The PhD Program in Visual Studies engages in the histories, theories, and analysis of the visual, from practices and experiences of looking to the nature of representation, images, and their media. Interdisciplinary and theoretically rigorous, Visual Studies is committed to the investigation of cultural productions of seeing, picturing, and knowing, from the past to the present day. We welcome students who wish to explore new and innovative lines of inquiry into the visual and visuality. Students who are admitted into the program, whether with BAs or MAs, enter directly into the PhD program in small cohorts and with multi-year funding packages. We strongly recommend prospective students contact and speak with faculty members with whom they are interested in working before applying.

Students benefit from our location near Los Angeles and the rich cultural institutions and offerings of southern California, such as the Getty Museum and Research Institute, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Disneyland, San Diego Museum of Art, Museum of Latin American Art, UCI Special Collections, and Huntington Library and Museum, among others. Graduate students also have the opportunity to take classes from other nearby UCs through the UC intercampus exchange program.