Skip to content

Theater & Performance Studies Ph.D.

Embark on a journey that delves into cross-cultural, interdisciplinary explorations of performance, broadly defined.

The Ph.D. in Theater and Performance Studies program crafts world-class research that magnifies the cultural and historical significance of theater and performative acts in a global frame.

The innovative Ph.D. program in Theater and Performance Studies, produces scholars renowned for their expansive research.

Admitting 1-3 students annually, the program offers personalized mentoring, focusing on diverse dissertation projects. These projects intertwine critical theories and performance studies, with recent topics ranging from digital performance to African American music and Chicana performance.

Beyond the department, students collaborate with interdisciplinary centers like the Bunche Center for African American Studies and the Hammer Museum.

World-Class Faculty

Suk-Young Kim
Associate Dean of Faculty and Students; Professor
View profile for Suk-Young Kim
Sean Metzger
Head of Theater and Performance Studies; Professor
View profile for Sean Metzger
Michelle Liu Carriger
Chair, Department of Theater; Associate Professor Department Chair
View profile for Michelle Liu Carriger


Course Requirements

During the first six quarters (two academic years), students must complete 13 courses, including Theater 220, 216AS, 216B, and 216C, as well as nine elective seminars or tutorials (200 or 500-level). Students are regularly enrolled in one seminar within the department and one outside the department. No more than two electives may be tutorials. 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.