2006 - 2007 Site Archive



Graduate Bulletin

Dance, Ph.D.


Admission Requirements and Deadlines
Application Deadline:

Fall: January 15                           [December 15 for international applicants]

The Dance Department must receive all department and university application materials. Attendance at the department audition is required. After acceptance at the Department level, there is a final review of all application materials by the College of Music.

A supplemental application, which is required, can be obtained by emailing danceadm@temple.edu.

Letters of Reference:

Number Required: 3

From Whom: Letters of recommendation should be obtained from from qualified representatives of academic or professional communities in dance.

Coursework Required for Admission Consideration:

Prospective students should have an undergraduate grade point average of 3.0; transcripts which show a foundational knowledge of dance with a graduate GPA of 3.4 or above; and a curriculum vitae that details experience in dance, art, education, scholarship and/or public leadership.

Master's Degree in Discipline/Related Discipline:

A master's degree in Dance or Dance Education or a related field with substantial professional experience in dance, arts administration, teaching dance, or dance research is required.

Bachelor's Degree in Discipline/Related Discipline:

A baccalaureate degree is required, although it need not be in dance.

Statement of Goals:

The Statement of Goals should address the prospective student's unique profile as a developing professional in the field of dance, as well as his/her ability to do original research. The student should consider why the Dance Department (the research foci of its doctoral faculty, its mission and resources) is well matched to the student's career and educational goals.

Standardized Test Scores:

The GRE/MAT is required. Scores should be at the 50th percentile or above, whether the GRE or MAT is taken.

Minimum TOEFL score or range of scores needed to be accepted: 575 paper-based, 233 computer-based, or 90 internet-based. Any students admitted with a TOEFL score below 600 on the paper-based, 250 on the computer-based, or 100 on the internet-based examination must pass an English skills course during their first semester at Temple University.


The audition includes a technique class with portions taught by several members of the faculty, a presentation of research or applied practice, and an interview.

Doctoral Writing Examination:

All applicants take an on-site Doctoral Entrance Examination. Results are considered in the admissions process. Remedial coursework may be required.


All applicants will be interviewed at the audition.


A resume is required.

Writing Sample:

The writing sample should be a recent scholarly or academic research paper.

Advanced Standing:

Students who enter the Ph.D. program in Dance may be considered for advanced standing, based on relevant coursework. The Doctoral Faculty Committee awards credits toward advanced standing on a case-by-case basis in the first year of full time study. The maximum number of advanced standing credits awarded is 30.

Test Waivers:

International students can be accepted without attending the audition, if their video and other supporting documents give adequate evidence of excellence.

Program Requirements
General Program Requirements:

Number of Didactic Credits Required Beyond the Masters: 46

Required Courses (33 s.h.)

Dance 505 (1) Dancer and the Dance Medium

             560 (3) Dance and the Gendered Body (3)

             575 (3) Meaning in Dance

             576 (3) Dance as a Mode of Learning

             580 (3) Black Performance

             601 (3) Problems in Dance Research

             799 (2) Preliminary Exam Prep

             899 (3-6) Pre-Dissertation Research

             951 (3) Aesthetic and Philosophical Inquiry

             999 (6-9) Doctoral Dissertation

Dance Electives (7s.h.)

Select (3) from Dance 506 (3) Creative Process

                                         535 (3) Video Dance

                                         565 (3) Dance Science and Somatics

                                         596 (3) Principles of Dance and Technology

Other Dance Electives (4)

Electives outside Dance (6)

                                         (3) Research Methods

                                         (3) Theoretical

Internship: No internship is required.

Language Examination: No language examination is required.

Culminating Events:

Preliminary Projects:

Through the Preliminary Projects, the student demonstrates her/his achievement of scholarly and professional competencies.

1. The student must be able to carry through and complete a major, independent research project culminating in a research article that meets current professional standards for publication.

2. The student must be able to complete a major, independent dance curriculum development project in the form of a course proposal. The proposal must articulate the curricular rationale for a course of the student's own invention, the objectives of the course, how these will be implemented in the teaching-learning processes, what the material content of the course will be, how learning will be assessed, and bibliographic resources for the course.

