Coursework

Since this is a small Ph.D. program, the academic plans of students can be tailored to address their individual backgrounds and to enhance their specific research interests. In consultation with the Director of Visual Studies and/or their principal advisor, students will develop their programs of study.

Completing coursework requirements: 

See official Catalogue requirements: course requirements. 

*Note: For electives outside of VS to count towards course requirements they must be graduate level courses (courses numbered 200 and above). Visual Studies 298, Film and Media Studies 399 and Art History 399 do not count toward fulfilling Visual Studies required courses. Visual Studies 295 and Visual Studies 296 may be repeated for credit and count towards degree requirements, if taken with Visual Studies faculty.

  • Total of 14 courses. 
  • 10 courses required within VS (including the Core, 295's, 296's and 297). 
  • 4 additional courses either inside or outside VS.

Students admitted with an M.A. in a related field may petition the VS Graduate Committee to have some of their course requirements waived and advance early; such petitions will be considered in close consultation with the primary advisor and on a case-by-case basis (though all students must take the core sequence). Under normal circumstances, up to two courses may be waived. A maximum of four courses may be waived, in which case no more than two waived courses may count as required Visual Studies courses. The petitioned courses must be reviewed and approved first by the Visual Studies Graduate Committee and thereafter by the Graduate Division. Students wishing to waive coursework must petition by the end of the Fall quarter of their first year in the program.

 

Courses within the Visual Studies program

UCI Course Catalogue | Current Courses and Descriptions

  • Core Series (VS 290ABC): The program is built on the foundation of a three-quarter Core Series. We require all students to take the complete Core, for two purposes. First, the courses provide access to a set of readings and ideas that the faculty regards as crucial for the formation and practice of the discipline of Visual Studies. Second, we would hope that the graduate students, by working closely together in a number of classes over an extended period of time, will develop the sort of collegial relationships that will last over a lifetime of scholarship.
  • Seminar (VS 295): This is the "bread and butter" course number for elective graduate seminars offered by the program. Students can expect to enroll under the number repeatedly during their period of class work, studying with a number of different professors.
  • Directed Reading (VS 296): A student can propose to a specific professor a certain subject of study, either an in-depth research topic, or a theme for reading through a given body of scholarly literature. The student will meet with the professor regularly through the quarter and submit some paper or similar final project at the end of the term. Students should keep in mind that they must take the lead when embarking on a Directed Reading; rather than the professor presenting material to the student, the student should plan to present material to the professor for his/her comment and evaluation. The value of such Directed Readings corresponds directly to the initiative and responsibility taken by the student in organizing them. Students entering with a B.A. may also enroll in VS 296 during the fall or winter quarter of their second year for the sake of revising a previously written paper up to the length and quality expected for a Master's paper.

Courses Outside the Program in Visual Studies

*Note: For electives outside of VS to count towards course requirements they must be graduate level courses (courses numbered 200 and above). Visual Studies 298, Film and Media Studies 399 and Art History 399 do not count toward fulfilling Visual Studies required courses. Visual Studies 295 and Visual Studies 296 may be repeated for credit and count towards degree requirements, if taken with Visual Studies faculty.

  • Electives outside of VS must be graduate level courses (courses numbered 200 and above).
  • Graduate Courses offered by UCI graduate emphasis programs, such as the Critical Theory Emphasis (CTE), the Graduate Feminist Emphasis, and the Asian-American Studies Emphasis. Students interested in these emphasis programs should learn of their requirements from the offices on campus that administer them.
  • Graduate Courses in other departments. All students are strongly encouraged to explore the graduate offerings of other departments at UC Irvine, where they can benefit from the exceptional faculty mentors in a number of departments across campus.
  • A course may count both towards required Ph.D. Visual Studies coursework as well as for other external graduate emphases, as long as the student meets the overall number of required courses for the VS Ph.D. program.
  • In the case of cross-listed VS classes, students must enroll under the VS course number in order for the class to count as a VS inside elective; should students want a cross-listed VS class to count as an outside VS elective, they must take this under its non-VS course number.
  • Graduate Courses at other UC campuses. The program can arrange for its students to earn credit by taking graduate courses offered at other campuses of the University of California (and, of course, for graduate students from other campuses to earn credit for our seminars). In addition to facilitating students' programs of study, the program hopes thereby to encourage a high level of intellectual exchange among the students and faculty of the various UC campuses.
  • Note that, save in exceptional circumstances and only with the approval of both the instructor and the Director of Visual Studies, graduate students will not be allowed to take undergraduate seminars. In those rare cases where an exception is warranted, the graduate student will normally enroll in a Directed Reading (VS296) with the instructor, and treat participation in the undergraduate seminar as just one part of a larger program of study developed by the instructor and student around the specific topic of the course.