Graduate Admissions

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The Masters in Performance Studies offers students the unique opportunity to immerse themselves in this concentrated program and earn their degree in one year. The program targets not only those students aimed at advanced (doctoral) studies in performance or related fields, but those individuals engaged in, or headed towards, careers in art practice as well: choreographers, performance artists, directors, designers, etc. who seek to supplement their technical training with a deep engagement in performance theory will have an opportunity to consider their practice-based knowledge in relation to theories of performance. Graduates of the M.A. program may pursue careers in arts management/administration, education, grant-writing, and other arts-related media and policy work.

The doctoral program in performance studies at NYU is an intensive, highly competitive five-year program that trains students to conduct advanced research and scholarship. A previously earned M.A., M.S., or international equivalent is required for applicants wishing to enter directly into the doctoral program. Applicants holding M.F.A. degrees who have strong academic training in performance theory may be considered on a case by case basis.

GRADUATE PROGRAMS IN PERFORMANCE STUDIES (M.A. AND PH.D.)

DEADLINES

Note: "Internal" applicants for Ph.D. are those who have earned their MA from the Department of Performance Studies.  "External" applicants are those who earned their Masters at another institution or school in NYU.

  • MA applicants: January 15
  • Ph.D. applicants (External): January 15
  • Ph.D. applicants (Internal): first day of Spring Semester, January 23

M.A. APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS

Admission to the Master’s program in Performance Studies is based on an evaluation of previous academic achievements, presence of a clear scholarly focus, and compatibility with the philosophy of the program. 

In addition to the general Tisch Graduate Application, we ask that you prepare the following:

  1. A statement of purpose (three to five double-spaced pages, maximum) that addresses:

    a) your specific research interest in the field of Performance Studies (opening paragraph)

    b) why you are applying to this program (and not a more traditional program such as anthropology, dance, or theatre)

    c) how your academic, professional, and/or artistic background make you an ideal candidate for the program. 

  2. A writing sample (10-15 double-spaced pages, maximum) that reflects your ability to carry out sustained academic research and writing, preferably one that relates to the field of Performance Studies. (10- to 15 double-spaced pages, maximum.)

  3. Two letters of recommendation, preferably from faculty who are familiar with your recent academic work.

  4. All academic transcripts

  5. A professional résumé listing academic background, relevant work experience, honors, affiliations with professional organizations, papers presented at conferences, published work, etc.

The résumé, statement of purpose, writing sample, and recommendations should be attached to your online application for admission. GREs are not required. Ideally, academic credentials will be uploaded as scanned documents along with the application for admission. They also may be transmitted electronically through a secure third-party service. Check with your school's records or credential-issuing office to see if this kind of service is available. You also can mail, or instruct your school to mail, one copy of your educational record to:

Office of Graduate Admissions 726 Broadway, 2nd Floor New York, NY 10003

(Please note that you may upload transcripts or have them mailed in. You do not have to do both.)

PH.D. APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS

The Ph.D. program in Performance Studies is small and rigorous. It offers intensive training for students who wish to become the new leaders of the field. The Tisch Performance Studies program accepts up to four new students a year. Ph.D. students begin full-time enrollment in September.

A previously earned master’s degree is required for applicants wishing to enter directly into the doctoral program.  A completed M.A. or M.S. is generally required for consideration.  Applicants holding an MFA or M.MUS degree, who have a strong academic training background in performance theory may be considered on a case by case basis.

In addition to the general Tisch Graduate Application, we ask that you prepare the following:

  1. A statement of purpose (three to five double-spaced pages, maximum) that addresses

    a) your specific research interest in the field of Performance Studies (opening paragraph),

    b) why you are applying to this program (and not a more traditional program such as anthropology, dance, or theatre), and

    c) how your academic, professional, and/or artistic background make you an ideal candidate for the program.

    d) A brief description of your proposed dissertation topic and how the department/faculty will help you achieve your academic goals.

  2. A critical writing sample (10-15 double-spaced pages, maximum) that reflects your ability to carry out sustained academic research and writing, preferably one that relates to the field of Performance Studies.

  3. Two letters of recommendation, preferably from faculty who are familiar with your recent academic work.

  4. All academic transcripts

  5. A professional résumé listing academic background, work experience, honors, affiliations with professional organizations, papers presented at conferences, published work, etc.

The resume, statement of purpose, writing sample, and recommendations should be attached to your online application for admission. GREs are not required. Ideally, academic credentials will be uploaded as scanned documents along with the application for admission. They also may be transmitted electronically through a secure third-party service. Check with your school's records or credential-issuing office to see if this service is available. You also can mail, or instruct your school to mail, one copy of your educational record to:

Office of Graduate Admissions 726 Broadway, 2nd Floor New York, NY 10003

(Please note that you may upload transcripts or have them mailed in. You do not have to do both.)

What I particularly like is the way in which Performance Studies is interested in how...the body is so crucial to the making of meaning – not just the conferral of meaning, but producing new meanings.

Ann Pellegrini, Professor