The Ph.D. in Performance Studies at NYU is an intensive, highly competitive five-year program that trains students to conduct advanced research and scholarship.
The first of its kind (and still one of a very few) as a stand-alone doctoral program in performance studies, NYU Performance Studies was ranked #1 by the National Research Council in its survey of doctoral programs in theater and performance studies. Many of our graduates have gone on to academic positions in leading research institutions worldwide, publish award-winning books and articles, and shape the future of the field.
We accept 4 students per year, all of whom receive intensive and highly individualized mentoring and training, as well as 5 years of tuition/fee remission, health insurance, and a stipend.
The M.A. and Ph.D. Programs in Performance Studies are administered by the Tisch School of the Arts and degrees are conferred by the Graduate School of Arts and Science at NYU.
Doctoral students must complete 70 points of coursework with a “B” grade or better, pass their comprehensive examinations, and write and successfully defend a scholarly dissertation. Students who have an M.A. (from this department or elsewhere) may transfer up to 34 points from that degree upon approval by the Chair and the TSOA Director of Graduate Admissions. All applications for credit transfers must be made no later than during the student’s first semester in Performance Studies.
There are three required courses for the Ph.D. for (12 total points) (see below for descriptions) and the remainder 24 points are selected from the department (or other department- and advisor-approved) seminars.
Doctoral students may participate in the Inter-University Doctoral Consortium consisting of NYU, Columbia University, The New School, Fordham, CUNY Graduate Center, and Princeton. The number of courses taken outside of the department that are applicable to the Ph.D. is limited and subject to the approval of the Director of Graduate Studies and the student’s advisor.
DEGREE REQUIREMENTS (Fall 2005-Fall 2017)
Doctoral students must complete 72 points of coursework with a “B” grade or better, pass their comprehensive examinations, and write and successfully defend a scholarly dissertation. Students who have an M.A. (from this department or elsewhere) may transfer up to 36 points from that degree upon approval by the Chair and the TSOA Director of Graduate Admissions. All applications for credit transfers must be made no later than during the student’s first semester in Performance Studies.
Requirements (pre-Fall 2004 matriculation)
Students who began the Ph.D. program in Performance Studies prior to Fall 2004 must complete 80 points of approved coursework with a grade of “B” or better. Students who earned an M.A. prior to entering the Ph.D. program may be allowed to transfer up to 36 points from that degree (up to 44 points if the M.A. was from NYU Performance Studies). Please note: the maximum time to degree for doctoral students in GSAS is 10 years; for students who have exceeded that time limit you may not be permitted to complete your remaining requirements. Please contact the department as soon as possible for more information.
"This department is a really exciting place to work. The students and faculty are so inventive in their pursuit of rigorous thought and expressive possibilities, their boldness, and the de-territorialization they undertake of the disciplines that influence the field. If there is a future, Performance Studies is a part of it."
— Malik Gaines, Associate Professor