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The PhD program in Visual Studies is a small program for motivated, independently-minded scholars invested in critical discourses that analyze and challenge the social norm.
This program offers a study of visual culture with a particular emphasis on the late 19th, 20th and 21st centuries integrating art history, histories of the image, and critical theory with alternative perspectives rooted in sexuality studies and gender. Students can take courses in any department or program at UB for credit. This course of study is research focused in consultation with advisers. There are only a few required courses—an introduction to visual studies/critical theory and another course that analyze art in the context of social change.
Graduates of the program will be well prepared to work in a range of related disciplines including art history, studio art, performance studies, American studies, curatorial/museum work, critical theory, art writing.
72 credit hours total. If entering with an MA or MFA, must complete an additional 40 credit hours. Only one or two courses of prior coursework will be accepted with approval by the program director.
A minimum of 12 hours must be comprised of VS 695 Advanced Research and VS 700 Dissertation Guidance. The remaining 6 credits may be dissertation guidance or approved electives.