Texas Tech University

TTU Double-T

School of Art
Fine Arts Doctoral Program (Art)

Fine Arts Doctoral Program (Art)

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.

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.

Students conduct interdisciplinary research integrating methodologies from a home discipline related to Art with methodologies from disciplines of Music, Theatre, and Dance housed at other Schools 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,
  • scholars who want to intervene in their home discipline by proposing novel ways of conducting research,
  • curators and cultural practitioners who want to do community-engaged projects, and
  • educators who want to rethink inquiry and develop meaningful practices organized around art and images that transform engagement through interdisciplinary initiatives.




Interested candidates applying for admission to the Fine Arts Doctoral Program for Fall 2023 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 2024-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


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.


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.





Student Success



Class of 2012

Sara Peso White


Class of 2015

Bryan Wheeler, dissertation: “Painting ‘Section' or Painting Texas: Negotiating Modernity and Identity in the Texas New Deal Post Office Murals.” Lecturer in the School of Art and College of Media and Communication.


Class of 2016

Yuan-Ta Hsu

Lina Kattan, dissertation: “Conflicted Living Beings: The Performative Aspect of Female Bodies' Representations in Saudi Painting and Photography.” Associate Professor of Visual and Performing Arts, University of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.


Class of 2017

Norah Alqabba, dissertation: “Globalization and the Role of the Sharjah Biennale in the Transformation of Saudi Contemporary Sculpture”


Class of 2019

Kimberly Jones, dissertation: “Women in Contemporary Israeli Cinema”

Katharine Scherff, dissertation: “The Virtual Liturgy: An Examination of Medieval and Early Modern Ritual Objects as Media Technology.” Full-time Lecturer at TTU, Art History and Global Art Program, Affiliated Faculty Medieval and Renaissance Studies Center.

Jared Stanley, dissertation: “Working Through Grief: Continuing Bonds in the New Golden Age of American Television.” Division Chair, Division of Art and Design, School of Fine Arts and Communication, Bob Jones University.


Class of 2020 

Niloofar Gholamrezaei, dissertation: “Photographic Images, Distanced Realism, and the State of Being Modern in the Works of Mohammad Ghaffari and Otto Dix.” Assistant Professor of Visual Arts and General Education, Regis College.


Class of 2021

Ahmad Rafiei, dissertation: “Objects in Motion: Global Interactions and Cross-Cultural Exchange from Safavid to Twentieth-Century Iran.” Curatorial Fellow, Toledo Museum of Art, 2021-2024.

Sylvia Weintraub, dissertation: “Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Online: Why Making Matters on Pinterest.”

Assistant Professor of Art Education in the department of Visual and Theatre Arts at the University of Tennessee at Martin.


Class of 2022

Corina Carmona, dissertation: “Re-membering a Coyolxauhqui Pedagogy: Creative and Cultural Praxis at the Intersection of Ethnic Studies and Fine Art”

Deepika Dhiman, dissertation: “Using Autoethnography and Visual Storytelling to Examine How Identity is Informed by Social Normative Behavior in India and the United States”


Class of 2023

Kathryn Kelley: “Creatives Engage with Spontaneous Self-Affirmation as a Part of Their Writing Practices”