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Application Requirements

Deadline to apply is January 2

Applicants to Virginia Commonwealth University’s MATX program must hold a master’s degree (M.A., M.F.A. or M.S.) 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 websites 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.

Applications are accepted for fall admission only. GRE scores are not required.

Complete the online application.

Be sure to submit the following items:

  • 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.
  • Statement of intent describing your interest, motivation and goals in pursuing this degree. Review these tips for writing an effective statement of intent. The statement should specifically address the importance of interdisciplinarity to your academic goals, and it should also offer evidence of preparation for the study of media, art and text. Please 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.
  • 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.
  • Recommendations: Letters of recommendation from three present or former instructors or other individuals qualified to evaluate your ability to engage in interdisciplinary study at the doctoral level. Your recommenders will be contacted by the online application system.
  • Applicants who wish to pursue creative work at VCU must also submit a portfolio. Those with an MFA 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 Robertson School of Media and Culture.

Portfolio Guidelines

  • Those working in 2-D or 3-D mediums should provide 20 images of representative work arranged chronologically, beginning with the most recent, in a single PDF.
  • 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. Email these to
  • 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.
  • Portfolio materials may also be posted to a personal or professional website and the link submitted with the online application.
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