PhD Fine Arts Eligibility, Colleges, Admission, Entrance Exams, Syllabus, Jobs, Salary 2020

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Sakshi Gupta

Content Curator | Updated on - Feb 3, 2021

What is PhD Fine Arts?

PhD Fine Arts is a research based doctoral course which focuses on the various aspects of Fine Arts including Painting, Drawing, Handicrafts, Sculptures etc. The minimum duration of this course is 3 years, but it can be extended upto a duration of 5 years.

Know More About Art Courses

Check Top PhD Fine Arts Colleges in India here. 

The course will include a coursework followed by a research program. Some of the popular subjects in PhD Fine Arts course include Art History, Art Criticism, Fine Arts Techniques etc. The candidate will have to perform research on any one of the topics and submit the thesis at the end of the course. 

The candidates must complete Master’s in Fine Arts or related discipline to be eligible for PhD Fine Arts course. The candidates must score minimum 55% or above in the masters level to be eligible for admission. 

Alert: AMUEE is scheduled to be held from November 1 - 10, 2020. Check details of AMU Admissions here


The admission to PhD Fine Arts course is generally given on the basis of Entrance Exams followed by Personal Interview. The candidates will have to explain their research idea during the personal interview. Some colleges may also take a small Fine Arts test to check the skills of the candidates. 

Many top colleges in India including some reputed IITs offer PhD Fine Arts course. Some of the top PhD Fine Arts colleges are listed in the table below. 

NIRF University Ranking 2020 Name of the College/ University Admission Process Average Annual Fees  Average Annual Salary
9 SPPU, Pune Entrance-Based  INR 8,000 INR 6,50,000
17 AMU, Aligarh Entrance-Based  INR 9,285 INR 5,20,000
37 Amity University, Noida Entrance-Based  INR 1,20,000 INR 3,00,000
101 VELS Institute of Science, Technology and Advanced Studies, Chennai Entrance-Based INR 28,500 INR 3,87,000
__ University of Lucknow , Lucknow Entrance Based  INR 10,000 INR 4,50,000

The average annual fees for PhD Fine Arts course ranges between INR 25,000 and 75,000. However, the fees may vary depending on the institute providing the course. 

The PhD Fine Arts candidates generally get jobs as  Teachers and Professors, Art Designers, Painters, Interior Decorators etc. They can also start their own art gallery and become self employed. 

The Average Annual Salary for PhD Fine Arts candidates generally ranges between INR 4,00,000 and 6,00,000, but the salary is expected to increase depending on the skills and expertise of the candidates. 

If students wish to do further research, they can become independent researchers and publish their research papers. They can also earn a DSc (Doctor of Science) degree in the related domain in future.

What is the Admission Process for a PhD Fine Arts Course?

Most of the colleges offer admission to PhD Fine Arts course on the basis of Entrance Exams. After the entrance exam, the candidates are generally called for a personal interview where they are asked about their research ideas and art skills. The general admission process followed by most of the colleges is discussed below.

  • Step 1: Application Process: The candidates will need to apply separately for both the colleges and entrance exams. The colleges generally release the forms online on their website. The application form for entrance exams are available in the websites of the conducting bodies. 
  • Step 2: Entrance Exams: Most of the PhD Fine Arts Exams are conducted online but some entrance exams may be conducted offline if they include sections where the candidates will actually need to draw something. The exams are usually conducted in May. 
  • Step 3: Results, Cutoffs and Merit Lists: The entrance exam results will be released by the conducting body. Based on the results, the universities will release cutoff marks and merit lists. 
  • Step 4: Personal Interview: The shortlisted candidates will be called for Personal Interview, during which, the candidates will have to explain their research idea to the interview panel. 
  • Step 5: Document Verification: After a personal interview, if the interview panel is impressed, then the candidates will have to submit their documents for document verification. 
  • Step 6: Enrolment: After the document verification, if the candidate is found eligible, he/she will be given admission to the course. 

