Theater and Performance Studies PhD
The Doctor of Philosophy in Theater is an innovative, interdisciplinary program that offers an international, cross-cultural exploration of theater in all its manifestations. The program is conducted by respected scholars and artists with experience in all aspects of theater. The goal of the program is to produce scholars fluent in both the theory and practice of theater who can expand our understanding of dramatic expression and its profound historical and cultural significance in human society.
The program is small and highly selective; students receive personal attention and have had great success in obtaining teaching assistantships and generous fellowships. The faculty have a wide range of interests and strive to maintain a program that does not exclude any topic. Recent dissertation subjects include Brazilian performance, Chinese drama, Renaissance dance history, African ritual theater, contemporary Japanese theater, acting theory, feminist theory, and queer theory.
Students are encouraged to study with outstanding scholars in other departments and to take advantage of the enormous academic and cultural resources available at UCLA that include, among many others: the interdisciplinary Centers for African American Studies, Chicano and Chicana Studies, Asian American Studies, and the Study of Women; the Fowler Museum of Cultural History; the Department of World Arts and Cultures; and the UCLA Center for the Performing Arts. Los Angeles, a multicultural, multi-lingual, international city, also offers an enormous range of Western and Non-Western artistic activity; and special cultural resources such as the J. Paul Getty Museum and Institutes, the Huntington Library, and the Japan America Theater.
In most instances, the chair of the appropriate graduate committee acts as principal adviser to students in the program, although some students may be assigned by the chair to other members of the faculty. Each program has a specific procedure and calendar for assignment of each student's committee. Students should consult the adviser for this information.
Students meet with their adviser for program planning prior to the beginning of each quarter and again early in each quarter for formal approval of the study list. Students are urged to confer with their adviser as frequently as necessary to discuss program changes, petitions, and other concerns.
Assessment of student academic progress in the program is made by the appropriate committee during the final examination week of each quarter. The adviser then notifies students of problems, when warranted, in writing and assists in planning a solution. Normally, committee recommendations are referred directly to the chair of the department, though in some instances, special problems may be referred to the faculty for recommendation of action to the chair.
Major Fields or Subdisciplines
The Ph.D. student in theater is expected to be knowledgeable regarding theater history and theory, critical methods, theatrical production, and dramatic literature.
Foreign Language Requirement
Mastery of one foreign language approved by the Ph.D. Committee is required and must be demonstrated by one of the following methods: (1) completion of a level 5 course or the equivalent with a minimum grade of C, in any foreign language, (2) passing a UCLA language examination given by a faculty member in any foreign language department, or (3) passing a departmental language examination given by a member of the department's Graduate Foreign Language Committee. The foreign language requirement may be completed after admission to the Ph.D. program; however, students are encouraged to complete five quarters or three semesters of a foreign language appropriate to Ph.D. research objectives prior to admission. Language courses taken toward fulfillment of the language requirement are not counted toward the degree.
During the first six quarters (two academic years), students must complete a minimum of 12 graduate courses (200- or 500- level) and Theater 220. Theater 216A, 216B, 216C are required. The remaining nine courses are elective graduate courses, seminars, or tutorials. Of these electives, no more than four may be taken outside the department and no more than two may be tutorials. In addition, the distribution of electives must include at least one each in the areas of Western or non-Western theater study. These electives must augment the required courses so as to constitute a definable area of study associated with the dissertation topic. The dissertation is a historical, critical, analytical, or experimental study of a theater topic. A screening examination is administered during the first week of the Fall Quarter based on a reading list supplied at the time of application.
Results of this examination may require the completion of background courses.
Teaching experience is encouraged but not required.
Written and Oral Qualifying Examinations
After completion of language and course requirements, students are required to pass a written qualifying examination scheduled for three days followed by one oral examination. Students first constitute an examination committee, which may also serve as the doctoral committee, including the potential dissertation adviser. Students submit a short description of the dissertation project to the Critical Studies Committee for review. Subsequent to this submission, students, in consultation with the Committee and the potential adviser, constitute the proposed Ph.D. examination committee, consisting of a minimum of four professors, of whom at least three must be from the department and at least one must be from another department whose research is relevant to the dissertation topic.
The written examinations concentrate on three subject areas that will inform the dissertation and constitute the main foci of the student's specialization. These areas may be chosen from: a field of critical theory; a historical period; the performance of a genre, or of social or cultural traditions of a given geographical region. The student, together with the examination committee, prepares a bibliography in each of the three fields, covering the leading concepts, methodologies and examples seminal to the field. Along with the bibliographies, the student also composes a dissertation prospectus of approximately 25-30 pages. The prospectus argues for the topic of the dissertation and for the pertinence of the three fields to the area of the dissertation, and concludes in a brief description of the proposed chapters. Both the prospectus and the bibliographies must be approved by the examination committee at least one quarter prior to scheduling the examinations. The examination questions are derived from these materials.
Each segment of the written examination is dedicated to one of the fields. The written examination is a take-home exam. The writing period will not exceed one week. The page limit of the exam will not exceed thirty pages. The completed examinations will be distributed to the committee. Students who pass the written examinations submit a departmentally-approved nomination of doctoral committee to the Graduate Division for approval. Upon approval, the University Oral Qualifying Examination is scheduled. This examination focuses on the materials in the prospectus, including further discussion of the three scholarly fields identified as pertinent to the student.
