The Ph.D. Program in Visual Studies, administered by the faculty of the Department of Art History, welcomes applications from students wishing to pursue doctoral work, and who seek a strong intellectual community and close mentorship. Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact faculty working in their areas of interest before applying.

A complete application includes the following materials and must be submitted by the deadline of December 15:

  • A Statement of Purpose describing your intellectual interests and reasons for seeking a PhD. Your statement should address how the Visual Studies program and faculty can support and further your academic goals and research.
  • A Personal History statement describing your educational history, accomplishments, and anticipated career path. This statement should convey the events, opportunities, challenges, and obstacles which have helped shape your academic identity and pursuit of a PhD.
  • A Writing Sample demonstrating your abilities and strengths in academic writing, research, and analysis. Your sample should be approximately twenty pages.
  • Transcripts from all institutions attended since high school, including undergraduate and graduate.
  • Three Letters of Recommendation, preferably written by faculty with whom you have worked.
  • Official TOEFL or IELTS scores from international applicants for whom English is not their first language or applicants who have earned their degree(s) at institutions for which English is not the primary language of instruction.
  • GRE scores are not required.

Helpful general application information can be found on the website of UCI’s Graduate Division here:

The application portal can be found here:

For specific questions about applying to Visual Studies, please contact us directly at