Virginia Commonwealth University
MATX

Media Art & Text Ph.D program

Apply

Applicants to Virginia Commonwealth University’s MATX program must hold a master’s degree (MA, MFA or MS) in a field relevant to one or more of the three program areas. Prospective applicants should determine that there are MATX faculty, and possibly others at VCU, whose research and teaching support the work they hope to do in the program. They should review both faculty profiles (on the web sites of their home departments) and the dissertation topics of current and past MATX students. Although interviews are not required, applicants are encouraged to contact the MATX Director for guidance.

Application requirements

Applications are accepted for fall admission only. The deadline is Jan. 15.

Application materials must be submitted exactly as follows and in accordance with the VCU Graduate School application guidelines.

  1. MATX photo 5Complete the online application.
  2. Send the following items in the mail directly to the VCU Graduate School as a single package, if possible:
    1. Signature page from online application
    2. Transcripts
    3. Test scores
    • Mail to:
    • VCU Graduate School
    • P.O. Box 843051
    • Richmond, Virginia 23284-3051
  3. Send the following, in the formats indicated, by email to Graduate Programs Adviser Thom Didato. Note: Materials submitted in any other way (on paper, disk, etc.) will be discarded without review.
    1. Writing sample demonstrating the ability to write clearly, analyze effectively and conduct original research in advanced doctoral-level seminars. This may be a master’s thesis, a graduate-level seminar paper or a published essay. Submit as a PDF by email.
    2. Statement of purpose describing the applicant’s interest, motivation and goals in pursuing this degree. The statement should specifically address the importance of interdisciplinarity to the applicant’s academic goals, and it should also offer evidence of preparation for the study of media, art and text. The applicant should indicate the specific area of study and research to be pursued at VCU and identify faculty who might potentially direct dissertation research. Submit as a PDF by email. Note: This is a required separate submission of the same essay included in the online application.
    3. Academic curriculum vitae or professional resume listing all colleges and universities attended and degrees earned, all professional and academic positions held, all publications and/or exhibitions, technical skills and any other relevant information. Include URLs for personal and/or professional websites. Submit as PDF by email.
  4. Letters of recommendation from three present or former instructors or other individuals qualified to evaluate the applicant’s ability to engage in interdisciplinary study at the doctoral level. Have recommenders submit letters as PDFs directly to tndidato@vcu.edu using only academic or professional email accounts. Letters may also be submitted by recommenders online. In the online application there is a prompt to enter their contact information; they will receive an email with a link to the web form. 
  5. Applicants who wish to pursue creative work at VCU must also submit a portfolio. Those with an M.F.A. who do not wish to continue creative work should consult with the MATX Director about this requirement. Materials submitted should demonstrate excellence in studio or professional practice and the potential to do graduate-level work in media, art and text. Portfolios will be reviewed by the MATX admissions committee as well as relevant faculty in the School of the Arts and the School of Mass Communications.

    Please observe the following guidelines:
    1. Those working in 2-D or 3-D mediums should provide 20 images of representative work arranged chronologically, beginning with the most recent.
    2. Those working in sound and time-based media, as well as those in the performing arts, should provide clips totaling no more than 10 minutes.
    3. Those working across media may submit a combination of the above.
    The portfolio should be accompanied by title, date, media and dimensions of the work, as well as a brief statement or other information that will help the admissions committee in evaluating the work.

    Small files illustrating 2-D or 3-D work may be submitted as JPEGs or PDFs via email. Sound or video files should be posted to Vimeo or Sound Cloud with a functioning link submitted by email. Portfolio materials may also be posted to a personal or professional website and the link submitted by email.