PhD in Theatre and Performance Admissions and Application Information

In response to the disruptions caused by the global pandemic, graduate programs in the Humanities and Social Sciences in the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh are pausing admissions for fall 2021.

This one-year intermission will enable us to devote our resources and attention to our continuing students. Graduate training and research are central to the mission of the Dietrich School and the Department of Theatre Arts. While we do not pause admissions lightly, in these uncertain times we are committed to optimally supporting our current students’ success and wellbeing.
If you seek to begin your graduate studies in the fall of 2021, we thank you for your understanding and wish you all the best in your endeavors. If you consider applying to our program for fall 2022, or have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to contact the Director of Graduate Studies, Michelle Granshaw

Entrance Qualifications

The Doctor of Philosophy program typically admits applicants who will complete MA and MFA degrees prior to registration at Pitt. The Department also will consider for admission BA applicants that demonstrate strong potential and capacity for doctoral level work. If admitted, BA students may choose to receive an MA en route to the PhD.

International students - The Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences requires a TOEFL score of 90 (with at least a score of 22 in all of the four sections of speaking, listening, reading and writing); or a minimum IELTS of 7.0 (with at least 6.5 in each of its four sections).

Selection Criteria

Applicants to the PhD program in Theatre and Performance Studies should demonstrate a desire for rigorous research at the PhD level; potential for teaching excellence; interest in the exploration of artistic practice; and capacity for creative and critical risk-taking (in terms of research, artistic practice, and teaching).

PhD Admission Rubric

PhD Application Material Requirements ​- GRE no longer required

  1. University of Pittsburgh’s on-line application (there is a $75.00 application fee) *FEE WAIVERS are available.
  2. A personal statement indicating your reasons for pursuing a graduate degree at the University of Pittsburgh and your academic and professional goals.
  3. Official or Unofficial College Transcripts are uploaded with application. After a student is recommended for admission, official copies of all college transcripts will then need to be sent directly from the institution(s) to the Dean’s office before a student can be matriculated.
  4. CV
  5. Diversity-write up
  6. Three (3) Letters of Recommendation
  7. Two (2) samples of academic writing. 
  8. Non-US citizens: TOEFL or IELTS scores - this is mandatory and cannot be waived.

*Information on FEE WAIVERS from the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences


For information on the application process, please contact
Stephanie Clark
Graduate Student Administrator
For questions or information regarding the Theatre Arts Graduate Programs, please contact:

Michelle Granshaw
Director of Graduate Studies