Qualifying Examination:

A Qualifying Examination focusing on Dance Research and Cultural/Historical Studies is taken after the first year of full time study. The student demonstrates breadth of knowledge and insight into multiple scholarly perspectives, discourses, and world views through this examination.

In order to maintain good academic progress toward the degree, the student should plan to submit her/his Preliminary Projects by the end of the summer after the second year of full-time study, and no later by mid-term of the fifth semester.

All four doctoral faculty members in dance contribute questions to the Qualifying Examination.

A minimum of three doctoral faculty must approve the content of the Preliminary Projects and the Qualifying Examination.

A minimum of three doctoral faculty members must make a decision on the examination grade: pass, pass upon the approval of required revisions, or fail. If the student does not submit required revisions before the start of the next semester, the grade automatically reverts to fail. If a student either fails the whole examination, or a part thereof, she/he is permitted to retake the entire examination or the failed portion once. A second failure constitutes grounds for academic dismissal.

Both the Qualifying Examination and Preliminary Projects are take-home examinations. The Qualifying Exam must be completed within one week over the summer after the first year of formal coursework.

Dissertation Proposal:

In the dissertation proposal the must student demonstrate that she/he is well versed in the specific mode of inquiry and research methods to be applied and that these are well tailored to the solution of the research problem. Written standards for the evaluation of the dissertation proposals are published in the Ph.D. Handbook. A formal review process consists of three steps:

1) a 4-5 page abstract of the dissertation proposal must be reviewed by the entire doctoral faculty;

2) the full six part proposal must then be reviewed by the student's Dissertation Advisory Committee;

3) the dissertation proposal must be formally presented in a public event and shown to enrich the entire doctoral/graduate community in dance at Temple University.


The Doctoral Dissertation is a substantial piece of original and independent research making a significant contribution to new knowledge in dance and possibly related fields.

In consultation with the Primary Advisor, the student selects a second member from the doctoral faculty in the Dance Department and a third member from any Temple University doctoral program and requests their participation on the Advisory Committee. The student prepares the full dissertation proposal, initially with the guidance of the Primary Advisor, later, seeking feedback from each member of the Advisory Committee. Finally, the student submits the proposal for review by the entire doctoral faculty of the Dance Department. When the Dissertation Advisory Committee agrees that the proposal is ready to go forward, the Primary Advisor and the student schedule a time and place for the student's formal presentation of the dissertation proposal before the graduate students and faculty of the Dance Department.

The original Doctoral Advisory Committee may be expanded with additional doctoral faculty from Temple University or other universities, or even doctorally prepared experts who work outside university settings. For the purposes of the dissertation defense, the committee must include at least one additional doctoral faculty member from Temple or another university but not from the student's program; so constituted, it becomes the Dissertation Examining Committee. At least one member of the Dissertation Examining Committee must be an "Outside Examiner," defined as one who has not read the dissertation in progress. The composition of committees is subject to approval by the Doctoral Coordinator of the Dance Department, who ensures adherence to Graduate School policies; exceptions to these rules will be considered only if the student submits a petition to the Dean of the Graduate School.

In the eventuality that circumstances prevent a committee from functioning effectively, the committee may be reconstituted, but only through the following procedure:

1) the student must write a letter to the Doctoral Faculty Committee, c/o the Doctoral Coordinator, stating the reasons for the requested change;

2) the Doctoral Faculty Committee will make a decision on the petition; if necessary, the Doctoral Coordinator will ask the student to supply further information to the Committee on paper or in person;

3) all appropriate parties must be notified of the change. In addition, the Graduate School must be notified of any changes in the composition of the Doctoral Advisory Committee. In the event that either the student desires to change the Primary Advisor or faculty availability dictates such a change, procedures similar to the ones stated above are followed. Faculty availability may also dictate a change in the composition of the Dissertation Advisory Committee.

The Dissertation Examining Committee assesses the defendability of the research and the written document. At least three members of the committee must certify that the dissertation is defensible before the student can proceed to the oral defense of the dissertation. A majority of the members of the Dissertation Examining Committee must approve the oral defense.

