Home » PhD Fine Arts: Eligibility, Admission, Syllabus, Institutes, Scope

PhD Fine Arts: Eligibility, Admission, Syllabus, Institutes, Scope

PhD Fine Arts is a research-based doctoral program that focuses on various aspects of the fine arts, such as painting, drawing, handicrafts, and sculpture. This course has a minimum duration of three years, but it can be extended up to five years. Expressive art is a type of visual craftsmanship that is distinct from related craftsmanship. Sculpture, engineering, music, painting, and verse are the five primary divisions of the expressive arts, with theater and dance as performing expressions. Photography, applied craftsmanship, film pondering, video generation, and a few other forms of expression have recently been added to the expressive arts. The history of craftsmanship, the visual craftsmanship hypothesis, and film and media considerations are among the topics covered in the visual expressions educational program.

PhD Fine Arts candidates are typically hired as teachers and professors, as well as art designers, painters, and interior decorators. They can also open their own art gallery and work for themselves. Students can become self-governing researchers and publish their research papers if they want to do more research. In the future, they may pursue a Doctor of Science degree in the relevant field.

PhD in Fine Arts: An Overview

The following table lists the major highlights of the PhD Fine Arts Course:

Level of CourseDoctoral
Also referred asDoctor of Philosophy in Fine Arts
Duration of Course3-5 years
Type of ExaminationSemester- Wise 
Eligibility CriteriaMaster’s degree in Fine Arts with minimum 55% aggregate score
Process of AdmissionEntrance-Based 
Average Annual FeeINR 25,000 to 75,000
Average Salary
Per Annum
INR 4,00,000 to 6,00,000 
Top Areas of RecruitmentTheatres, Television Industry,Film Industry, Fashion Industry, among others.
Positions of Job Art Designers, Painters, Teachers and Professors,Interior Decorators etc. 

PhD Fine Arts Eligibility Criteria

Candidates for admission to the PhD Fine Arts program must meet certain eligibility requirements, some of which are listed below.

  • Candidates must have earned their MFA or Master’s degree in Fine Arts or a related field from a recognized university.
  • Candidates must obtain a minimum score of 55 percent in order to be considered for admission.
  • A valid research proposal should be submitted by the candidates.
  • Candidates should have strong fine arts skills, which will be put to the test during the interview.

PhD Fine Arts Curriculum/Syllabus

Coursework is followed by a research program in the PhD Fine Arts program. The coursework entails the study of a variety of topics and subjects in order to prepare candidates for research. The following are some of the subjects covered during the coursework.

First Semester Second Semester  
History of Western ArtHistory of Indian Sculptures
History of Indian ArtAesthetics 
Modern ArtHistory of Western Sculpture
Contemporary ArtHistory of Indian Handicrafts 
Research MethodsIndian Tribal Art 
Art CriticismIndian Folk Art
Style of writing a Thesis Art Management and Marketing 
Fine Arts TechniquesStylistic Development in Western Paintings and Sculpture 
Pre-Modern ArtPrinciples of Art Theory 

PhD in Fine Arts Admission Procedure

Entrance exams are used by the majority of colleges to admit students to PhD Fine Arts programs. Candidates are usually called for a personal interview after passing the entrance exam, during which they are asked about their research ideas and artistic abilities. The most common admissions process used by most colleges is described below.

  • Step 1: Application Process: Candidates must apply for both colleges and entrance exams separately. The forms are usually available on the college’s website. The application forms for entrance exams can be found on the conducting bodies’ websites.
  • Step 2: Entrance Exams: While the majority of PhD Fine Arts entrance exams are taken online, some entrance exams may be taken offline if they include sections in which candidates must actually draw something. In most cases, the exams are held in May.
  • Step 3: Entrance Exam Results, Cutoffs, and Merit Lists: The conducting body will announce the entrance exam results. Academic institutions will release cutoff marks and merit lists based on the results.
  • Step 4: Personal Interview: Candidates who have been shortlisted will be invited to a personal interview during which they will be asked to explain their research idea to the panel members.
  • Step 5: Document Verification: If the interview panel is impressed after the personal interview, the candidates must submit their documents for verification.
  • Step 6: Enrollment: If the candidate is found to be eligible after the document verification, he or she will be admitted to the course.

