Graduate Programs in Visual and Performing Arts

The Graduate Programs in the Visual and Performing Arts (MA, PhD) foster integrated study and practice in the arts. The MA and PhD programs provide students with an interdisciplinary context in which to pursue research and practice across a wide range of creative and academic traditions and critical and theoretical approaches spanning the Visual and Performing Arts (VPAS). Students can focus their studies in film, visual art, performing arts, and art history. Student have the opportunity to enrich their practice in the performing and visual arts and to participate in seminars in disciplines outside of the VPAS such as history, philosophy, and literature.

You will find the procedure for applying to the graduate program in Visual and Performing Arts here.

Doctor of Philosophy in Visual and Performing Arts

The PhD in Visual and Performing Arts requires 60 semester credit hours (SCHs) minimum. Click here to access the degree plan template for the PhD in Visual and Performing Arts.

Coursework: 42 semester credit hours

Forty-two semester credit hours of which at least twenty-one are taken as organized graduate-level courses in Visual and Performing Arts (VPAS). At least six semester credit hours of doctoral coursework must be taken in organized courses numbered at the 7000 level.

Required Courses: 21 semester credit hours

  • VPAS 6300: Proseminar in Visual and Performing Arts (taken first fall semester of enrollment
  • ARHM 6310: Team-Taught Interdisciplinary Seminar
  • 15 semester credit hours of organized graduate-level VPAS-prefix courses (not including “Field Exam Prep”)

Elective Courses: 12 semester credit hours

Students take 12 SCHs of electives in any graduate-level courses in the School of Arts & Humanities.

Field Exam Preparation: 9 semester credit hours

  • 6 semester credit hours of VPAS 8305: Field Exam Preparation
  • 3 semester credit hours of VPAS 8305, LIT 8305, or IDEA 8305

Foreign Language

Students in all PhD programs in the School of Arts and Humanities are expected to demonstrate intermediate-level reading proficiency in a foreign language (equivalent to two years of foreign-language study at the undergraduate level). Students must fulfill the language requirement before scheduling doctoral field examinations.

As part of its approval of a dissertation proposal, the Graduate Studies Committee will consider the appropriateness of a candidate's language preparation for the research or creative project. Faculty members chairing field examinations and dissertations should ensure that students possess the necessary language proficiency to carry out their proposed doctoral research.

Click here for more information related to satisfying the language requirement.

Doctoral Field Examinations

The doctoral field examinations consist of three written sections and an oral defense. The examining committee, composed of three members of the faculty (at least two of whom are faculty in the Visual and Performing Arts Program), oversees definition and preparation of the three examination fields.

Initial committee formation must take place during the semester in which students complete thirty-six semester credit hours of coursework, which will typically be followed by nine semester credit hours of VPAS 8305: Field Exam Preparation. Exams normally should be completed before completion of 60 semester credit hours.

Dissertation

Students are formally advanced to PhD candidacy when they have successfully completed the doctoral field examinations and received final approval for dissertation topics. Students should submit a preliminary dissertation proposal for consideration during the oral section of the doctoral field examination. After that examination, a four-person supervising committee is formed, normally from the examining committee plus an additional faculty member, to oversee dissertation work. The supervising committee must then approve a formal dissertation proposal before the student submits it to the Graduate Studies Committee for final approval.

Each candidate then writes a doctoral dissertation, which is supervised and defended according to general University regulations.

Master of Arts in Visual and Performing Arts

The MA in Visual and Performing Arts requires 33 semester credit hours (SCHs) minimum. Click here to access the degree plan template for the MA in Visual and Performing Arts.

Coursework: 33 semester credit hours

Thirty-three semester credit hours of which at least eighteen semester credit hours are taken as organized graduate-level courses in Visual and Performing Arts.

Required Courses: 21 semester credit hours

  • VPAS 6300: Proseminar in Visual and Performing Arts (must be taken during the first fall semester of enrollment in the program)
  • ARHM 6310: Team-Taught Interdisciplinary Seminar
  • 15 semester credit hours of organized graduate-level VPAS-prefix courses

Elective Courses: 12 semester credit hours

12 semester credit hours of electives in any graduate-level courses offered by the School of Arts & Humanities

Professional Option

Students in the professional option must complete thirty-three semester credit hours of coursework. They are not required to complete a portfolio or meet the foreign language requirement.

Research Option

Students in the research option must complete thirty-three semester credit hours of coursework, fulfill a foreign language requirement, and complete a portfolio.

Foreign Language

Click here for more information related to satisfying the language requirement.

Portfolio

Two research papers or a creative project plus a scholarly essay originating in or completed for graduate courses are revised and presented in a portfolio for evaluation by a master's committee.