Graduate School of the Arts (GSA)

About us

Art graduates come with precise questions and topics and want to further qualify themselves scientifically, graduates of universities are looking for the practical proximity to the arts. Most of them are very talented in both fields. Some bring more artistic-creative experience, others more methodical knowledge and writing routine.

The GSA is a collaborative initiative between the Faculty of Humanities of the University of Bern and Bern University of Applied Sciences, Department Bern University of the Arts HKB. We offer a interdisciplinary doctoral program aimed at both research-based artists and academics with an interest in artistic practice. The transdisciplinary Graduate School of the Arts (GSA) brings art and science together: art graduates can study for a doctorate in the joint program of the University of Bern and the Bern University of the Arts (HKB). The GSA gives both research and art new impulses as well as introducing new perspectives and research fields.

The doctoral students realize their own project in a stimulating environment that includes them into scientific and artistic networks. They benefit from synergies between the two universities and are able to develop specific competences. In the GSA theory and practice are closely interlinked – as well as basic and practice-oriented research. In addition to artistic and social science methods, artistic and design research methods also play a role: the dissertation projects include prototyping and design methods, reenactment and embodiment, performance studies and historically informed performance practice.

About 40 doctoral students from the fields of musicology, theater and dance studies, art history and graphic design, archeology, social anthropology, German studies and Romance studies are currently realizing their projects within the GSA. Many are former students or employees of Bern University of the Arts HKB, others come from other Art Colleges or Universities – from St. Petersburg to Harvard and from Basel to Zurich. In addition to the workplace and the university libraries, the necessary infrastructures such as recording studio, medialab, media libraries, workshop, printing studio are at the disposal of the students at HKB. In 2016, the first graduates successfully completed their doctorate (see completed dissertations). In 2017, the first dissertation has been published (Immanuel Brockhaus: Cult Sounds).