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Language Exams (PHD)

First Year Review (MFA)

This review takes place in the third quarter in residence. Students make a formal presentation of their work in a campus gallery to a faculty committee; this includes a position paper and an oral examination. This presentation is considered a departmental examination, and if at its conclusion the student’s work is judged to be inadequate, the student may be dismissed regardless of GPA, or may be reviewed again in the fourth quarter.


  1. Student books gallery space in appropriate quarter and week as randomly selected during orientation.
  2. Student works with their provisional advisor to form committee in accordance with campus policy.
  3. Student submits committee constitution form to by Monday of Week 5 in Winter quarter.
  4. Student and advisor work with committee to book a time for oral exam of approximately 2 hours and copy with date/time when confirmed.
  5. Position paper is circulated to the committee at least 7 days prior to the meeting date.
  6. Student brings First Year review form to meeting and committee attendees sign.
  7. If the student passes the exam, they email the form to the Graduate Coordinator at 
  8. If there are concerns regarding the progress of the work, the committee chair notes concerns on form with plan for next steps and emails the Graduate Coordinator and MFA Faculty Coordinator.

Master's Committee Appointment (MFA/MA)

MFA Committee

A master's thesis committee consists of four faculty members.  Three Department of Visual Arts faculty members and one faculty member from another department.

See the Membership Table for allowable faculty titles for each role on the committee.

PHD Committee Appointment

PHD Committee

A doctoral committee conducts the qualifying examination, supervises the preparation of the dissertation, passes the dissertation, and administers the final defense. An advancement exam or defense must not be scheduled unless the Graduate Division has approved the student's committee. Students are advised to consult the department graduate coordinator at least six weeks prior to the exam.

The following policy is a general one for all doctoral students at UC San Diego. A department may have more specific requirements for appointments and the department chair has final departmental authority to recommend a committee.

A Doctoral Committee of five or more members shall be appointed by the Dean of Graduate Studies under the authority of the Graduate Council. At least five of the committee members shall be officers of instruction and no fewer than four shall hold professorial titles (of any rank). The committee members shall be chosen from at least two departments, and at least two members shall represent academic specialties that differ from the student’s chosen specialty. In all cases, each committee must include one tenured or emeritus UCSD faculty member from outside the student’s major department. [Am 10/26/93]

See the Membership Table for allowable faculty titles for each role on the committee.

Committee Forms

Appointment of Committee (MFA or PHD) 

The request to appoint the membership of a committee must be approved by the department chair and the committee chair. The appointment request must be submitted to the department by Monday Week 5 in Winter quarter prior to the first year review or Thesis (MFA) and no less than five weeks prior to qualifying examination (PHD).

Reconstitution of Committee (MFA or PHD)

The request to reconstitute the membership of a committee must specify the reason/s for the change and must be approved by the committee chair and department chair. The reconstitution request must be submitted to the department no less than five weeks prior to the qualifying examination or defense of the dissertation or thesis.


  1. It is expected that the student will have discussed the makeup of the committee with their faculty advisor/committee chair and individually asked each member to join the committee.
  2. Complete appropriate form above including academic specialty for all members of a PHD committee.
  3. Submit completed form electronically to 

General Petition

This form is to be used for any changes to your degree requirements as outlined in the campus catalog.

All requests must include:

  1. General Petition form 
  2. Approx. 1 paragraph-1 page justification explaining why this course is appropriate for your degree
  3. Course Syllabus
  4. MFA requesting for Art History or Theory req. provide copy of paper
  5. PhD requesting for a course to fulfill any of the required Seminars must provide copy of paper
If a petition is for coursework from another institution these additional items are needed:
6. Transcript (with course highlighted)
7. Campus Catalog course description
8. Degree audit /Course catalog degree requirements for prior degree.

Completed materials should be organized as a SINGLE .PDF in the above order. The document title should be your last name and Course #. ie.(TRITON_VIS 200) 1 .PDF packet per a course request.


  1. Gather materials and meet with Advisor/Committee Chair (Prior to submission)
  2. Submit to Graduate Coordinator with Advisor Signature
  3. Faculty Program Director will review
  4. Department Chair will Review
  5. Student will be contacted of the decision
  6. Graduate Coordinator will update Degree Audit.