PhD in Fine Arts: Focus Areas

One of the highest degrees in the field of Fine Arts is the PhD Fine Arts Course. The following points will help you understand what’s going on.

  • The PhD Fine Arts program consists of advanced coursework and research in any of the major fine arts disciplines.
  • Painting, drawing, design, handicrafts, sculpture, calligraphy, mosaic, and other major disciplines are included.
  • Art History, Art Criticism, Proper Art Techniques, Different Forms of Art, Research Techniques, and other subjects are commonly taught during PhD Fine Arts coursework.
  • Following the completion of coursework, candidates will be required to conduct extensive research for their research proposal.
  • Candidates must submit their research thesis for review after they have completed their research.
  • Candidates will also be subjected to a viva voce based on their research.
  • Candidates will be prepared to take on advanced-level research-based art projects after completing the course.

PhD Fine Arts: Important Documents Required

  • Mark-list of the last qualifying degree examination
  • Documentary proof of the date of birth
  • Migration Certificate (No objection certificate from the university last attended)
  • A character certificate (from the head of the institute from which the student has obtained his qualifying degree)
  • Gap certificate (if applicable)
  • passing/degree certificate of the last qualifying degree examination.
  • Research Proposal:
  • No objection certificate from the employer (if employed)

NOTE: Students should be aware that if the aforementioned certificates are not attached to their application, their application will not be taken into account for admission.

PhD Fine Arts: Important Entrance Exams

While most colleges accept national-level exams such as the UGC-NET, others, such as VELS University and Aligarh Muslim University, hold their own entrance exams. The following are some of the most important entrance exams for the PhD Fine Arts program:

  • The National Testing Agency administers the UGC-NET: National Eligibility Test to select candidates for PhD programs, JRF positions, and faculty positions in colleges and universities. It usually takes place twice a year, once in December and again in May-June.
  • NTA also administers the CSIR-UGC-NET exam, which is a national level entrance exam. The primary goal of this exam is to identify candidates for junior research fellowships and lectureships at prestigious science and technology colleges in India, including the IITs. This test is given twice a year.
  • Aligarh Muslim University administers the Aligarh Muslim University Entrance Exam (AMUEE) for admission to the university’s and colleges’ various courses.

Pattern of Entrance Exam

The question paper for common PhD entrance exams like UGC-NET is divided into two sections: a general section with questions that apply to everyone, and a subject specific section with questions specific to the subject of specialization.

In the table below, the UGC-NET question pattern is discussed.

Parameters First Paper Second Paper
Topic of QuestionsGeneral (Common for All) Subject Specific 
Type of QuestionsMCQMCQ
Total Number of Questions 50100
  • The questions in the subject-specific section are usually drawn from the masters-level topics. The following is a list of important topics.
Art History, Art Criticism and Art Theory Philosophy of Art
Prehistoric to Modern ArtIndian Folk Art
Contemporary Art Various techniques of Fine Arts
Postmodern ArtPrinciples of Art

PhD Fine Arts: Preparation Plan

The following are some of the most important tips for effectively preparing for the exam.

  • At least one month before the exam date, try to finish the entire entrance exam syllabus. This will allow you to have enough time to revise.
  • Make a thorough review of the syllabus and key aspects to cover to ensure that nothing is overlooked.
  • As many sample papers as you possibly can. In the exam environment, try to solve them in the allotted time.
  • Check your scores after completing the sample papers and make a note of them. This will assist you in keeping track of your daily progress and identifying areas where you can improve.
  • Reading newspapers on a daily basis will help you perform better in the general knowledge section.
  • Candidates must achieve high scores on the entrance examination in order to meet the cutoffs for top colleges.
  • Avoid giving hasty answers if the entrance examination has negative marking. This will help you avoid losing marks that you don’t need.
  • Candidates should work on their Fine Arts skills as they may be put to the test during the interview.
  • Candidates will also need to carefully prepare their research proposal in order to impress the panel.
  • Fill out the application form completely and accurately to avoid any mistakes. Errors in the application process may result in the candidature being cancelled.

