May 24, 2013
Earning his master of fine arts degree in photography from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2004 should have been a moment of satisfaction for Matthew Liam Conboy, who knew that the M.F.A. was a requirement for getting a college art teaching position, and teaching is what he wanted to do. However, when he went to the annual College Art Association conference that year to hear about and apply for teaching jobs, “I heard rumblings that the M.F.A. may not be the terminal degree for artists anymore and that I might have to get a Ph.D."
What is clear is that Ph.D.s for artists are here for the long term. Besides the Institute for Doctoral Studies in the Visual Arts and Ohio University, Texas Tech University and the University of California at San Diego also offer these degree programs, and the United States is well behind the United Kingdom and Europe, where approximately 40 such programs have been in operation for years.