Theatre & Drama Ph.D.

Ph.D. in Theatre + Drama

The Ph.D. program is not accepting applications.

The Ph.D. in Theatre and Drama requires advanced level study of dramatic literature, theatre history, theory and analysis of drama and theatre arts. Students whose previous training has been primarily or exclusively in one area (such as theatre production or dramatic literature) are admitted to the program with the understanding that they will make up deficiencies in those areas in which they have had inadequate prior training.

The emphasis in the doctoral program is on training for research, wide acquaintance with scholarly works, and the accomplishment of significant results in investigations worthy of publication. In addition, it is assumed that you have had or will gain a proficiency in at least one area of theatre production. The course of study you pursue should be supplemented with work in productions and with wide reading and independent research.


The Ph.D. program presupposes that you will have had sufficient preparation to provide a basis for advanced study. This will normally be provided by a standard M.A. program in theatre containing the following elements:

  • 30 hours of graduate work
  • At least three courses in the areas of theatre history, dramatic literature, and dramatic theory
  • At least three undergraduate courses in the general area of theatre production: one of these must have been in either acting or directing, with another in costuming, lighting, scenic design, or stagecraft

You must accumulate a minimum of 90 semester hours beyond the B.A. degree for the Ph.D. Up to 30 semester hours of graduate work taken elsewhere may be used to meet this requirement.

If you have not taken the production, history, literature and theory courses listed above, you will be expected to take them concurrently with the doctoral program as early as possible. You will be excused from this requirement of formal course work only if you can satisfy the faculty member in charge of the area in question that they have had the equivalent of the minimal course work. Satisfaction can be given through special examination or through reliable evidence, such as a combination of record of experience, letters from former colleagues, interviews, and so on.

If you have not written a formal thesis for the M.A., you must submit some evidence of research and writing skills, such as a substantial term paper.