The PhD in Design, Environment and the Arts Program in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts has an explicit mission: to prepare students to become public intellectuals and transformative practitioners in shaping the environment at all scales – from the design of cities, buildings and landscapes, to interiors, products and graphics, to the arts all the while placing emphases on sustainability, innovation, community building, cultural and contextual awareness.
Despite its breadth, the implicit mandate of the mission is possible for several reasons. First, the PhD Program is interdisciplinary and involves facets of the Herberger Institute's academic units, with students currently enrolled from the disciplines within – the The Design School, the School of Art and the School of Arts, Media and Engineering. Second, the PhD Program has access to a pool of experts from the Institute’s faculty as well as faculty throughout the university including, but not limited to, the Department of Applied Biological Sciences, the College of Nursing and Health Innovation and the School of Sustainability. Third, the PhD Program has access to some of the best facilities found in any college of its kind. Lastly, the PhD Program is evolving in one of the most progressive and transformative educational environments in the country, commonly referred to as the New American University.
In the end, however, it is our students and graduates who reflect the quality of the PhD Program. They are all succeeding. From the first day that they enter the program, our students begin to embed themselves in research and academic endeavors outside of the institute through active participation in lectures and presentations at various national and international workshops and conferences. As graduates of the program, they climb to the top of their careers pursuing academic paths and assuming leadership roles in professional planning and design practices, the corporate sector, the public sector and the nonprofit sector.
If your concern is more about what you want to do than rather what you want to be, then join us in the PhD in Design, Environment and the Arts in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts.
Kenneth Brooks, FASLA, FCELA, PLA
Professor and Director of PhD in Design, Environment and the Arts
The history, theory and criticism concentration within the PhD program in design, environment and the arts focuses on the theoretical dimensions in areas of architectural, design and art history including critical discourse in the design or art disciplines. The program offers classes and research across many cultures and time periods, geographies, and approaches and methodologies within the art history program.
At A Glance
September 15, 2018 to January 15, 2019
Paying for College
Teaching and Graduate Assistantships
Assistantships are appointed each term to a select number of graduate students who are excelling in The Design School. Learn more about teaching assistantships including eligibility and application details.
Learn more about your financial aid options.
Required Core (6 credit hours)
EPD 700 Research Methods (3)
EPD 710 Current Research in Design (3)
Required Concentration (15 credit hours; choose five courses)
APH 515 Current lssues and Topics (3)
APH 590 Reading and Conference (3)
APH 598 Special Topics (3)
ARS 501 Methodologies and Art History (3)
ARS 506 Critical Studies in Roman Art (3)
ARS 514 Monasteries, Madonnas and Manuscripts (3)
ARS 533 The Pre-Raphaelites (3)
ARS 574 Studies in Japanese Art (3)
ARS 575 Approaches to Chinese Painting (3)
ARS 584 Internship (3)
ARS 585 Women in the Visual Arts (3)
ARS 591 Seminar (3)
ARS 598 Special Topics (3)
ARS 790 Reading and Conference (3)
EPD 790 Reading and Conference (3)
Electives or Research (21 credit hours)
EPD 792 or ARS 792 Research (12)
three 3-credit-hour courses at the 500 to 700 level as agreed upon by faculty mentor
Culminating Experience (12 credit hours)
EPD 799 or ARS 799 Dissertation (12)
Additional Curricular Requirements
A foreign language exam is required in order to show reading knowledge of two foreign languages as demonstrated by the exam administered by the School of International Letters and Cultures (or equivalent) during the program or by a "B" or better (scale is 4.00 = "A") in a reading course such as a 400- or 500-level special topics course (example: ITA 494 or FRE 598 for reading knowledge). These credits do not count toward the degree total unless taken at the 500 level or above and approved by the faculty mentor as a concentration course.
When approved by the student's supervisory committee, this program allows 30 credit hours from a previously awarded master's degree to be used for this program.
Applicants must fulfill the requirements of both the Graduate College and the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts.
Applicants are eligible to apply to the program if they have earned a master's degree, in any field, from a regionally accredited institution. Examples of appropriate fields include art history, architectural history, design history or fields in the humanities, such as history or literature; archaeology and anthropology may also be considered. Students without graduate experience in the history of art, history of architecture and history of design may be asked to fulfill deficiencies.
Applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in the last 60 hours of their first bachelor's degree program, or applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in an applicable master's degree program.
All applicants must submit:
- graduate admission application and application fee
- official transcripts
- GRE scores
- abstract of proposed research
- personal statement
- letters of recommendation
- proof of English proficiency
Additional Application Information
An applicant whose native language is not English must provide proof of English proficiency regardless of current residency.
Applicants must submit to Slideroom (https://asudesign.slideroom.com) a personal statement, abstract of proposed research, and contact information for three references. It is required that these be submitted in addition to the Graduate College application requirements.
Mission of the programs
The PhD Program prepares students to become public intellectuals and transformative practitioners in shaping the environment at all scales – from the design of cities, buildings and landscapes, to interiors, products and graphics, to the arts.
Goals of the program
The PhD Program has two goals:
PhD interdisciplinary experience opportunities
The PhD in Design, Environment and the Arts Program in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts strongly believes in the benefits derived from an interdisciplinary experience while at ASU. Consequently, the PhD Program developed several academic connections with other programs at the university. Such connections provide our PhD students with enviable opportunities for interdisciplinary studies and research. For example, many courses offered in these programs are both relevant and available to PhD students. Furthermore, faculty members from these other programs can participate as members of a student's dissertation committee, although they cannot serve as chairs
What to expect during the PhD program?
Students within the PhD program will follow a specific sequence, including concentration and specialization coursework, the successful completion of the comprehensive exams and prospectus, research and dissertation coursework, and finally, the successful completion of the dissertation defense
Selecting your mentor
The faculty of The Design School and School of Art participate in offering the degree. Faculty from disciplines outside of the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts may participate in the program if appropriate to the interdisciplinary nature of the student’s research interest.
Current PhD students
You will find abstracts of paper presentations made by some of our current students at national and international meetings/seminars/conferences.
Frequently asked questions
Please find a list of frequently asked questions related to the PhD program