UC Santa Cruz graduate students enrolled in doctoral programs may obtain a Designated Emphasis in Visual Studies on their Ph.D. degree by meeting the following requirements:
- Secure approval from a core member of the Visual Studies faculty to serve as an advisor for their Designated Emphasis.
- Have at least one core member of the Visual Studies faculty serve on either their qualifying exam or dissertation committee.
- Submit a significant piece of writing that demonstrates competency in the field. The writing could take the form of a seminar paper or dissertation chapter. The essay must meet the approval of the student's Visual Studies advisor.
- Successfully complete four graduate courses taught by either core or affiliated members of the Visual Studies Program. The courses must form a coherent cluster in Visual Studies and be pre-approved by the student's Designated Emphasis advisor.