Doctor of Philosophy in Dance - Ph.D.

7 female dancers in a variety of poses
Photo by Jesse Scroggins.

Doctor of Philosophy in Dance Program

Our Ph.D. in Dance is a research-oriented program culminating in a written dissertation that contributes new knowledge to the field of Dance Studies. Strong applicants to our program have a clear research agenda that is a good match for our program’s faculty and coursework, and a commitment to contributing to the dance field through written publications. Requirements include:

  1. A master’s degree in dance or a related field of study from an accredited college or university.
  2. An academic record reflecting the ability to pursue advanced study and research in the field of dance.
  3. Proficiency in written and verbal communication skills.
  4. Experience in the field of dance, including teaching, performing, choreographing, and/or other related practice.

Low residency format

Established in 1958, our doctoral program is the longest running and most well-established Ph.D. in Dance program in the nation. Building upon our long history of doctoral study, in summer 2006 we entered a new era of graduate programming with the inauguration of the Low-Residential Format for the Ph.D. in Dance. Responding to the needs of the field and full-time professionals seeking doctoral degrees, we redesigned the format of the Ph.D. program to meet the needs of accomplished working professionals. Learn more about our Low Residency Format.

When can I begin the doctoral program?

The low-residential Ph.D. in Dance is a cohort program in which students are only admitted every other year. Doctoral students begin their studies in the summer of even years (e.g. summer 2020 or summer 2022).

Admission to the PhD in Dance

Program Contact 

Dr. Rosemary Candelario

Application Deadlines

October 1

It is recommended that international students complete the graduate school application and submit required materials for review and processing at least three months before the deadline.

Admission Requirements

  • Hold an earned master's degree or equivalent from a U.S. college or university or an equivalent international degree (applicants who are in the process of earning their master's degree may be provisionally admitted, conditioned upon their satisfactory completion of the degree in progress.)
  • Demonstrate the ability to pursue advanced study and research in the field of dance and a commitment to contributing to the dance field through written publications.
  • Demonstrate proficiency in written and verbal communication skills.
  • Have experience in the field of dance, including teaching, performing, choreographing, and/or other related practice.

How to Apply

  1. Apply for admission to the TWU Graduate School.
  2. Complete the TWU PhD in Dance Application Form.
  3. Applicants must email the following materials in PDF format to with the subject heading "(Full Name) - Doctoral Application Materials":
    • 3-page Statement of Purpose that outlines:
      • How your personal and professional goals align with our doctoral program and faculty.
      • Why you are applying to the TWU PhD in Dance program and what you want to do here.
      • Your research interests and area of intended specialization.
      • The questions that you want to investigate in relation to what dance practices.
      • The new knowledge and skills that apply to your research interests that you are expecting to develop in our program.
      • Whether you see evidence that the necessary resources (coursework, faculty) are available at TWU.
      • How you see this program helping you reach your career goals.
      • Feel free to include any additional information that may aid us in evaluating your preparation and aptitude for doctoral study at TWU.
    • Curriculum vita highlighting your experience in dance.
    • A scholarly writing sample (max. 20-25 pages) such as a journal article, thesis chapter, research paper, or conference paper. The writing sample is your opportunity to demonstrate your critical thinking and writing skills, and it should showcase the potential for the kind of research, analysis, and synthesis that is essential to a doctoral program.
  4. Have three letters of recommendation sent from academic or artistic professionals who can specifically address your academic preparation and potential for success in doctoral study.  Recommenders must submit letters of recommendation as PDFs directly to and should include the student name and "PhD in Dance" in the subject line.
  5. Participate in an interview, either in person or over the phone. Qualified applicants will be contacted by the Department of Dance recruitment coordinator to schedule an interview.

Applicants who choose to apply for a graduate assistantship position should review the graduate assistantships dance webpage and complete the application for graduate assistantship and teaching expertise in dance forms found on that page.

Program overview

Need more information?

To inquire about our doctoral degree program, please contact the program coordinator, Adesola Akinleye, 
PhD, at, or fill out the following form:

Request More Information

Page last updated 8:13 AM, March 31, 2023