Design, Environment and the Arts (History, Theory, and Criticism), PhD

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The history, theory and criticism concentration within the PhD program in design, environment and the arts focuses on the theoretical dimensions in areas of architectural, design and art history including critical discourse in the design or art disciplines. The program offers classes and research across many cultures and time periods, geographies, and approaches and methodologies within the art history program.

At A Glance

Design, Environment and the Arts (History, Theory, and Criticism), PhD

Plan of study

The Plan of study is the required curriculum to complete this graduate level program.

View Plan of Study

Degree requirements

Required Core (6 credit hours)
EPD 700 Research Methods (3)
EPD 710 Current Research in Design (3)

Required Concentration (15 credit hours; choose five courses)
APH 515 Current lssues and Topics (3)
APH 590 Reading and Conference (3)
APH 598 Special Topics (3)
ARS 501 Methodologies and Art History (3)
ARS 506 Critical Studies in Roman Art (3)
ARS 514 Monasteries, Madonnas and Manuscripts (3)
ARS 533 The Pre-Raphaelites (3)
ARS 574 Studies in Japanese Art (3)
ARS 575 Approaches to Chinese Painting (3)
ARS 584 Internship (3)
ARS 585 Women in the Visual Arts (3)
ARS 591 Seminar (3)
ARS 598 Special Topics (3)
ARS 790 Reading and Conference (3)
EPD 790 Reading and Conference (3)

Electives or Research (21 credit hours)
EPD 792 or ARS 792 Research (12)
three 3-credit-hour courses at the 500 to 700 level as agreed upon by faculty mentor

Culminating Experience (12 credit hours)
EPD 799 or ARS 799 Dissertation (12)

Additional Curricular Requirements
A foreign language exam is required in order to show reading knowledge of two foreign languages as demonstrated by the exam administered by the School of International Letters and Cultures (or equivalent) during the program or by a "B" or better (scale is 4.00 = "A") in a reading course such as a 400- or 500-level special topics course (example: ITA 494 or FRE 598 for reading knowledge). These credits do not count toward the degree total unless taken at the 500 level or above and approved by the faculty mentor as a concentration course.

When approved by the student's supervisory committee, this program allows 30 credit hours from a previously awarded master's degree to be used for this program.

Admission requirements

Applicants must fulfill the requirements of both the Graduate College and the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts.

Applicants are eligible to apply to the program if they have earned a master's degree, in any field, from a regionally accredited institution. Examples of appropriate fields include art history, architectural history, design history or fields in the humanities, such as history or literature; archaeology and anthropology may also be considered. Students without graduate experience in the history of art, history of architecture and history of design may be asked to fulfill deficiencies.

Applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in the last 60 hours of their first bachelor's degree program, or applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in an applicable master's degree program.

All applicants must submit:

  1. graduate admission application and application fee
  2. official transcripts
  3. GRE scores
  4. abstract of proposed research
  5. personal statement
  6. letters of recommendation
  7. proof of English proficiency

Additional Application Information
An applicant whose native language is not English must provide proof of English proficiency regardless of current residency.

Applicants must submit to Slideroom ( a personal statement, abstract of proposed research, and contact information for three references. It is required that these be submitted in addition to the Graduate College application requirements.

This program is not accepting new students at this time.