ph.D., Associate Professor

Art Education
Rina Little, Ph.D., Associate Professor
Andrés Peralta, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Maia Toteva, Ph.D., Assistant Professor