Doctoral studies

The Doctoral study program of the Art Academy of Latvia provides studies in the highest academic level, in which students are prepared to be specialists in independent, creative and versatile scientific research work in the art science and cultural theory. The academic qualification and knowledge of the lecturers who cooperate with the Doctoral study program of the Art Academy of Latvia create prerequisites for in-depth studies within the issues of Baltic art and culture, as well as guarantee professional supervision of the doctoral thesis in a diverse spectrum of world's cultural issues. In order to write more successful doctoral thesis, supervisors and consultants from other Latvian higher education institutions as well as from foreign countries are invited.

The length of the Doctoral study program is three years, providing the opportunity to complete theoretical studies, obtain 144 credit points and defend the thesis. By participating in scientific conferences with reports and publications on the subject of the research work, as well as taking qualification exams, Doctoral studies create the prerequisites for a successful academic career and lays the foundation for obtaining the PhD in Arts.

The Doctoral study program was accredited on January 17, 2024, for a period of 6 years, until January 18, 2030.

Measures to support quality at the Doctoral Studies in the Art Academy of Latvia

In order to promote the efficiency of the doctoral studies, quality of the doctoral theses, increase the number of the defended thesis and financially support doctoral students, Art Academy of Latvia has developed a procedure for the use of doctoral study quality support measure funds.

The scheme is intended to promote activities aimed at improving the results of research-based higher education. Funds for the quality support measures are allocated in accordance with Article 5 of the Latvijas Mākslas akadēmijas snieguma finansējuma pārvaldības politikas”, which states that "Performance funding attracted by the Art Academy of Latvia is used to promote activities aimed at improving the results of research-based higher education and performance funding results”

The aim of the of the Art Academys of Latvia quality support measures is to financially support the students of the Doctoral Study program, in order to increase the number of doctoral degree holders in art, design and creative industries, thus contributing to the development of the industry, as well as the preparation of specialists with the highest scientific qualifications for Latvian universities, state institutions and commercial companies. The means of the quality support measures for the doctoral studies are primarily intended for the promotion of research mobility.

About obtaining PhD

In order to obtain the doctoral degree, the candidate must develop and defend a thesis under the supervision of an experienced scientist. The main conclusions of the doctoral thesis must be published in scientific publications.

The thesis can be:

  1. a dissertation;
  2. a thematically unified set of scientific publications. Publications must be published or accepted for publication in scientific journals that are anonymously reviewed, internationally available in scientific information repositories and are cited in internationally accessible databases;
  3.  a monograph – a peer-reviewed scientific book devoted to one topic, that is internationally available in scientific information repositories, contains a bibliography and a summary in a foreign language.

Defense of the doctoral thesis in the Promotion Council takes place only after its positive assessment by the State Scientific Qualification Commission (orig. Valsts Zinātniskās kvalifikācijas komisija).

The Promotion Council of the Art Academy of Latvia has the right to accept for defence scientific works from scientists from the Republic of Latvia other countries. The Promotion Council which accepts the scientific work for the defence determines whether the scientific work corresponds to the profile of the council

  • In order to submit the doctoral thesis for the defence in the Council, the head of the doctoral study department organises its preliminary review, in accordance with the regulations of the Art Academy of Latvia. The protocol of the discussion within the preliminary review is one of the documents to be submitted to the Promotion Council. Two copies of the protocol are issued to the author. When accepting for scientific works of doctoral students from other scientific institutions, the conclusion of the scientific council of the relevant institution is required.
  • The applicant submits to the secretary of the Promotional Council: the doctoral thesis, summary in Latvian (4 copies) and the documents mentioned in the clause 5.1 of the Regulations (see link).
  • Within a week, chairman and the secretary of the Promotion Council evaluate the formal compliance of the documents with the legislation of the Republic of Latvia. When giving the reply, the representatives of the Council justify their decisions.

Criteria for the quality of the thesis:

  • *the thesis is developed independently;
  • the thesis is a complete study and has the sufficient volume;
  • the results of the thesis provide new knowledge in art science;
  • the thesis proves applicant's ability to analyse and critically evaluate the research material;
  • the thesis is not a forgery or plagiarism, no other violation of scientist's ethics has been committed during its development;
  • information about scientific publications and participation in international conferences, which reports on the main conclusions of the work, is added to the thesis;

Promotion Council appoints three reviewers for the thesis, one of whom is an expert in art science, and two are experts from other scientific institutions or organisations (preferably outside Latvia).

Promotion Council determines in which foreign language and within what timeframe the translation of the thesis summary must be prepared in order to ensure the international availability of the work.

Promotion Council informs the applicant in written form about the members of the Promotion Council as well as the reviewers.

Promotion Council assesses the compliance of the submitted thesis with the legislation of the Republic of Latvia and sends it to the State Scientific Qualification Commission or returns it to the author, justifying their decision. State Scientific Qualification Commission evaluates the work within a month and gives the permission to defend the work.

Promotion Council determines the date of defence of the thesis. (Not earlier than three months and not later than six months after receiving the thesis).

Promotion Councils chairman coordinate the decision with the members of the council and invites three reviewers, one of whom is an expert of this Council, and two are from other scientific institutions. The reviewers of the doctoral thesis can be Latvian or foreign scientists who are international level experts in the field of art science.

Thesis review cannot be executed by relatives of the applicant, their direct subordinates or supervisors at the workplace, co-authors of the applicant's publications, thesis supervisor and consultant, as well as staff of their faculty, departments etc.

If a negative decision of State Scientific Qualification Commission is received, the chairman of the Promotion Council returns the doctoral thesis to the applicant. After supplementing the work, it can be resubmitted to the Promotion Council for defence at the time set by the council. If a negative decision of State Scientific Qualification Commission is received again, after the supplementation of the thesis, the doctoral thesis is rejected.

The Council sends a copy of the doctoral thesis and its summary to each of the three reviewers, one copy to the Library of the Art Academy of Latvia, and adds two copies of the summary to the applicant's file no later than one month before the council meeting. The Council announces it in the newspapers "Latvijas Vēstnesis" and "Zinātnes Vēstnesis" two weeks before the defence of the doctoral thesis. The text of the doctoral thesis is posted on the homepage of the Art Academy of Latvia at

Two months before the Promotion Council meeting, secretary of the Council issues to the applicant a list of general cultural and educational institutions approved by the Council, as well as leading specialists and members of the Council, to whom the summary of the scientific work must be sent. The doctoral thesis and 15 copies of its summary are sent to The National Library of Latvia by the secretary of the Promotion Council.

The applicant is presented with the reviewers' written feedback no later than three days before the Promotion Council meeting. The applicant has the right to withdraw the doctoral thesis for supplementing or revise until the beginning of the defence procedure. If the feedback of one reviewer is negative, the promotion can take place, but the applicant has the right to withdraw the thesis and supplement or revise it. If the reviews of two or three reviewers are negative, the doctoral thesis is not reviewed by the Council and is returned to the applicant for revision. The applicant can resubmit the revised thesis to the university no earlier than six months after receiving the negative reviews. Regarding the withdrawal of the doctoral thesis, the Council submits a notice in the newspapers "Latvijas Vēstnesis" and "Zinātnes vēstnesis" within a week after receiving it.