PhD Fine Arts: Important Skills Required

Students who study fine arts are usually creative people who are very enthusiastic about their work. Employers and colleges can use some basic skills to sort and select the best artists. The following are a few of them:

  • Photography skills – If you want to pursue photography as a career, you must already be passionate about it. As a result, having solid knowledge and skills will assist you in gaining admission.
  • Creativity skills: Being creative, innovative, and true to yourself is one of the most important aspects of being a successful artist. A work of art that is a representation of an artist sells better than a copy. You’ll be out of the game in no time if you’re not creative. Creativity is a must-have because art is a representation of one’s creativity.
  • Patience: The competition is tougher because there are so many artists out there. As a result, if you want to be recognized, you must work consistently, even if you don’t receive immediate praise and acceptance. Patience is essential for success.
  • Imagination Skills: True artists are people who have new, inspiring ideas and the desire to express those ideas in their work. Art is the result of a creator’s imagination.

PhD in Fine Arts: Top Institutes

Many of India’s top universities offer PhD Fine Arts programs. Some prestigious IITs, such as IIT Kanpur and IIT Roorkee, have recently begun to offer Fine Arts courses. The table below lists some of the top colleges and universities PhD Fine Arts programs.

Ranking by NIRFInstituteProcess of AdmissionAverage Fees 
Average Salary
Per Annum
9SPPU, PuneEntrance-Based INR 8,000INR 6,50,000
17AMU, AligarhEntrance-Based INR 9,285INR 5,20,000
37Amity University, NoidaEntrance-Based INR 1,20,000INR 3,00,000
101VELS Institute of Science, Technology and Advanced Studies, ChennaiEntrance-BasedINR 28,500INR 3,87,000
__University of Lucknow , LucknowEntrance Based INR 10,000INR 4,50,000
__MGKVP, VaranasiEntrance Based INR 15,000INR 3,28,000
__Royal Global University, GuwahatiEntrance Based INR 1,41,000INR 4,00,000
__Singhania University, JhunjhunuEntrance Based INR 66,500INR 5,30,000
__NIU, Greater NoidaEntrance Based INR 1,02,000INR 3,45,000

Future Trends in Fine Arts

The days of art lovers spending hours in a large, quiet gallery are long gone. Art and its means have been transformed by the new era. Perceptions of fine art have undergone significant transformations. Following fashion trends will propel fine arts into a new era of success.

  • Easy accessibility: Social media has evolved into a platform for showcasing talent, and fine artists aren’t shying away from doing so. Art has evolved into an aesthetic in today’s world, and people are motivated to purchase what they enjoy. This ease of access has aided artists in selling their work and gaining recognition.
  • Museums with a creative mix-and-match approach — Art lovers no longer want to visit a sterilely organised museum. To give it a hippie and cosy vibe, people want to mix and match different genres and artists.
  • The days of museums displaying male-centric art are long gone. Thanks to increased acceptance, women and LGBTQ curators are in high demand these days. As a result, they have a fair chance.
  • Virtual Performance Art: In recent years, the majority of performance artists have performed in front of a camera, garnering millions of views, likes, and feedback. A performance artist can reach millions of people in a matter of seconds, no matter where they are.

PhD Fine Arts: A Comparison among Institutes

On the basis of parameters such as admission process, average annual fees, average annual salary, and so on, the top three universities offering PhDs in Fine Arts were compared.

Basis of Comparison Savitribai Phule Pune University Aligarh Muslim University Amity University 
PlacePuneAligarh Greater Noida 
HighlightThe Savitribai Phule Pune University is one of India’s most prestigious public universities. It has consistently been ranked as one of the best universities in the country by NIRF. It is comprised of more than 500 affiliated colleges and 40 academic divisions. It offers regular and distance courses at the undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral levels.Aligarh Muslim University is one of India’s most prestigious and oldest minority universities. It is known for providing a wide range of high-quality courses in engineering, AYUSH, nursing, management, medical,science, arts, and fine arts, among other disciplines.Amity University is a private deemed university with campuses in several cities across India, including Noida, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Jaipur. It also houses the Amity School of Fine Arts, a specialized fine arts institute. It offers undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs in a variety of fields.
Ranking by NIRF 91737
Process of AdmissionEntrance-Based Entrance-Based Entrance-Based 
Criteria for EligibilityMinimum 55% aggregate in master’s degreeMinimum 55% aggregate in master’s degreeMinimum 55% aggregate in master’s degree. 
Average Fees 
INR 8,000INR 9,285INR 1,20,000
Average Salary 
Per Annum
INR 6,50,000INR 5,20,000 INR 3,00,000 
Top Employers Altos, Volkswagen,Reliance Jio, Infocomm, etc. JP Cement, Honda,Hyundai etc. Capgemini, L&T Infotech, Accenture, etc. 

Trends in Salary

Candidates for a PhD in Fine Arts can work in a wide range of fields. Educators, artists, and self-employed people are all possibilities.

  • Candidates with a PhD in Fine Arts can work as art designers, teachers and professors, as well as painters and interior decorators.
  • The film industry, television industry, theaters, and fashion industry are just a few of the major industries that hire PhD Fine Arts candidates.
  • Candidates can also start their own art blogs and create their own art businesses.

PhD Fine Arts: Top Job Profiles

Below are some of the most important job profiles for PhD Fine Arts candidates, as well as salary trends.

Profile of Job  Description of JobAverage Salary 
Per Annum
3D Artist3D artists are skilled at creating three-dimensional paintings that are as realistic as possible. These artists are capable of creating images that appear to be exact replicas of the real world. INR 3,48,000
Art Director Art directors are in charge of an organization’s, movie company’s, or production house’s overall art and craft work. INR 6,71,000
Creative Director For an organisation, creative directors innovate and introduce fresh creative things. They also work to raise the standard of existing art and crafts.INR 10,00,000
Graphic Designer Graphic designers create graphics for websites, web pages, software applications, and animation studios.. INR 3,03,000
Interior DesignerInterior designers create and decorate a building’s entire interior look and feel. Color, furniture, and styling are all aspects of the rooms that they work on.INR 3,16,000
Concept ArtistA concept artist is a concept-driven art professional who works for a variety of companies and creates concept-driven art for them based on their needs.INR 4,20,000
Painter Painters are artists who work for a living, either for a company or for their own art gallery. They could also paint for magazines and newspapers.INR 3,30,000
SculptorSculptors are artists who create various statues and monuments for a variety of organisations, authorities, businesses, or their own art galleries.INR 3,50,000 

PhD Fine Arts: Subject Areas

Although the fine arts course will differ from one college to the next, the basic premise will stay the same. Here is a list of subjects studied by students pursuing a fine arts degree:

  • Ceramic and Moulds
  • Aesthetic
  • Composition Painting
  • Indian aesthetic
  • Graphic designing
  • Stone and wood carving
  • Illustrations
  • History of the Arts
  • Life study
  • Environmental Education
  • Graphic Printmaking
  • Poster Designing
  • Printmaking
  • Press Advertisement
  • Portrait Painting

PhD Fine Arts and PhD Visual Arts: Key Differences

PhD Fine Arts and PhD Visual Arts seem to be very similar courses that cover similar topics such as art history, art criticism, and so on, but they also have significant differences. Below is a comparison of the two courses.

Basis of ComparisonPhD Fine Arts PhD Visual Arts 
Also referred asDoctor of Philosophy in Fine ArtsDoctor of Philosophy in Visual Arts
HighlightPhD Fine Arts mainly covers the topics related to painting, sculpture, drawing, mosaic, and other art and craft. It generally does not include topics related to animation, dance and theatre. PhD Visual Arts courses generally include Painting, Designing, Mosaic, Calligraphy along with Animation, Graphics, Embroidery, etc. 
Process of AdmissionEntrance Based Entrance Based 
Eligibility Masters with minimum 55% aggregate Masters with minimum 55% aggregate
Top Institutes Savitribai Phule Pune University, Aligarh Muslim University, Jamia Millia Islamia, Amity University, University of Lucknow, etc. Jawaharlal Nehru University, Assam University, Banasthali Vidyapith, Maharshi Dayanand University, etc. 
Average Fees 
INR 25,000 to 75,000 INR 30,000 to 1,00,000
Major Areas of EmploymentFilm Industry, Theatres, Television Industry, Fashion Industry, among others.Film Industry, Animation Studios, Graphic Studios, Fashion Industry, etc. 
Average Annual Salary INR 4,00,000 to 6,00,000 INR 5,00,000 to 8,00,000 

PhD Fine Arts: Benefits and Scope

There are numerous benefits to pursuing a PhD in Fine Arts, some of which are discussed below.

  • The demand for fine arts is usually high, especially in industries such as design, film, and advertising. As a result, after completing a PhD Fine Arts course, these candidates will have no trouble finding work.
  • Candidates who complete this course will learn how to create advanced-level art works, and they will also be able to open their own art gallery.
  • Candidates may also be hired with a high salary in various hand-looms, cottage handicrafts industries, and fashion companies.
  • PhD Fine Arts candidates can expect to earn between INR 4,00,000 and INR 6,00,000 per year as a starting salary.
  • Following completion of their PhD, candidates can work as professors and lecturers in a variety of colleges and universities.
  • They can also establish their own art institutions and schools.
  • Candidates with high skillets may be offered opportunities to work on artworks in other countries.
  • The demand and employability of BFA students who have a connection with the audience has increased as a result of the development of various platforms such as YouTube, Instagram, and OTTs. There is a significant increase in the audience, and as a result, many young passionate individuals can pursue fine arts to meet the needs of the audience. Fine arts have gained more recognition in recent years as a result of the overwhelming support that artists have received from audiences all over the world. Fine arts is now regarded as a serious career option for young people, with high-paying jobs available.


What are the most popular industries for PhD Fine Arts candidates to work in?

The film industry, theaters, television industry, and fashion industry are just a few of the major industries that hire PhD Fine Arts candidates.

What are the possibilities for the fine arts in India?

In India, the fine arts have a lot of potential. Candidates can easily find work in the film industry, theaters, television industries, and fashion industries, among other fields.

Is it possible to extend the PhD Fine Arts Course beyond three years?

Yes, a PhD in Fine Arts program can be extended from three to five years in length. It is dependent on the length and depth of the research.

Is it possible to pursue a career in UI and graphic design after completing a PhD in Fine Arts?

Yes, candidates with a PhD in Fine Arts can easily pursue careers as UI and graphic designers. Candidates can also pursue certification courses in user interface design and graphic design to advance their careers.

In India, what is the average salary for a fine arts graduate?

. Fine arts graduates can expect to earn between INR 4,00,000 and INR 6,00,000. It usually rises in tandem with one’s abilities and experience.

Is a PhD in Visual Arts superior to a PhD in Fine Arts?

Both courses are nearly identical and provide similar advantages. The only difference is that visual arts are much more concerned with animations, graphics, and other similar things, whereas fine arts are more concerned with painting, sculpting, mosaics, and other similar things.

What are the typical fees for a PhD in Fine Arts in India?

PhD Fine Arts Colleges typically charge fees ranging from INR 25,000 to 75,000 per year.

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