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PhD Program | Program and Application

With the transformation of art colleges into universities of the arts in 1998, the academic spectrum of PhD programs was expanded to include topics and practices of arts-based research (also called "arts-based research" or "artistic research"). Since then, doctoral studies at the art universities have attracted a large number of students: at the University of Art and Design Linz alone, there are now more than 100 PhD students conducting their research.
With its PhD program, the University of Art and Design Linz creates a common framework for outstanding research projects from, between and across all the artistic, creative, scientific and technology-oriented departments and disciplines represented at the University of Art.
Accordingly, the topics of the PhD projects cover a wide range: the development of robotic applications in architecture, performative urbanism as a social strategy for exploring village life, telemetric investigation of the migration routes of storks, the treatment of body schemas in queer tango or the critical investigation and artistic treatment of dominant space narratives are just a few examples. Under PhD Students and Graduates you can view topics and brief descriptions of ongoing as well as completed PhD projects.
The PhD program has a minimum duration of six semesters. PhD students work alone or in teams on their projects and are accompanied by one or more supervisors. PhD students have the status of early-stage researchers. The PhD program serves to support and further develop independent artistic and/or scientific work. It creates an experiment and possibility space, in which different forms of knowledge and practices, critical confrontations, innovation as well as original ways of looking at things meet and are brought into exchange. As a matter of principle, research at the University of Art and Design Linz is defined as open-ended; paths of knowledge can change in the process of development, ephemeral moments, unusual paths and diverse practices of testing and discarding can be part of the PhD work. The concrete research project must contribute to knowledge within the fields of reference central to the project through new, independent findings and/or approaches, and must also be communicable and critiqueable at a later point in time. The development of a form (methodology, material, media, as well as the format of the manifestation of the results) corresponding to the project out of the research process is just as important as that of an own language or adequate media in order to document, contextualize and reflect the respective project in a transparent and comprehensible way.

Application for the PhD program

The deadlines for the application for the PhD program can be found under the menu item News.

To apply, please submit the following documents by the applicable deadlines:

  • Transcripts of your degrees and - in case of non-Austrian degrees - Diploma Supplement
  • Exposé of the PhD project and, if applicable, other documents relevant to the project. The form of the exposé can be discussed with the prospective supervisor.
  • Application for admission including confirmation of supervision by at least one supervisor (application can be downloaded under Links and Downloads)

in digital form to veronika.schwediauer@kunstuni-linz.at. You will receive a confirmation email about the receipt of your application.

1. Information
Please inform yourself in detail about the PhD program on our homepage. In order to clarify questions concerning the application procedure as well as the PhD program, study counseling appointments are offered on a regular basis. Attendance is mandatory. Current dates can be found under News.

2. Exposé
PhD candidates must provide potential supervisors with a comprehensible description of their PhD project and the planned process, as well as supplementary documents relevant to the project, such as portfolios or selected literature or artistic references.

3. Determination of the PhD supervisors
You can contact a supervisor who is suitable for your project and ask for supervision. A list of possible PhD supervisors at the University of Art and Design Linz can be found under Links and Downloads.
If the supervisor is interested in collaborating with you and if the exposé is rated as good, a confirmation of supervision can be issued. This is done by signing the "Application for Admission". For an application to the PhD program, the signature of the first supervisor of the University of Art and Design Linz is required. The supervisor can also suggest further elaboration and improvement of the exposé.
The University of Art and Design Linz encourages and supports the supervision by a team, i.e. by two supervisors, as it has many advantages. First supervisors should be among those authorized to supervise PhD students at the University of Art and Design Linz. Secondary supervisors, however, can also be from other universities, but they must be authorized to supervise doctoral students/PhD students (habilitation, habilitation equivalence) and should be determined at the latest when the supervision agreement is concluded.

4. Verification of the access authorization by previous degrees
Eligibility for admission to the PhD program is given by the completion of a subject-related diploma or master's degree, diploma or master's degree program at a university of applied sciences or other equivalent studies at a recognized domestic or foreign post-secondary educational institution. The transcripts and the Diploma Supplement are required to verify that your degrees make you eligible for enrollment in the PhD program.

5. Review of the exposés by the Research Board
The Research Board (only in german) reviews and approves the exposé as part of the PhD application process. Research Board meetings are held in mid-March for the summer semester and mid-October for the winter semester. You will be informed immediately about the results of the review.

6. Enrollment
If your exposé is approved by the Research Board, you can complete your enrollment within the enrollment deadline including the grace period (end of April for the summer semester, end of November for the winter semester) at the Admission and Examination Department. Please be sure to observe the applicable deadlines! More information: https://www.ufg.at/Studium-und-Zulassung (Study and Admission)


For all questions regarding the PhD program: Kunst.Forschung | PhD, Dr. Veronika Schwediauer, Hauptplatz 6, 4020 Linz, veronika.schwediauer@kunstuni-linz.at, M: +43 676 84 7898 2202, Office days: Monday, Tuesday

For enrollment: Admission and Examination Department, Hauptplatz 6, 4020 Linz, studien.office@kunstuni-linz.at

Dr. Veronika Schwediauer
T: +43 (0)676 84 7898 2202

Hauptplatz 6, 2. OG
4020 Linz | Austria