2011 - 2012 Site Archive



Graduate Bulletin

Dance, Ph.D.


Admission Requirements and Deadlines
Application Deadline:

Fall: January 15; December 15 international

All department and university application materials must be received by the Dance Department. Attendance at the department audition is required. After acceptance at the department level, final review of all application materials is made by the Boyer College of Music and Dance.

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

APPLY ONLINE to this graduate program.

Letters of Reference:

Number Required: 3

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

Coursework Required for Admission Consideration:

Applicants should have an undergraduate grade point average of 3.0; transcripts that 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, 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 applicant's unique profile as a developing professional in the field of dance, as well as her/his ability to do original research. The individual should consider why the Dance Department, i.e., the research foci of its doctoral faculty, its mission, and its 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 needed to be accepted: 600 paper-based, 250 computer-based, or 100 internet-based. Any students admitted with a TOEFL score below the minimum 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 Master's: 46

Required Courses (33 s.h.):

DANC 8805:  The Dancer and the Dance Medium

DANC 8876:  Dance as a Mode of Learning

DANC 9801:  Problems in Dance Research

DANC 9851:  Black Performance

DANC 9861:  Dance and the Gendered Body: Historical Perspectives

DANC 9875:  Meaning in Dance

DANC 9951:  Aesthetic and Philosophical Inquiry

DANC 9994:  Preliminary Examination Preparation

DANC 9998:  Pre-Dissertation Research

DANC 9999:  Dissertation

Electives (3 s.h.):

Select one course from the following:

DANC 8806:  The Creative Process and the Dance Symbol

DANC 8835:  Dance on Video

DANC 8865:  Dance Science and Somatics

DANC xxxx:  Principles of Dance and Technology

Plus other Dance electives (4 s.h.)

Electives Outside Dance (6 s.h.) to include 3 s.h. in Research Methods and 3 s.h. in Theory

Internship: No internship is required.

Language Examination: No language examination is required.

Culminating Events:

Qualifying Examination:

The Qualifying Examination focusing on Dance Research and Cultural/Historical Studies must be completed within one week over the summer after the first year of formal coursework. It is a take-home examination. The student demonstrates breadth of knowledge and insight into multiple scholarly perspectives, discourses, and world views through this examination.

All four doctoral faculty members in the Dance Department contribute questions to the Qualifying Examination. A minimum of three doctoral faculty must approve the content of the Qualifying Examination. In addition, a minimum of three doctoral faculty members determine 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, s/he is permitted to retake the entire examination or the failed portion once. A second failure constitutes grounds for academic dismissal.

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.

The Preliminary Projects constitute a take-home 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 than the middle of the fifth semester. The content of the Preliminary Projects must be approved by a minimum of three doctoral faculty.

Dissertation Proposal:

In the dissertation proposal, the student must demonstrate that s/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. 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 Doctoral 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 Doctoral Advisory Committee. Finally, the student submits the proposal for review by the entire doctoral faculty of the Dance Department. When the Doctoral 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. Written standards for the evaluation of the dissertation proposal are published in the Ph.D. Handbook.


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

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 are considered only if the student submits a petition to 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 makes a decision on the petition and, if necessary, the Doctoral Coordinator asks the student to supply additional information to the committee on paper or in person; and 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 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 Examining Committee.

The Dissertation Examining Committee assesses the defensibility 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. The advisor and student must then agree on a defense date. The primary advisor, the Doctoral Coordinator, and the Dance Department are responsible for announcing the oral defense of doctoral candidates. All doctoral defenses must be announced to the Graduate School by using the "Announcement of Oral Defense" form. This form must be received by the Graduate School a minimum of 10 working days prior to the defense. Also prior to the defense, flyers must be posted announcing the defense. A majority of the members of the Dissertation Examining Committee must approve the oral defense.

Program Contact Information:


Department Information:

Department of Dance
1700 N. Broad Street, Suite 309
Philadelphia, PA 19122-0843


Department Contacts:


Mary Garcia


Program Coordinator:

Dr. Karen Bond




Dr. Sherril Dodds



About the Program

The Dance Department 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
1700 N. Broad Street, Suite 309
Philadelphia, PA 19122-0843


Interdisciplinary Study:

The program encourages interdisciplinary coursework, research, and interactions among faculty and students with interests in African American Studies, Anthropology, Education, History, Jewish Studies, Media Arts, Music, Music Therapy, Theater Arts, Women's Studies, and the like.


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 accreditation and arts advocacy; African and African American aesthetics; dance and the child; dance as a phenomenon in its own right; dance reconstruction; dance standards; feminism and dance; and historical and cultural representatives of the body, including issues of gender, race, and class. Research expertise of doctoral faculty is in aesthetic, ethnographic, historical, phenomenological, and scientific modes of inquiry in dance. The subdisciplines of the curriculum are organized into four major subdivisions: cultural studies in dance (humanistic and sociocultural inquiry into dance); dance processes (behavioral, community building, creative, healing, and performative processes in dance, as well as scientific inquiry); dance research; and 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-Matriculated Student Policy:

Non-matriculated students are able to take technique classes and some core coursework with the permission of the instructor and the Department Chair. 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, or other 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 format. Please include four copies with the other application materials. If an entering student, include the Personal Data Sheet. If a continuing student, include the following on a cover sheet: name, degree program, address, telephone number, email address, and current grade point average; statement of teaching experience and a concise, clearly written, one paragraph philosophy of teaching; and a statement on how personal and professional goals relate to the responsibilities of the Assistantship.

Updated 2.28.12