Housed in the Department of Art and Art History, the Program in Visual and Cultural Studies offers an interdisciplinary doctoral degree drawing on coursework and faculty expertise in several University of Rochester humanities departments.
Because the primary faculty work in Art and Art History, Film Studies, Modern Languages and Cultures, and Anthropology, students are able to relate literary and cultural theory to visual culture, and to investigate the connections between cultural productions, critical theory, and society. Students may also take courses in such departments as History, English, Music, and Philosophy.
Students pursuing a doctoral degree are required to fulfill ninety credit hours of study, including sixty credit hours of coursework (normally fifteen classes) and thirty credit hours in Ph.D. research.
Coursework is composed of:
Coursework will normally require five semesters of study. Students are required to take a language examination, usually in a language that will be relevant to their research, and it must be successfully completed before the Qualifying Examination.
After completing the ninety credit hours of study, students take the Qualifying Examination. Under the supervision of a faculty committee (two from the VCS Program and at least one from outside the Program), students prepare for their Qualifying Examination.
The student then meets with the faculty committee to discuss the dissertation project, their previous coursework, and general reading. Following the completion of the examination, the student presents his or her work to the other graduate students in a special seminar.
Students work closely with their advisor and other committee members on the research and writing of their dissertations, submitting draft chapters regularly in order to get feedback and suggestions. Work on the dissertation may take two or more years after the completion of the examination, depending on whether the student can work full-time on it or not.
Each university in the Unites States of America sets its own admission standards so there isn't the same criteria for all the students and the university can decide which applicants meet those standards. The fee for each application is between $35 to $100.
After the selections of the universities you want to attend, the best of all would be to contact each university for an application form and more admission information for the international students. Moreover, for a graduate or postgraduate program it's necessary to verify the admission requirements. Some programs require that you send your application directly to their department.
Admissions decisions are based on students's academic record and different test scores, such as TOEFL, the SAT or ACT (for undergraduate programs) and GRE or GMAT (for graduate programs). Admission decision is based on your academic results and motivation.
Tuition scholarships are offered to most doctoral candidates, for their coursework and research credits. In addition, the Visual and Cultural Studies Program awards teaching and research assistantships to all students in the Program for their first four years of study. (The current stipend is $18,000 per annum per student.)
There are also certain University fellowships for which students may be nominated. The University awards Sproull Fellowships and Provost's Fellowships on a competitive basis, for up to two years. The Susan B. Anthony Institute for Gender and Women's Studies offers small research and travel grants to graduate students working in the area of women's studies.
The University can also nominate students for awards and fellowships, including the Samuel H. Kress Fellowship, administered by the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC.