Program Objectives

The Ph.D. Program in Theatre and Performance at The Graduate Center is designed to develop scholars of broad theoretical background and demonstrated research ability in dramatic theory and criticism, dramatic structure, performance theory, and the history of theatre. The program aims to provide students with a mastery of primary research methods, to instill professional ethics, and to prepare students to teach in research universities.

Learning Goals

  1. Ph.D. graduates are expected to demonstrate superior written and oral communication skills and substantial knowledge of world theatre across various geographical regions and historical periods.
    • Method of Assessment: Completion of three core classes, Theatre Research (70100), Contextual and Intertextual Studies in Drama (70300), and History of Theatrical Theory (70600), plus successful completion of First Examination.

  2. Graduates are expected to demonstrate competent reading knowledge of two foreign languages that will enable research in non-Anglophone primary and secondary texts.
    • Method of Assessment: Passing language examinations, successfully completing a foreign language reading course, or demonstrating native proficiency.

  3. Graduates are expected to be able to analyze theatrical and cultural texts and performances with originality and precision and with reference to relevant theories and methodologies.
    • Method of Assessment: Successful completion of coursework and of First and Second Examinations.

  4. Graduates must demonstrate an in-depth proficiency in theatre and drama from at least one geographical area, the range of which includes the United States, Europe, Latin America, East Asia, South Asia, and the Middle East, and to apply theoretical perspectives and methods drawn from several different fields, including critical race studies, feminism, gender studies, poststructuralism, and postcolonial theory.
    • Method of Assessment: Successful completion of Advanced Theatre Research (85200) and Second Examination.

  5. Graduates are expected to make a substantial and original contribution to theatre studies in the form of critical essays and a book-length dissertation and to prepare such work for publication or public presentation.
    • Method of Assessment: Successful completion of dissertation and Third Examination.

  6. Graduates are expected to demonstrate familiarity with academic and professional organizations and structures and to position themselves as contributing members of their professional community of scholars.
    • Method of Assessment: Participation in Theatre Program-sponsored professionalization events, Theatre Program and Graduate Center committees, job placement workshops and mock interviews, and professional organizations and conferences.