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Ph.D. Art Education

The Doctor of Philosophy in Art Education provides art educators the opportunity to continue their studies in the field to a terminal degree, preparing them to become researchers and theorists for possible careers at colleges and universities as scholars and teachers as well as leadership positions in all aspects of visual arts education.

The Ph.D. is a 60-semester-hour-program beyond the master’s degree emphasizing rigorous research, theory and philosophical development, and applications of new knowledge in the visual arts and education. The degree enables graduates to contribute substantial knowledge, exhibit original scholarship, and conduct independent research concerning teaching and learning in the fine arts and other forms of visual culture.

The course of study incorporates nine semester hours of research methodology; 12-15 semester hours of cognate courses that address various aspects of child, adolescent, and adult learning in and through visual culture in a variety of contexts; and 15 semester hours of core courses in policy studies and administration of art and design programs, research and theory in art-based educational programs, critical theories addressing art in institutional and other cultural contexts, and study of philosophies of art and aesthetics.

Doctoral coursework culminates in a dissertation of original research, guided by a faculty committee, one of whom serves as dissertation director. A candidacy exam is mandated for continuance in the program, and an oral defense of the dissertation and related material must be passed before the degree is granted. Prior to the completion of the Ph.D. degree, graduate students must pass a qualifying examination at the end of their coursework, have their dissertation proposal approved by their committee, complete their dissertation research and writing, and pass a final oral examination. The qualifying exam, administered by the student’s committee, draws on the content of the coursework the student has taken and is evaluated based on the extent to which the response addresses the questions, the conciseness and clarity of written expression, the organization and coherence of the response, and evidence of the application of concepts and methodologies taught in university courses.