Our mission is to operate a school of graduate studies providing education in philosophy, aesthetics, art theory, and similar disciplines related to the visual arts. The mission includes the provision of doctoral studies to holders of the MFA or the master’s degree in a related field, the conferring of PhD degrees, and otherwise providing education and training related to the arts.
Traditionally the MFA has served as the terminal degree for studio artists. This degree has trained studio artists in the skills necessary for successful art practice and has prepared artists for teaching in college and university studio art programs. However, there is a strong sense among today’s artists and educators that training beyond the MFA and similar degrees would benefit many artists, architects, curators, and creative scholars, especially those who grapple with issues surrounding contemporary media and culture.
IDSVA’s pioneering curriculum---fusing distance learning with intensive residencies---allows working art professionals to pursue rigorous advanced scholarship without having to interrupt or abandon their teaching careers, art practice, or other professional responsibilities. Insofar as the Institute for Doctoral Studies in the Visual Arts offers to creative practitioners a PhD in philosophy, aesthetics, and art theory, it addresses an important opportunity for contemporary art and culture. The measure of this opportunity can be summed up in terms of IDSVA’s primary learning goals. These include the nourishment and cultivation of: