Admissions Requirements

I was looking for an opportunity to do a PhD. I found IDSVA and it sounded so fascinating,

it made me realize that this could be an opportunity to expand my field from art history,

looking beyond the boundaries. I am so grateful for this opportunity because
it has changed
my life completely, not just the way I look at objects of art, 
but many aspects of life.

~ Conny Bogaard, 4th year student


Applicants must hold an MFA, M.Arch., or a master’s level degree in a related field. Criteria for evaluation will include undergraduate and graduate transcripts from accredited institutions of higher learning. The minimum grade point average in both cases is 3.0. A working knowledge of art history, critical theory, and philosophy should be demonstrated in the graduate transcripts. Applicants should submit an essay of purpose outlining a particular interest in doctoral studies in the visual arts and stating in specific and well-exemplified terms the problems and questions to be addressed while working toward the PhD. An additional writing sample is required. An academic paper written for course work or publication will suffice, and informal essays are acceptable. Applicants should provide three letters of recommendation, at least two of which should come from faculty who can support the applicant’s ability to perform PhD level scholarship. A curriculum vitae should be submitted. For those applying who hold an MFA, the third recommendation may address the applicant’s studio practice in terms of philosophical significance and promise.

Additionally, candidates who hold the MFA are asked to submit a studio portfolio. The admissions committee will consider the portfolio as a means of contextualizing the application and not as a determining factor in the admissions process. The portfolio should consist of a CD with 20 high-resolution images saved in jpeg format and an artist statement of no more than 500 words.

Because of the unique design of this PhD program, credit from previous graduate level work is not transferable and credit is not given for experience. When the application file is complete, an Admissions interview (by telephone) will be scheduled.

Accepted applicants admitted into a particular enrollment may defer admission to a later enrollment without penalty. If, however, admission is delayed for more than one year beyond the initial acceptance, the accepted applicant is required to reapply; readmission is not guaranteed.

Under current U.S. Federal Law, IDSVA cannot provide Visa support to applicants who are non-U.S. citizens.

IDSVA is committed to basing judgments concerning the admission, education, and employment of individuals upon their qualifications and abilities and affirmatively seeks to attract to its faculty, staff and student body qualified persons of diverse backgrounds. In accordance with this policy and as delineated by federal and Maine law, IDSVA does not discriminate in admissions, educational programs, or employment against any individual on account of that individual’s sex, race, color, religion, age, handicap or national or ethnic origin; nor does IDSVA discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation.

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