The program enrolls 5–7 graduate students each year, and all successful applicants receive full tuition remission, and a stipend for five years. About twenty faculty members participate in the program each year, including the Visual and Cultural Studies Steering Committee, which guides the program.

NOTE: The program normally accepts applications for full-time study only. If you are interested in part-time study, please contact the VCS program director before applying.

The deadline for applications is January 1 for the following September. Offers of admission are sent to applicants by mid-March. There is a $60 application fee.

Along with the online application, students must submit:

  • A statement of purpose (1–3 pages, single-spaced)
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Official undergraduate and graduate transcripts
  • A 15–20-page writing sample (for example: seminar paper, thesis chapter, published article)
  • GRE scores (optional)

International students must also supply TOEFL, TOEFL iBT at Home, IELTS, or Duoligo scores.

VCS Statement on Admissions and Support 2021-22

The Steering Committee of the Graduate Program in Visual and Cultural Studies has decided to suspend admissions this year. After careful deliberation, we determined that providing enhanced support to our students was the best course of action considering the global health crisis and the increased precarity it has introduced into an already uncertain academic fellowship and job market. Enhanced support will be equally distributed amongst all students in the 2021-22 academic year. We will refund application fees to those who applied for possible 2021-22 matriculation to VCS.

While current circumstances occasioned the decision to provide enhanced support to students, other factors also played a role. The pause in admissions allows us to examine how to strengthen the teaching and training we do in VCS in a manner responsive to the changed nature of academic labor and the expansion of non-academic careers for people with PhDs. We aim to better understand this transformed situation, even if we cannot easily solve the problems it presents. In so doing, we also aim to continue promoting the ongoing success of VCS students, staff, and faculty alike.