Not accepting incoming applications for 2021-22.

Admission to the Ph.D. Program in Theatre Studies normally requires the presentation of a master’s degree in theatre or in a closely related field. A student finishing an M.A. degree in theatre at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign must apply formally and will be considered in competition with applicants who have taken master’s degrees elsewhere. Because applications for admission usually far exceed capacity, the selection process is highly competitive.

The committee on admissions tends to select those applicants who present a solid array of theatre and dramatic literature courses, knowledge of a foreign language, and real promise of earning degrees within a reasonable time. Preference is given to applicants who will be full-time students and active degree candidates.

While interviews are not required, we strongly recommend prospective students visit the Illinois campus to meet with faculty and students. To arrange an interview, contact the Chair of the Theatre Studies Program, Valleri Robinson,

Additional Admission Requirements:
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores in the verbal section.
  • Three letters of recommendation, preferably from instructors of the applicant’s theatre and drama classes or from experienced theatre professionals (to be sent separately by the letter writers).
  • Two writing samples consisting of original scholarly or critical essays. These may be papers written for earlier courses or newly written papers for the application. They should demonstrate the applicant’s competence in writing and in dealing with a significant topic in theatre or drama.
  • International students must submit recent TOEFL scores. In addition, the Test of Written English (TWE) is strongly encouraged for non-native speakers.

Application deadline: January 15 (decisions are ordinarily announced by March 1 in the spring preceding enrollment).

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