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PhD Procedures & Policies
POLICIES AND PROCEDURES
Field of Specialization
During the first year of study, each student must declare an area of major concentration in consultation with his or her faculty advisor. At present, the major concentration may be selected from the following: Ancient Art; Art Practice; Medieval Art; Renaissance Art; Early Modern Art; Modern Art (19th and 20th centuries); Contemporary Art; Media Studies; Non-western Art. A student may also choose, in consultation with his or her advisor and the director of the graduate program, a field of emphasis that cuts across the areas within the Department (e.g., Art or Media Theory and Criticism) or, with appropriate approvals, one that involves another department (e.g., Early Modern Art History and History). Once the field of emphasis is established, it will be the responsibility of the student and his or her advisor to devise a program of courses, independent study and outside reading, over and above the required program, that will ensure that the student will attain command of the major field of emphasis.
Unit and Distribution Requirements
A normal full-time program consists of 12 units (usually one course equals 4 units) per quarter. Prior to the qualifying examination, students will be expected to complete a total of 21 four-unit courses (normally accomplished in seven to nine quarters). This 21-course requirement will normally be satisfied by a combination of seminars, independent study, and apprentice teaching (TAship). No more than three may be apprentice teaching or TAships used as coursework (VIS500); no more than two may be reading courses; and no more than two may be graduate seminars in art practice or theory/practice. By reading course, we mean an upper-division undergraduate course which a student takes with additional reading and writing requirements. Graduate seminars in Art History, Theory, Criticism should comprise the bulk of a students 21-course requirement. Readerships are employment opportunities that do not count towards the unit requirements.
All students in both the Ph.D. and M.F.A. programs are required to take VIS200, Introduction to Graduate Studies in Visual Art, in their first quarter of study. This seminar will comprise ten presentations by visiting artist/scholar/critics and by our permanent faculty. Along with regular attendance, readings by or on the speakers and written assignments based on presentations, readings, and discussion will be the means of assessment. Readings will accompany each lecture. All first-year Ph.D. students are also required to take VIS204, Re-Thinking Art History, a seminar in art historical methodology, in Fall quarter of the first year. Students must also take, at some point, one seminar from the Theory/Practice group (VIS210 - VIS219). One four-unit apprentice teaching course is also required.
In order to ensure that students attain a reasonable measure of historical and cultural breadth, all students are required to take one seminar from at least four of the following areas:
Foreign Language Requirements
Students will be required to demonstrate reading knowledge of at least two of the foreign languages required for advanced study in art history, theory, and criticism. Competence in at least one should be indicated at the time of application to the program. In some cases, more than two foreign languages may be required. The student and his or her advisor will jointly determine the examination languages.
Foreign language requirements will normally be satisfied by passing examinations requiring sight translation of texts in art history, theory, and criticism. No student who has not passed one such examination will be admitted to second-year study, and no student who has not passed two will be admitted to third-year study.
Notes: Since competency in other languages is a vital tool not only for future dissertation research but for on-going work in seminars, both first-year and second-year language examinations are scheduled soon after the beginning of Fall quarter. All students, no matter what their language backgrounds, or whether tests or course work have been passed for other programs, will be required to take these examinations.
The format of the examinations is as follows: two short texts are chosen of 2 to 4 pages each, one less difficult to be translated into English without a dictionary, one more difficult to be translated with a dictionary. No CD-rom dictionaries are to be used; only printed volumes (provided by the student or the department). Thirty minutes is allowed for the less difficult excerpt and forty-five minutes for the more difficult excerpt (total test time: 1 hour, 15 minutes). The test is to be handwritten. Exams are corrected by the faculty member administering the test. If adequate reading knowledge is not demonstrated, individual advisors will review with the student the steps necessary to master the language and a new exam will be scheduled within a reasonable amount of time.
Reading competency must be demonstrated in the two languages most necessary for the students research (for example, Italian or French and Latin for the Middle Ages, French and Chinese and/or Japanese for East Asian studies, Spanish and Maya dialects for Pre-Columbian, Spanish and possibly Portuguese for contemporary Latin American studies, etc.)" Individual arrangements for determination of competency will be made for those languages that cannot be tested by department faculty.
