Important Information


The application deadline is December 1st.
Admission is for fall quarter of the following academic year only.

The full application packet consists of:

1. the electronic application 
2. a minimum of 3 letters of recommendation (electronic submission preferred)
3. one official original transcript from each post-secondary institution attended (paper)
4. a writing sample (email submission to

December 1st

GRE scores must also be sent to UCI by December 1st. 
The correct institution code for GRE score reporting is 4859.

Eligibility and Overview

Applicants should follow and meet all eligibility requirements as stated by the UC Irvine Graduate Division

Applicants for admission must hold a Bachelor's degree or its equivalent from an accredited institution of higher

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learning. While many of our applicants majored in Art History or Film Studies as undergraduates, we have also admitted students with majors ranging from Studio Art to Economics. In short, we are interested in students with a rich educational background, who have demonstrated an engagement with issues of vision and visuality as cultural processes. 

We also entertain applications from students holding Master's degrees, again from a variety of disciplines. When the application dossiers are evaluated, the faculty will consider the relevance of the Master's degree to the student's proposed course of study at UC Irvine. 

Students seeking to transfer out of a current graduate program into Visual Studies must follow the same application process as any only applicant. There is no transfer process. 

The Program in Visual Studies only admits students who intend to complete the Ph.D. through our program at UC Irvine.
Students seeking a terminal Master's degree should not apply.

What does the application require and how do I submit it? 

Applicants should fill out the online application through the UC Irvine Graduate Division and follow all application requirements.

Beyond the requirements of the university's application, the Program in Visual Studies expects all applicants to supply us with a sample of academic writing. For applicants who hold the B.A., this sample typically will take the form of a polished undergraduate research paper or senior thesis; for those with an M.A., a copy of the Master's thesis is expected.

Please submit the writing sample as a PDF document by email attachment to vsadmissions@uci.eduName the file as follows: LastName_FirstName_Sample.pdf. Were Peter Anteater submitting a writing sample, his file would be named Anteater_Peter_Sample.pdf. You will receive an email acknowledgment that your writing sample was received. We will contact you if there are any issues with the file.

Please note: The email address is used exclusively for submission of the writing sample; please address any questions about admissions to

Please send all paper application materials to the address at the bottom of this page (in the footer section).