Admissions and Aid

Use the online application to apply for the MA/PhD in Theatre and Performance Studies and check the status of your application. All materials (with the exception of test scores) should be submitted electronically.

International students are required to complete the TOEFL, with a minimum score of 600 on the paper-based test or 100 on the TOEFL iBT.

A complete application should include:

  • A resume of previous professional, academic, and theatrical experience (including foreign languages studied or spoken)
  • A copy of all previous transcripts of grades
  • A personal statement of no more than 1000 words, which speaks to your scholarly interests, academic goals, and your reasons for applying to Tufts.
  • Three letters of recommendation which discuss your scholarly and professional achievements and contributions to the arts and humanities
  • A writing sample which reflects a scholarly discussion of a topic in or related to theater (e.g., part of a Master's thesis, a term paper, a research article)

The Department of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies generally accepts three graduate students per year.

MA/PhD in Theatre and Performance Studies

The MA/PhD program is not designed to grant a terminal MA degree. Instead, it is expected that students will proceed beyond the MA degree to PhD study whether at Tufts or elsewhere. Students who enter the program at the Master's level must apply to the department to be admitted to the doctoral program upon completion of the Master's thesis and/or coursework.

For admission to the MA/PhD program, a prospective student must present a completed undergraduate record of high scholastic proficiency with a firm grounding in drama and theatre, film, dance, and performance/ performance studies. Other desirable foundation subjects include: fine arts, music, philosophy, history, languages, literature and the social sciences.

PhD in Theatre and Performance Studies

For admission to graduate work for the PhD degree in Theatre and Performance Studies, a prospective candidate must present a completed graduate and/or undergraduate record of high scholastic proficiency with a firm grounding in drama and theatre, film, dance, and performance/ performance studies.. Other desirable foundation subjects include: fine arts, music, philosophy, history, literature, languages, and social sciences. In general, the student is expected to offer for admission the equivalent of a Tufts MA in Theatre and Performance Studies.

Financial Aid

Departmental Fellowship and Assistantship Packages

The PhD program in Theatre and Performance Studies funds all students in good academic standing for five years. All students receive a full tuition waiver and five years of student health insurance. In a student's first year in the program they will receive a University Fellowship, valued at $28,800 in 2019-2020. In a student's second through fifth years, the Department provides a Teaching Assistantship, valued at $28,800 in 2018-2019. Additional summer support is oftentimes provided through the Dean's office via the Dean and Provost Fellowships, the Dean's Summer Humanities Fellowship, and the Theatre & Performance Studies Dissertation Fellowship. Funding beyond the fifth year is competitively awarded via the Center for Humanities at Tufts Fellowship and the Robyn Gittleman Teaching Fellowship offered via the Tufts Experimental College.

Conference and Research Funding

There are five primary sources from which students may seek funding to cover the cost of research trips and conferences.

  • Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS):
    Students may apply to the GSAS to cover the cost of travel for research or to attend a conference ($200 if not presenting; $400 if presenting). Awards are given on a first-come/first-served basis, and each student may receive only one award per academic year. Students must complete a travel reimbursement request form, which is available from the Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Students should note that all awards are made as reimbursements—no travel advances are available. Only one award is made per academic year.

  • Graduate Student Council (GSC):
    Students should refer to the above guidelines for making application to the GSC travel fund. The GSC awards up to $100 to cover the costs of research or conference travel. Again, awards are given on a first-come/first-served basis so early application is encouraged.

  • Graduate Student Research Competition:
    Tufts University's Graduate Student Research Competition (GSRC) supports the research of graduate students by providing funding for expenses including:

    • Equipment, materials, and supplies
    • Research participant compensation
    • Expenses of travel to conduct research

    The competition is open to any graduate student enrolled in a doctoral or master's program in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences or the School of Engineering. Sixteen awards are available each semester. The maximum amount for an award is $1,000 and students are limited to one award per academic year.

  • The Sherwood Collins Graduate Endowment Fund:
    A Department fund established to assist graduate students in expenses for conferences, language study, and/or research. Currently students may request up to $750 per year in assistance from the Collins Fund. In past years, grants from this fund have been used for partial support to cover expenses incurred while researching dissertation, expenses incurred by students traveling to deliver a paper at a scholarly conference, or other extraordinary expenses. Students may apply for funding from the Collins Fund at any time during the year. They are encouraged to do so well in advance of the event. Students traveling to make presentations at conferences or to complete research are reminded to retain all receipts to submit for reimbursement. There is no carry-over from year to year, so students are reminded to use their allotted funds within the fiscal year. Please contact the Department Administrator for funding request forms.

  • The Laurence Senelick Graduate Fund:
    This fund exists to assist students who need funding for non-English language instruction. Rules for applying are the same as those for the Collins Fund. Please contact the Department Administrator for funding request forms.

Funding opportunities through the Graduate School