If the student fails the doctoral examinations, there is one opportunity to retake them.
Advancement to Candidacy
Students are advanced to candidacy and awarded the Candidate in Philosophy (C.Phil.) degree upon successful completion of the written and oral qualifying examinations.
Every doctoral degree program requires the completion of an approved dissertation that demonstrates the student's ability to perform original, independent research and constitutes a distinct contribution to knowledge in the principal field of study.
Final Oral Examination (Defense of Dissertation)
Not required for all students in the program. The decision as to whether a defense is required is made by the doctoral committee.
The maximum time for completion of degree requirements is 18 quarters, with the following timelines:
From graduate admission to the written and oral qualifying examination: six quarters.
From graduate admission to the approval of the dissertation prospectus: three to six quarters.
From approval of the dissertation prospectus to the oral qualifying examination: one quarter.
From advancement to candidacy to the final oral examination: three quarters. From graduate admission to the award of the degree: 18 quarters.
All Theater, Film and Television degree programs are full-time, day-time programs. The Theater graduate programs have day-time classes and evening production activities. The UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television only accepts applicants for admittance for the Fall. The admissions information below is for Fall 2013.
APPLICATION POSTMARK DEADLINE: DECEMBER 10, 2012
Please complete all of the following steps:
Step 1: Online
- Complete the UCLA Graduate Division Online Application.
- Indicate PhD as the degree, and THEATER AND PERFORMANCE STUDIES as the major.
- Submit the Application and Pay the Application Fee by December 10, 2012.
- Upload UNOFFICIAL copies of all TRANSCRIPTS to the UCLA Graduate Division Online Application.
- Include all Undergraduate and Graduate institutions attended.
- NOTE: Community College transcripts are not necessary, as the coursework will be reflected on the undergraduate transcript.
- Submit Three LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION.
- Enter the Names and Emails of all recommenders into the UCLA Graduate Division Online Application.
- NOTE: If needed, letters can be submitted by mail.
Step 2: Online & Mail
- Complete the UCLA Graduate Theater Departmental Online Application.
- PRINT and MAIL the generated PDF from this application along with any mailed supplemental materials.
- Upload and Mail the STATEMENT OF PURPOSE.
- Compose a 1-3 page document giving the faculty a sense of who you are. Please address the following: Why are you interested in the program? What life experiences have contributed to you applying to TFT? What do you hope to achieve by participating in the program? What are your professional goals and how do you plan to achieve them?
- Upload and Mail a RESUME of training and experience in Theater or other related work.
- Upload and Mail a copy of the MASTER’S THESIS or a SCHOLARLY RESEARCH PAPER of at least 20 pages which demonstrates your thought process and skills in research and analysis of theater history, literature, or live performance.
- Welcomed, but not required, are published articles, non-text-based materials, or reviews of creative work.
- An interview may also be required.
Step 3: Mail
- Mail an OFFICIAL copy of TRANSCRIPTS from all undergraduate institutions attended.
- NOTE: Community College transcripts are not necessary, as the coursework will be reflected on the undergraduate transcript.
- Please have transcripts sent to the address below or include them in sealed envelopes with the supplemental application packet.
- Request that all TEST SCORES be sent directly to UCLA.
- The UCLA Code is 4837 and the Theater Code is 2403.
- Only test scores taken by December, 2012 will be accepted.
- NOTE: THE GRE IS REQUIRED FOR PhD APPLICANTS.
Please SEND all applicable materials to:
Graduate Theater Admissions
UCLA Department of Theater
103 East Melnitz Hall, Box 951622
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1622
APPLICATION POSTMARK DEADLINE: DECEMBER 1, 2012
English Proficiency: Any international applicant whose first language is not English must certify proficiency in English when applying to UCLA, and, if admitted, upon arrival. Such applicants must submit scores received on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) as part of their application. The UCLA Code is 4837 and the Theater Code is 2403. Only test scores taken by December 2012 will be accepted. For more information about this requirement, visit http://www.grad.ucla.edu/gasaa/admissions/ENGREQ.HTM
Academic Records: Although the UCLA Graduate Division Application enables applicants to upload an unofficial copy of their academic records, all applicants are required to submit official records from each academic institution attended. For more information about this requirement, visit http://www.grad.ucla.edu/gasaa/admissions/ACADRECS.HTM.
Proof of Funding for Visa: U.S. immigration law requires that international applicants, if admitted, show documented evidence that sufficient funds to cover all tuition, fees, transportation, and living expenses are available for the first year of their studies at UCLA. This must be proved before a Certificate of Eligibility (I-20 or DS2019) for a visa can be issued. For more information about this requirement, visit http://www.grad.ucla.edu/gasaa/admissions/VISAPROC.HTMFor U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents interested in receiving financial aid, note that the Fellowship Application and Financial Aid Application (FAFSA) deadline for UCLA is March 2, 2013. Applicants must complete the FAFSA by this date if they want to be eligible for all awards, work-study, and fellowships that UCLA offers. Please visit the FAQ page for additional questions, call 310-206-8441, or e-mail email@example.com.