Some of the important documents that need to be presented during document verification are listed below:

  • Bachelor level and Master's level transcripts. 
  • Birth Certificate
  • Migration Certificate 
  • Photo ID
  • Passport Size Photographs
  • Research Proposal 
PhD Fine Arts

What is the Eligibility Criteria for Admission to PhD Fine Arts Course?

The candidates who wish to get admission to PhD Fine Arts course will have to qualify certain eligibility criteria, some of which are listed below. 

  • The candidates will have to complete their MFA or Master degree in Fine Arts or other related disciplines from a recognized university. 
  • The candidates will have to attain minimum 55% marks to be eligible for admission. 
  • The candidates should have a valid research proposal. 
  • The candidates should have good fine arts skills which may be tested during the interview. 

Which are the Top Entrance Exams for PhD Fine Arts Course?

While the majority of colleges accept national level exams like UGC-NET etc, some colleges like VELS University, Aligarh Muslim University etc. conduct their own entrance exams. Some of the important entrance exams for PhD Fine Arts course are discussed below. 

  • UGC-NET: National Eligibility Test is a national level entrance exam conducted by the National Testing Agency to select candidates for PhD courses, JRF and faculty positions in colleges and universities. It is generally conducted twice a year, once in December and the other in May-June. 
  • CSIR-UGC-NET: This is also a national level entrance exam conducted by NTA. The main purpose of this exam is to shortlist candidates for Junior Research Fellowships and lectureship in reputed science and technology colleges in India including the IITs. This exam is conducted twice a year. 
  • AMU Entrance Exam: AMUEE is conducted by Aligarh Muslim University for admission to various courses offered by the University and its colleges. 

Some important dates related to these entrance exams are tabulated below. 

Exam Name  Conducting Body  Exam Mode Date of Form Publication  Last Date to Submit the Form  Exam Date Result Date
UGC-NET  NTA Online  March 16, 2020  June 30, 2020  September 24, 2020 onwards To be announced 
CSIR-UGC-NET  NTA Online  March 16, 2020  June 30, 2020  November 2020 (expected)  To be announced 
AMUEE Aligarh Muslim University  Online  August 14, 2020  August 21, 2020  November 1-10, 2020  To be announced 

How to Prepare for PhD Fine Arts Entrance Exams?

To prepare well for PhD Fine Arts Entrance Exams, the candidates need to clearly know the syllabus and topics that need to be covered. The exam pattern and important topics are discussed below. 

  • Exam Pattern - The Question paper of common PhD Entrance Exams like UGC-NET is divided into two sections, one general section which is common for all, and one subject specific sections which have questions related to the specialisation subject. 

The question pattern for UGC-NET is discussed in the table below. 

Parameters  Paper I Paper II
Question topic General (Common for All)  Subject Specific 
Question type MCQ MCQ
Number of Questions  50 100
  • Important Subjects - The subject specific section generally includes questions from the topics covered in masters level. Some important topics are tabulated below. 

Art History, Art Criticism and Art Theory  Philosophy of Art
Prehistoric to Modern Art Indian Folk Art
Contemporary Art  Various techniques of Fine Arts
Postmodern Art Principles of Art

  • Important Points to keep in Mind

Some of the important tips that will help you prepare effectively for the exam are discussed below. 

  • Try to complete the entire syllabus of the entrance exam at least 1 month before the exam date. This will help you get ample time for revision. 
  • Be thorough with the syllabus and important topics to cover so that no topic is left out. 
  • Practice as many sample papers as you can. Try to solve them within a stipulated time period in the exam environment. 
  • After solving the sample papers, check your scores and note them down. This will help you in tracking your daily progress and recognising the areas for improvement. 
  • For performing better in the general knowledge section, read newspapers daily. 

How to get admission in a top PhD Fine Arts Colleges?

Students need to keep in mind the following points to get admission in a good PhD Fine Arts college. 