No later than the first quarter of the third year, the student, in consultation with his or her advisor, will form a qualifying examination committee of five consisting of at least four members drawn from the Ph.D. faculty and at least one drawn from another department. This committee will conduct the qualifying examination required by university policy and oversee completion of the dissertation. The qualifying examination will consist of a three-hour written examination, followed within the next two days by a two-hour oral examination, in the student's major field. Both examinations will be held no later than the end of the third year. Upon successful completion of these examinations, the student will be advanced to candidacy. Normally, advancement to candidacy will take place in two and one-half to three years.
Notes: The qualifying exam will consist of a three-hour written portion (on site) with a choice of questions on the "general field" (defined below), followed within two days by a two-hour oral exam on the "special field" (defined below) to include questions on theory and methodology appropriate to the special field, plus an additional one-hour discussion of the dissertation proposal (a brief description of the project plus a selected bibliography to be submitted to the committee two weeks in advance of the exam). The constitution of reading lists and specific study topics are left up to individual advisors.
The determination of the general and special fields is to be worked out between the student, the individual advisor and the committee. The general field should normally conform to the fields designated in the description of the program, i.e. Ancient; Medieval; Renaissance; Early Modern (late 16th-18th centuries); Modern (19th-20th centuries); Contemporary; Media studies; Non-western; or with approval, the general field might be a combined or interdisciplinary field, for example: Renaissance/Early Modern; Modern/Contemporary; Contemporary/Media or Early Modern Art History and History. The special field should be more narrowly defined according to a media, a region, and/or an important but more specific time frame within the general field (but not so narrow as to be restricted to the immediate background of the dissertation topic). Examples of the special field might be thought of as more defined teaching specialties for upper-division surveys (i.e. 17th-century Dutch painting, the Northern Renaissance, 20th-century Latin-American photography, French painting 1500-1800) or broad topics (i.e. feminist art/theory from 1800 to the present; the early history of photography and film; ritual and performance in Meso-America, etc.).
According to university regulations, the qualifying exam committee of five (same as for the dissertation committee unless a change is officially requested) consists of at least three members of the Art History faculty plus at least one faculty member in another department (who must be tenured). The fifth committee member can be another Art History faculty member or another faculty member from outside the department. Committee members from other universities are allowed. Normally the off-campus person would constitute a sixth member. In exceptional cases they can replace the fifth member (with permission from OGSR). See the graduate catalogue for regulations on when the committee must be formally established and names submitted to OGSR.
A student who fails either the written or the oral examination may petition the committee and graduate program director to repeat the examination. Any student who fails a second time will not be advanced to candidacy. In some cases, the committee and graduate program director may judge such students eligible to receive a terminal M.A. (see below).
Following successful completion of the qualifying examinations, the student will complete a doctoral dissertation in his or her field of emphasis. Upon selection of the dissertation topic, a colloquium will be held for which the student will submit a written prospectus that presents the topic and program of research for discussion by the graduate group and for approval by his or her committee. After the committee has reviewed the finished dissertation, the student will defend his or her thesis orally. In exceptional cases, the thesis defense may be waived by unanimous agreement of the committee members and the Director of the Graduate Program.
Notes: The dissertation colloquium will be held each year in Winter quarter prior to the qualifying examinations. All third-year students will present a brief introduction to their research project. Members of dissertation committees as well as all graduate students and faculty are invited to attend the colloquium to discuss the project and as an aid in the preparation of the written description and bibliography to be submitted for the qualifying examination. Consult the catalogue and OGSR for specific university policies and requirements regarding the submission of the dissertation.
UCSD Visual Arts Department Ph.D. Program in Art History, Theory and Criticism Doctoral Dissertation Defense Policy
The deadlines for filing dissertations and theses is on the Friday before the last day of Fall and Winter quarters, and one week earlier for Spring quarter. Students seeking to meet this deadline must have a preliminary appointment for a formatting check prior to their final appointment and submission of the dissertation with OGS and Giesel Library.