The mission of the graduate program in TAPS is to produce students who work in the leading edge of both scholarly and performance practice.

The Ph.D. program in TAPS emphasizes the combination of theory and practice. Graduate students complete a program with a rigorous study of critical theory, textual history, elements of production (directing, acting, choreography, writing, and design) and embodied research. We have a superb record of placement and the U.S. National Research Council ranked Stanford’s Ph.D. program in Theater & Performance Studies second in the nation.

Our generous funding package includes tuition, health insurance, travel award and a living stipend. This is a five-year fully-funded fellowship package which allows students to devote the first two years to full-time graduate study, the third year to graduate study and research, and years four and five to teaching and writing the dissertation. Following formal admission to candidacy (usually after the second year), the dissertation can be completed and approved within five years.



The Ph.D. is conferred upon candidates who have demonstrated substantial scholarship and the ability to conduct independent research and analysis in Theater and Performance Studies. Through completion of advanced course work and rigorous skills training, the doctoral program prepares students to make original contributions to the knowledge and production of Theater and Performance Studies, and to interpret and present the results of such research.