  • The candidates will need to score good marks in the entrance examination, so that they can clear the cutoffs for top colleges. 
  • If the entrance exam has negative marking, avoid giving rash answers. This will help you avoid unnecessary loss of marks. 
  • The candidates will have to work on their Fine Arts skills properly as it may be tested during the interview. 
  • The candidates will also have to prepare their research proposal carefully so that they can impress the panel. 
  • Fill the application form carefully, so that it does not have any errors. Errors in application may lead to cancellation of the candidature. 
PhD Fine Arts: What is it All About?

PhD Fine Arts: What is it All About?

The PhD Fine Arts Course is one of the highest degrees in the field of Fine Arts. The below given points explain what it is all about. 

  • The PhD Fine Arts course involves advanced level coursework and research on any one of the major Fine Arts subjects. 
  • It includes all the major disciplines of Fine Arts like Painting, Drawing, Designing, Handicrafts, Sculpture, Calligraphy, Mosaic etc. 
  • The subjects taught during the coursework of PhD Fine Arts generally include Art History, Art Criticism, Proper Art Techniques, Different Forms of Arts, Research Techniques etc. 
  • After the completion of coursework, the candidates will have to perform a detailed research on their research proposal. 
  • After the completion of the research, the candidates will need to submit their research thesis for evaluation. 
  • The candidates will also have to go through viva voce on the basis of their research. 
  • The course will prepare the candidates to take on advanced level research based Art Projects in future.

PhD Fine Arts

PhD Fine Arts: Course Highlights

The major highlights of the PhD Fine Arts Course are tabulated in the table below:

Course Level Doctoral
Full-Form Doctor of Philosophy in Fine Arts
Duration 3-5 years
Examination type Semester- Wise 
Eligibility Master’s degree in Fine Arts with minimum 55% aggregate score
Admission Process Entrance-Based 
Average Fee INR 25,000 to 75,000
Average Salary INR 4,00,000 to 6,00,000 
Top Recruiting Areas Film Industry, Theatres, Television Industry, Fashion Industry, among others.
Job Positions Teachers and Professors, Art Designers, Painters, Interior Decorators etc. 
Why Study PhD Fine Arts?

Why Study PhD Fine Arts?

PhD Fine Arts course has numerous advantages, some of them are discussed below. 

  • The demand for Fine Arts usually remains high, especially in sectors like designing, film and advertising industry. So, these candidates will easily get hired after completing PhD Fine Arts course. 
  • The candidates who complete this course will learn to do advanced level art works, after which the candidates may open their own art gallery as well. 
  • The candidates may also get recruited in various handlooms, cottage handicrafts industries and fashion companies with High Salary. 
  • The average annual starting salary offered to PhD Fine Arts candidates ranges between INR 4,00,000 to INR 6,00,000. 
  • The candidates after completing their PhD can also work as Professors and lecturers in various colleges and universities. 
  • They can also start their own art schools and institutions. 
  • The candidates with high skillets may also get opportunities to do artworks abroad. 
Why PhD Fine Arts?

PhD Fine Arts vs PhD Visual Arts

PhD Fine Arts and PhD Visual Arts are very similar courses which deal with similar topics like Art History, Art Criticism, etc but they have many major differences as well. The two courses have been compared below. 

Parameters  PhD Fine Arts  PhD Visual Arts 
Full Form Doctor of Philosophy in Fine Arts Doctor of Philosophy in Visual Arts
Overview  PhD 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. 
Admission Process  Entrance Based  Entrance Based 
Eligibility Criteria  Masters with minimum 55% aggregate  Masters with minimum 55% aggregate
Top Colleges  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 Annual Fees  INR 25,000 to 75,000  INR 30,000 to 1,00,000
Major Employment Area Film 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
PhD Fine Arts
Which are the Top colleges for studying PhD Fine Arts?

Which are the Top colleges for studying PhD Fine Arts?

Many top colleges in India offer PhD Fine Arts course. Recently, some reputed IITs like IIT Kanpur, IIT Roorkee, etc have also started offering Fine Arts courses. Some of the top colleges providing PhD Fine Arts are listed in the table below. 