The dissertation must be approved for defense from the advisory committee. The advisor and student must agree on a defense date. The announcement for defense is posted on ISIS and on campus no later than 10 working days prior to the scheduled defense.

The Primary Advisor, the Doctoral Coordinator, and the Department are responsible for announcing the oral defense of doctoral candidates. All doctoral defenses must be announced through the Graduate School using the "Notification of Scheduling Oral Defense" form. These forms must be received by the Graduate School (501 Carnell Hall) a minimum of 10 working days prior to the defense. Also prior to the defense, fliers must be posted announcing the defense.

Program Contact Information:


Department Information:

Department of Dance
309 Vivacqua Hall (062-62)
1700 N. Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19122-0843


Department Contacts:


Lynne Shaeffer


Program Coordinator:

Dr. Kariamu Welsh

Acting Coordinator


Graduate Chairperson:



Dr. Luke Kahlich


About the Program

The Department of Dance offers programs of study leading to the Master of Education, Master of Fine Arts, and Doctor of Philosophy degrees. All students are expected to develop a command of the discipline of dance, including its modes as a performing art and a medium of inquiry. The department's mission places high value on the role of dance in a pluralistic, multicultural society.

Time Limit for Degree Completion: 7 years

Campus Location:


Full-Time/Part-Time Status:

Students are able to complete the degree program through classes offered before and after 4:30 p.m.

Department Information:

Dept. of Dance
309 Vivacqua Hall (062-62)
1700 N. Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19122-0843


Interdisciplinary Study:

The program encourages interdisciplinary coursework, research, and interactions among faculty and students with interests in music, music therapy, education, theater arts, media arts, women's studies, Jewish studies, African American studies, anthropology, history, etc.


Not applicable.

Study Abroad:



The graduate programs are ranked among the top twelve in the nation as determined by the Dance Career Guide. The Doctor of Philosophy program is one of four programs in the country and the Master of Education program is the only such program in the United States.


The Ph.D. in Dance is fully accredited by the National Association of Schools of Dance (NASD).

Areas of Specialization:

Individual doctoral faculty members conduct research studies on historical and cultural representatives of the body, including issues of gender, race, and class; feminism and dance; African and African American aesthetics; dance reconstruction; dance and the child; dance as a phenomenon in its own right; dance standards; and accreditation and arts advocacy. Research expertise of doctoral faculty are in historical, ethnographic, aesthetic, phenomenological, and scientific modes of inquiry in dance. The subdisciplines of the curriculum are organized into four major subdivisions: Dance research; Cultural studies in dance (humanistic and socio-cultural inquiry into dance); Dance processes (performative, creative, healing, community building, and behavioral processes in dance, as well as scientific inquiry); Professional applications (applied practice in particular educational settings/institutions and among specific populations, as well as arts advocacy).

Job Placement:

Graduates perform and choreograph with companies throughout the world, teach at all levels of education, serve as arts administrators and policymakers for the arts, and publish extensively.


Not applicable.

Non-Degree Student Policy:

Non-matriculated students are able to take technique classes and some core coursework with the permission of the instructor and the Department Chairperson. If accepted into the program, those courses (up to a maximum of 9 credits) may be applied toward the degree program.

Financing Opportunities

Teaching Assistantships (TAs) and Research Assistantships (RAs) are available. Teaching responsibilities usually include teaching university core curriculum. On occasion, TAs are assigned to teach Children's Dance, Repertory, technique classes, or classes germane to their area of study. This award includes a monthly stipend, book allowance, and tuition remission. The award is for one year. Students must re-apply for the award for a second appointment. The RA/TA application should include information in a clearly written and well-edited presentation. Please include 4 copies with the other application materials. Vital Information: If an entering student, include the Personal Data Sheet. If a continuing student, include the following information on a cover sheet: Name, degree program, address, telephone number, electronic address, and current grade point average; statement of teaching experience and a concise, clearly written, one paragraph philosophy of teaching; statement on how personal and professional goals relate to the responsibilities of the Assistantship.

February 2006