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IDSVA is now accepting Applications for September 2024 Enrollment

IDSVA students at El Badi Palace in Marrakech, Morocco (photo by Christopher Andrew)

The Institute for Doctoral Studies in the Visual Arts (IDSVA) offers a non-studio PhD in philosophy and art theory for artists and creative thinkers.


A truly nomadic institution, IDSVA fuses interactive online education with intensive global residencies. This means that throughout the three-year course of study, IDSVA students can pursue rigorous advanced scholarship without interrupting or abandoning their teaching careers, art practice, or other professional responsibilities. Intensive residency sites include Rome, Spannocchia Castle (Tuscany), Venice, Berlin, Paris, Athens, Madrid, Marrakech, Mexico City, and NYC. The dissertation is typically submitted within two years following completion of the Course of Study. The total time to complete this degree is about five years.

Students and Alumni

IDSVA students and alumni regularly participate in national and international conferences, publish papers and articles in top journals, receive fellowships, take on new job opportunities,get promotions, and exhibit in solo and group shows around the world. IDSVA PhDs publish dissertations with major publishers, including Bloomsbury, Routledge,and Duke UP.


IDSVA’s Faculty, Visiting Faculty, and Special Lecturers bring together major international philosophers, artists, and scholars. These renowned educators join students on residency and lead seminar discussions about a given site's historical, artistic, and cultural significance. This impressive list includes: Emilia Kabakov, Carmen Boullosa, Mel Edwards, David Webb, Stephen Greenblatt, Giuliana Bruno, and Santiago Zabala, to name a few.

Tuition & Scholarships

IDSVA offers generous scholarships, and our low-residency format allows IDSVA students to keep their job while working on the degree.IDSVA students also qualify for Federally Guaranteed Student Loans that can help with tuition and the cost of living. More information about scholarships and tuition can be found here.

International Students

IDSVA can issue F-1 Visas to foreign students for the residencies held in the U.S, but the visa does not provide for full-time residence in the U.S. More information for international students can be found here.

Book a conversation with Molly Davis, Director of Admissions, here.

Apply now for September 2024. Email info@idsva.edufor more information.

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