NIRF University Ranking 2020 Name of the College/ University Admission Process Average Annual Fees  Average Annual Salary
9 SPPU, Pune Entrance-Based  INR 8,000 INR 6,50,000
17 AMU, Aligarh Entrance-Based  INR 9,285 INR 5,20,000
37 Amity University, Noida Entrance-Based  INR 1,20,000 INR 3,00,000
101 VELS Institute of Science, Technology and Advanced Studies, Chennai Entrance-Based INR 28,500 INR 3,87,000
__ University of Lucknow , Lucknow Entrance Based  INR 10,000 INR 4,50,000
__ MGKVP, Varanasi Entrance Based  INR 15,000 INR 3,28,000
__ Royal Global University, Guwahati Entrance Based  INR 1,41,000 INR 4,00,000
__ Singhania University, Jhunjhunu Entrance Based  INR 66,500 INR 5,30,000
__ NIU, Greater Noida  Entrance Based  INR 1,02,000 INR 3,45,000

Comparison of Average Annual Salary of Top PhD Fine Arts Colleges

PhD Fine Arts College Comparison

The top three universities offering PhD Fine Arts have been compared on the basis of parameters like Admission Process, Average Annual Fees, Average Annual Salary etc. 

Parameters  Savitribai Phule Pune University  Aligarh Muslim University  Amity University 
Location  Pune Aligarh  Greater Noida 
Overview  Savitribai Phule Pune University is one of the most reputed public universities in India. It has been consistently ranked by NIRF as one of the top Universities in the country. It has more than 500 affiliated colleges and more than 40 academic divisions. It provides UG, PG and Doctorate level courses in both Regular and distance modes.  Aligarh Muslim University is one of the best and oldest minority universities in India. It is known to offer a plethora of high quality courses across all the major disciplines including Medical, Engineering, AYUSH, Nursing, Management, Science, Arts, Fine Arts, among others.  Amity University is a private deemed university with campuses in many cities including Noida, Mumbai, Kolkata, Jaipur, among others. It also has a specialised fine arts institute called Amity School of Fine Arts under its shed. It provides UG, PG and PhD courses in many disciplines. 
NIRF University Ranking 2020  9 17 37
Admission Process  Entrance-Based  Entrance-Based  Entrance-Based 
Eligibility Criteria  Minimum 55% aggregate in master’s degree Minimum 55% aggregate in master’s degree Minimum 55% aggregate in master’s degree. 
Average Annual Fees  INR 8,000 INR 9,285 INR 1,20,000
Average Annual Salary  INR 6,50,000 INR 5,20,000  INR 3,00,000 
Top Recruiters  Reliance Jio Infocomm, Altos, Volkswagen etc.  Honda, JP Cement, Hyundai etc.  Accenture, Capgemini, L&T Infotech etc. 
SPPU vs AMU vs Amity University
PhD Fine Arts Syllabus

PhD Fine Arts Syllabus

PhD Fine Arts course involves coursework followed by a research program. The coursework involves study of different topics and subjects required to prepare the candidates for the research. Some of the subjects taught during the coursework are listed below. 

Semester I Semester II 
History of Western Art History of Indian Sculptures
History of Indian Art Aesthetics 
Modern Art History of Western Sculpture
Contemporary Art History of Indian Handicrafts 
Research Methods Indian Tribal Art 
Art Criticism Indian Folk Art
Style of writing a Thesis  Art Management and Marketing 
Fine Arts Techniques Stylistic Development in Western Paintings and Sculpture 
Pre-Modern Art Principles of Art Theory 

PhD Fine Arts Job Profiles and Salary Trends

PhD Fine Arts Job Profiles and Salary Trends

PhD Fine Arts candidates can find job opportunities in a wide variety of fields. They can be Educators, Artists or self employed individuals. 

  • After completing PhD Fine Arts course, candidates can work as Teachers and Professors, Art Designers, Painters, Interior Decorators etc. 
  • The major industries which generally employ PhD Fine Arts candidates include Film Industry, Theatres, Television Industry, Fashion Industry among others. 
  • The candidates can also write their own art blogs and start their own art studio. 

