Performance Studies FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

What do students in Performance Studies study?

Performance Studies is an interdisciplinary program that examines a range of performances from dance, theatre, and music, to performance art and theatrical histories.

Students discuss cultural perspectives such as feminism, queer studies, post-colonialism, and critical race theory across the fields of anthropology, theatre, and history, popular culture, entertainment, and technology. Latin American, Caribbean, African and African American, Asian and Asian American, European, and American performance are also explored.

Is there an Undergraduate program in Performance Studies at NYU?

YES. There is a B.A. in Performance Studies at Tisch. For information about the program, please contact Laura Fortes (, the Assistant Director of Programs at Performance Studies.

Can NYU students outside of the department take classes?

YES. However, students in Performance Studies have priority because of the one-year format of the program. Please note: Required courses are NOT available to external students.

Students can fill out a copy of the External Student Registration form. Inter-departmental registration is based on instructor approval and space availibility. At times, external students may need departmental clearance and their advisor to sign off on the form.

Admissions FAQ

Do I have to take the GRE?

No. The GRE is not required for admission into any of our programs.

Do I have to take an English language proficiency exam?

Yes, the department requires applicants who are not native English speakers to submit an official English language proficiency exam score report. Please refer to the International Applicant Requirements page on the Tisch Graduate Admissions website for more information and which exams are accepted.

How many students do you accept into the Ph.D. program and what kind of funding do they receive?

The program currently accepts four students per year. All newly admitted Ph.D. students are awarded a five-year comprehensive fellowship award that includes full tuition and fees, comprehensive health insurance, and a stipend of $28,145 for the 2018-2019 academic year.

What degree is required to be considered for the Ph.D. program?

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.

Do you offer a distance learning or part-time doctoral program?

No. It is a full-time program with no online components.

How much does it cost to attend the Master’s?

Tuition is determined each year by the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Students are billed per unit. (The M.A. degree is composed of 34 unit; all courses are four units each.)
The current tuition rate can be found on the Bursar's website.

Are there any departmental scholarships?

The department offers a limited number of tuition scholarships. All applicants, regardless of their financial or citizenship status, are considered for these merit based awards.

Does the program offer any teaching opportunities or graduate assistantships to Master’s students?

Currently, there are no teaching opportunities or graduate assistantships available to incoming M.A. students. Students looking for employment opportunities are encouraged to apply for campus jobs through our career services office.

How long is the Master’s program?

The Master’s program is a one-year intensive program that begins during the fall semester (September) and concludes after the first summer term (June). Students are required to be in residence full-time for three consecutive semesters (Fall, Spring, Summer). Students receive their degrees in September.

When do M.A. and Ph.D. PS students begin their studies?

M.A. students begin their program in September 2017.
M.A. students must complete 34 credits over three consecutive semesters (fall, spring, summer). Students who are taking 12 credits in a semester are considered "full-time".
Ph.D. students begin coursework in September (Fall) and do not take courses during the summer.

How many students are admitted to the Performance Studies M.A. and Ph.D. programs?

Four students are admitted into the Ph.D. program each year.
The M.A. program is highly competitive and admits up to 35 students each year. 

What do students do once they finish their Master’s degree?

M.A. graduates make successful transitions into Ph.D. programs pursuing advanced studies in theater/performance studies, arts curating, cultural studies, gender studies, ethnic studies, art history, and law. Our M.A. graduates have secured positions in the following fields: Arts Administration; Education; Journalism; Arts Management; Arts advocacy; Museum Administration; Corporate or Nonprofit Communications; Community Development; Marketing and Market Research; Public Relations; Media Production; Gallery management; Social and Public Service; International and Non-Governmental Organization Work.

Should I contact faculty before I apply?

Contacting faculty prior to application is not necessary or recommended. Our faculty members receive many emails from prospective students and regret they are unable to respond to all inquiries.