Texas Tech University

Fine Arts PhD

The Fine Arts Doctoral Program takes applications year-round, but take into consideration the following dates:

  • January 15th for Fall with full financial consideration (applications can be sent until March 15th with available financial consideration).
  • October 15th for Spring semester application evaluations with available financial consideration.

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 graphic designer, a digital/transmedia artist, six 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

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

A complete application packet will include the following:
• Application - Graduate School Portal
• Official transcripts of all previous college-level study
• Official G.R.E. score report
• Recommenders' contact information
• Current resume
• A scholarly writing sample (10-30 pages of academic writing)
• Art portfolio (optional)
• Statement of intent for graduate studies
• 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 your application.


Fine Arts 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
Brian Steele, Ph.D.,
Associate Professor
Lesley Wolff, Ph.D., Assistant Professor

Art Appreciation
Maia Toteva, Ph.D., Assistant Professor

Graphic Design
Francisco Ortega, Ph.D.,
Associate Professor

Interdisciplinary Arts in the Talkington College of Visual & Performing Arts
Heather Warren-Crow, Ph.D., Associate Professor

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