Theater and Performance Studies Ph.D.
The degree program of Doctor of Philosophy in Theater and Performance Studies is an innovative, interdisciplinary program that offers an international, cross-cultural exploration of theater, performance and the performative. The goal of the program is to produce world-class scholars whose research expands the understanding of theater, performance and performative actions with regard to their historical and cultural significance.
The program is small and highly selective; students enjoy intense personal mentoring in their pursuit of scholarship and professional proficiency. The incoming class is one to three students per year. As a general rule, the program only admits students who can be funded through of variety of fellowships and teaching assistantships. Faculty publications and professional participation cover a broad array of research areas that enable the mentoring of a diverse range of dissertation projects. Dissertation projects combine original interpretive methodologies derived from critical theories and applied to the study of performance and performative actions. Recent dissertation subjects include digital performance, the costuming of Brazilian popular performances, Chinese and Taiwanese nationalist theater, African American performance and music, contemporary Japanese theater, Korean cinema and performance, Mexicana and Chicana performance, and historical studies of lesbian/feminist and queer performative strategies.
Students are encouraged to study with scholars in other departments in the field of their research interests 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 Performance Studies, comprised of faculty across disciplines working in the field of performance. Los Angeles is a multicultural, multi-lingual, international city that offers a wide 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 Japanese American Cultural and Community Center.
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. Students are regularly enrolled in one seminar within the department and one beyond the department and no more than two electives may be tutorials. 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 or performance studies topic.
Foreign Language Requirement
There is no departmental foreign language requirement for the Ph.D. degree. However, specific qualifying examination areas may require students to demonstrate mastery of a language other than English before taking that qualifying examination.
Visit the UCLA Graduate Division website for a complete overview of the Theater & Performance Studies doctoral program requirements, and click on the “Program Requirements” tab.
All Theater, Film and Television degree programs are full-time, daytime programs. The Theater graduate programs have daytime 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 2023.
Applicants must submit all required application materials to be considered for admission.
Online and Mailed Application Deadline: December 10, 2022
By the time of entrance, PhD applicants must:
- Have at least a 3.0 GPA.
- Satisfy the University of California’s Graduate Admission Requirements.
- Complete equivalent to a 4-year U.S. bachelor’s degree.
Please complete all of the following steps:
Step 1: Online
- Complete the UCLA Graduate Division Online Application.
- MUST be paid and completed online by December 10, 2022.
- Indicate PhD, Theater and Performance Studies as the program.
- Upload the Statement of Purpose.
- Submit a 1-2 page document.
- Upload a Personal Statement.
- Upload the Resume/CV.
- Upload a Master’s Thesis or a Scholarly Research Paper.
- Submit at least a 20 page document.
- Upload Unofficial copies of all Transcripts.
- Submit Two Letters of Recommendation
- Enter the Names and Emails of all recommenders into the UCLA Graduate Division Online Application.
Step 2: Mail
- Mail an Official copy of all Transcripts from each Undergraduate and Graduate institutions attended.
- Note: Community College transcripts are not necessary.
- Request that all Test Scores, if required, be sent directly to UCLA.
- Only test scores taken by December 31, 2022 will be accepted.
Please send all applicable materials to:
Graduate Theater Admissions: PhD
UCLA Department of Theater
103 East Melnitz Hall, Box 951622
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1622
Online and Mailed Application Deadline: December 10, 2022.
For more information on requirements and applying to UCLA as an International Student, visit https://grad.ucla.edu/admissions/international-applicants/.
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 Department Code is 2409. Only test scores taken by December 31, 2022 will be accepted. For more information about this requirement, visit https://grad.ucla.edu/admissions/english-requirements/. International applicants who have received a Bachelor’s degree from an American institution are not required to take the TOEFL.
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 https://grad.ucla.edu/admissions/required-academic-records/.
Undergraduate Degree Requirement: Applicants must complete equivalent to a 4 year US Bachelor’s Degree. International students who hold three-year ordinary pass degrees, or who hold professional diplomas in accounting, business, librarianship, social work, physical education, health education and so on, or four-year degrees, diplomas or higher certificates from technical, vocational or post-secondary specialized schools are NOT eligible for graduate admission. For Academic Requirements by Country or Educational System, visit: https://grad.ucla.edu/admissions/required-academic-records.
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 proven before a Certificate of Eligibility (I-20 or DS2019) for a visa can be issued. For more information about this requirement, visit https://grad.ucla.edu/admissions/visa-procedures/ .
FAFSA: For U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents interested in receiving financial aid in the 2023-2024 year, note that the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) deadline for UCLA is March 2, 2023. Applicants must complete the FAFSA by this date if they want to be eligible for all awards, work-study, and scholarships that UCLA offers. If applying after March 2, please check with the Financial Aid Office for available funding opportunities. www.financialaid.ucla.edu
DREAM Act: For non-U.S. citizens or non-permanent residents who are approved to pay in-state tuition because they graduated from a high school in California; they will need to complete the California DREAM application by the March 2, 2023 deadline. The DREAM application can be accessed at https://dream.csac.ca.gov. If applying after March 2, please check with the Financial available funding opportunities. www.financialaid.ucla.edu
** Please do not contact the department to check on your application, as we cannot update you on your application status or materials.