The Doctoral Programme of the Hungarian Academy of Fine Arts

Along with other doctoral programmes of other universities, the Hungarian Accreditation Committee gave its final approval to the Doctoral Programme of the Hungarian Academy of Fine Arts in the spring of 2002. Education in the area of fine arts received accreditation. Earlier, masters' programmes were separately accredited. Until the mid-1980s, the masters programme was integrated into the 5th, 6th and 7th years of instruction. After 1986, when the structure of instruction was modified and the arts diploma introduced, the masters programme was shifted to the 6th and 7th years. Thus the leading instructors of our Academy had already had decades of experience in this form of instruction when the doctoral programme was founded. Some of the methods and methodology now used in the doctoral programme were in fact handed down at this time.

At the Hungarian Academy of Fine Arts, theoretical instruction is carried out in a number of classes and disciplines which are high even by international standards. This allows students to receive help and consultation at the Academy in many interdisciplinary areas. The Academy boasts the most divergent forms of specialized instruction in the fine arts in Hungary - such as courses in restoration, intermedia and visual communication. Instructors and researchers can help students with a plethora of issues they might come across during their own programmes, such as those of materials, technology and media, ranging from dramaturgy, art psychology, art theory, architectural history through costume history to pedagogy.

Due to the peculiarities of arts instruction, candidates who apply with individual work programmes will not be forced to diverge from their practiced artistic-research areas once accepted, but can set to their work immediately and with full intensity. They will not be tied to one group of researchers, laboratories or workshops, but can avail themselves of the infrastructure offered by the academy (gallery, computer rooms, exhibition opportunities, etc.). In the fine arts, doctoral candidates build up the programme of their creative or research work on their own. Candidates will exercise their capacity for independent work, and be "a law onto themselves" in preparation and the collection of material. In their work they are assisted by consultations offered to candidates on an individual basis.

Any university graduate who engages in fine arts activities on a professional basis and holds a type "C" language certificate may be accepted to the programme. (In other words, not only those with a fine arts diploma may apply!)

There are a few points concerning admission, outside of those set down in the rules of the doctoral programme, to which we would like to call the candidates' attention:

In the academic world, the DLA degree is an honour and a prerequisite to become a qualified instructor. Therefore the Admission Committee keeps an eye open for potential future instructors among the candidates.

In the fine arts world the activities of talented artists can be easily traced in domestic and international exhibitions. Therefore, members of the Admission Committee may have taken notice of a talented artists even before he or she applies to the programme.

As part of the admission procedure, candidates must provide written and visual documentations as well as a structured work programme in a clear and easily assessable format so that it can be easily compared with the ones submitted by the others. The submitted documentation constitutes the basis of the admission interview with the candidates.

In the area of fine arts, propensity for written or verbal communication does not always go hand-in-hand with creative talent, therefore the Admission Committee lays a great emphasis on the originality of the candidates professional history.

Important criteria of selection are the communication abilities of the candidates and a conscious attitude, one that is able to take the work to a conscious level. At the time of admission, candidates should display qualities which encourage the assumption that after graduation, in possession of a DLA degree, they can enrich and pass on the culture of Hungarian fine arts.

An over-elaborate work programme is not required of the candidates at the time of admission: especially with young artists, an unfixed purpose is a natural condition.

It follows from the above that the emphasis during the admission procedure will lie on learning about the candidate's creative intentions which are authenticated and documented by his or her earlier work.

The Committee expects candidates to be well-informed of their own areas of specialty and be cognizant of the significant trends of contemporary art. They should also display an open intellect that enables them to accept and apply new creative techniques and methods.

Main Features of Education and Research at the Doctoral Programme

The education and research programmes concern themselves with outstanding issues of Hungarian and international contemporary arts, and investigate the integration of contemporary art into universal art from the perspectives of art history and art theory (history of ideas). This is realized through the following means:

Courses in social sciences and art theory

By defining, at consultation sessions, the problems of contemporary arts relevant to the individual work programme

By presenting and researching professional analogies (student and faculty research and approaches)

By presenting and applying creative methods and methodologies of contemporary art (analyses of works, exhibitions, projects)

By analysing and processing the professional, technological (execution) and art theory problems defined in the individual work programmes (practical and theoretical consultations, individual research and practical work)

The communicative tasks with relation to the works, complete or under preparation in the programme

Continuous documentation of the progress of the work

Provision of reasons for any deviations and divergences from the plans in the process (in some cases, divergences from the programme will lead to more significant results)

Presentation of partial findings (publication, lecture, exhibition)

Presentation of the background material necessary to realize the creative programme to students of the doctoral and graduate programmes. (In a form which is in keeping with the nature of the material: visually, verbally, utilizing the appropriate media.)

The planning of the presentation (installation) of realized projects and where conditions permit, its exhibition (publication).


Doctor's degree
H-1062 Budapest Andrássy út 69-71.

Dr. habil, DLA  Zoltán Szegedy-Maszák artist, professor
head of the department

Réka Szűcs
H-1063 Budapest Kmety Gy. u. 27. Feszty-ház
+ 36 1 354 16 43

download application form (.pdf)
download application form (.rtf)