Some of the major job profiles along with salary trends for PhD Fine Arts candidates are discussed below. 

Job Profile  Job Description  Average Annual Salary 
3D Artist 3D Artists are experts in doing three dimensional paintings which are expected to be as real as possible. These artists can make pictures which look like a replica of the real world.  INR 3,48,000
Art Director  Art directors look after the overall art and craft related work of an organisation, movie company, or production house.  INR 6,71,000
Creative Director  The creative directors innovate and produce new creative things and for an organisation. They also work on improving the level of already existing art and crafts.  INR 10,00,000
Graphic Designer  Graphic designers design the graphics for a website, webpage, application software, or an animation studio.  INR 3,03,000
Interior Designer The interior designers design and decorate the entire interior look and setting of a building. They work on every aspect of the rooms including colour, furniture and styling.  INR 3,16,000
Concept Artist Concept artist is a concept driven art professional who works for different types of organisations and produces concept driven art works for them depending on their demand.  INR 4,20,000
Painter  Painters are professionals who do paintings either for an organisation or for their own art gallery. They can also paint for newspapers and magazines.  INR 3,30,000
Sculptor Sculptors are professionals who make different statues and monuments either for any organisation, authority, company or for their own art gallery.  INR 3,50,000 

Salary Trend
PhD Fine Arts Future Scope

PhD Fine Arts Future Scope

After completing PhD Fine Arts, a candidate can work as a fine arts professional or go for further research. 

  • The candidates can work as Professors and lecturers of Fine Arts in colleges and universities after completing PhD Fine Arts course. 
  • The candidates can also start their own Art Gallery and Studio and become self employed. 
  • The candidates can continue with their research work and publish their research papers in various Art journals. 
  • Students can also opt for a DSc (Doctor of Science) degree in any related field. 
  • They can also do various certification courses on advanced art topics from reputed foreign universities. 
PhD Fine Arts FAQs

PhD Fine Arts FAQs

Some of the most frequently asked questions related to PhD Fine Arts course are discussed below. 

Ques. What is the scope of Fine Arts in India?

Ans. Fine Arts have a good scope in India. The candidates can easily get employed in the Film Industry, Theatres, Television Industry, Fashion Industry etc. 

Ques. Can the duration of PhD Fine Arts Course be extended from 3 years? 

Ans. Yes, the duration of a PhD Fine Arts course can be extended from 3 years to 5 years. It depends on the duration and level of research.

Ques. Is it possible to build a career in UI designing and graphic designing after PhD Fine Arts? 

Ans. Yes, PhD Fine Arts candidates can easily build a career as UI designer and Graphic designer. Further, the candidates can also do certification courses in UI design and Graphic design to smoothen their careers. 

Ques. What is the average salary for a fine arts graduate in India? 

Ans. The average salary for Fine Arts graduates ranges between INR 4,00,000 and 6,00,000. It generally increases with skills and experience. 

Ques. Is PhD Visual Arts better than PhD Fine Arts? 

Ans. Both the courses are almost identical and offer similar benefits. The only difference is that visual arts is more concerned with animations, graphics, etc while fine arts mainly deals with painting, sculpting, Mosaic etc. 

Ques. What is the average fees for completing PhD Fine Arts in India? 

Ans. The PhD Fine Arts Colleges generally charge fees between INR 25,000 to 75,000 annually. 

Ques. Which are the major recruiting industries for PhD Fine Arts candidates? 

Ans. The major industries which generally employ PhD Fine Arts candidates include Film Industry, Theatres, Television Industry, Fashion Industry among others. 

Ques. Does AMU conduct a separate entrance exam for admission to PhD Fine Arts? 

Ans. Yes, AMU conducts its own entrance exam for admission to PhD Fine Arts course.

Ph.D. (Fine Arts) Fee Structure in India


82.50 K (Minimum Fee)PUBLIC COLLEGES2.65 L  (Maximum Fee)
2.07 L (Average Fee)
27.86 K (Minimum Fee)Private COLLEGES3.65 L (Maximum Fee)
2.27 L (Average Fee)

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