Program Vision

The Visual Studies Ph.D. at UC Santa Cruz is an interdisciplinary program designed for students with diverse academic backgrounds from across the arts and humanities who wish to pursue a graduate degree focused on the social and cultural production of human vision and on the distinctive roles played by art and artifacts in societies from around the globe. Faculty research areas include cultural production in Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe, the Mediterranean, and the Pacific Islands.

The program employs a wide range of visual evidence for examination, without being constrained by traditional hierarchies of art or art history. Fine arts, architecture, photography, film, performances, utilitarian objects, and popular entertainments all are primary source material for scholars in the field.

The flexibility of the program allows students to work closely with their advisor and the director of graduate studies to craft a personalized course of study that advances their intellectual and professional goals.

Core Faculty [more]
Martin Berger
Raoul Birnbaum
Elisabeth Cameron
Carolyn Dean
Maria Evangelatou
Jennifer González
Donna Hunter
Stacy Kamehiro
Boreth Ly
Derek Conrad Murray
Albert Narath


Application Timeline
Applications for 2015-16 will be accepted from October 1 - December 15, 2014. For official information about the application process, please visit UCSC Graduate Division Prospective Students.

For additional information, please contact Graduate Program Coordinator at