Graduate Bulletin

Dance, Ph.D.


Admission Requirements and Deadlines
Application Deadline:

Fall: January 11

All department and university application materials must be received by the Dance Department. 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 at

APPLY ONLINE to this graduate program.

Letters of Reference:

Number Required: 2

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 GPA of 3.0; a graduate GPA of 3.4 or above; and transcripts that show a foundational knowledge of dance.

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: 100 iBT or 600 PBT. Any students admitted with a TOEFL score below the minimum must pass an English skills course during their first semester at Temple University.

Graduate Interview Day:

All applicants are expected to attend the Dance Department’s graduate interview day or to make other arrangements to complete interview day requirements. The day includes a studio warm-up taught by a member of the faculty, presentation of research or applied practice, development of an on-site writing sample, and an interview with doctoral faculty.

Subject to approval of the Graduate Coordinator, international applicants may be considered for admission by completing all graduate interview day requirements via video and Skype.

On-Site Writing Activity:

All applicants take part in an on-site writing activity. Results are considered in the admissions process. Remedial coursework may be required.


A resume that details experience in dance, art, education, scholarship, and/or public leadership is required.

Writing Sample:

A recent scholarly or academic research paper must be submitted as a writing sample.

Advanced Standing:

Students who enter the Ph.D. program in Dance may be considered for advanced standing, based on relevant coursework. The Dance Doctoral Faculty Committee, with approval of the Associate Dean, 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 33.

Program Requirements
General Program Requirements:

Number of Didactic Credits Required Beyond the Master's: 46

Required Courses (33 s.h.):
Years 1 and 2:
DANC 8867:  Educational Inquiry in Dance
DANC 9800:  Special Topics in Dance
DANC 9801:  Research Methods in Dance
DANC 9841:  Experience, Engagement and Multi-Sensory Inquiry
DANC 9852:  Dancing the Popular
DANC 9862:  Bodies, Texts, History
DANC 9883:  Graduate Research and Writing Seminar (taken twice)
DANC 9991:  Directed Research in Dance
DANC XXXX:  Moving Across Genres

Electives, including Dance (4-6 credits) and outside courses (6 credits)

Internship: No internship is required.

Language Examination: No language examination is required.

Culminating Events:

Year 2:
Qualifying Examination:
Students take a Qualifying Examination at the end of Fall semester in Year 2. The examination covers three areas crucial to doctoral research. Questions are devised in consultation with specialist advisors. Details of the Qualifying Examination are published in the Graduate Handbook.

Year 3:
Preliminary Exam Projects:
Upon completion of all required coursework for the degree, students complete two Preliminary Exam Projects, which are submitted for review early in Fall semester of Year 3. These include:

  1. A position paper presented in view of the dissertation, which was drafted in DANC 9883: Graduate Research and Writing Seminar in Spring semester of Year 2.

  2. A course proposal for higher education, which the student began work on in DANC 8867: Educational Inquiry in Dance in Spring semester of Year 2.

Through DANC 9994: Preliminary Exam Projects, the student demonstrates significant achievement of scholarly and professional competencies. The Preliminary Exam Projects must be reviewed and approved by a committee composed of at least three Dance doctoral faculty.

Dissertation Proposal:

Through DANC 9998: Dissertation Proposal, the student prepares a dissertation proposal that evidences a strong body of work thus far and preparedness to complete the Dance Ph.D. program. A primary advisor and Doctoral Advisory Committee are established upon the student’s successful completion of the Preliminary Exam Projects. In consultation with the primary advisor, the student prepares a proposal, including an abstract that is reviewed and approved by Dance doctoral faculty. Once approved for defense, the student makes a formal oral presentation of the proposal to the Doctoral Advisory Committee. Upon approval of the dissertation proposal, the student is elevated to candidacy in the Ph.D. program. The dissertation proposal is normally defended in Spring semester of Year 3. Written guidelines for the dissertation proposal are published in the Graduate Handbook.

Years 4 and 5:
The dissertation is a substantial piece of original and independent research making a significant contribution to new knowledge in dance and possibly related fields. Typically, students complete the dissertation and DANC 9999: Dissertation in Year 4 or 5, although candidates may submit beyond Year 5 in consultation with their primary advisor. The original Doctoral Advisory Committee may be expanded with additional doctoral faculty from Temple University or other universities, or with doctoral-level experts who work outside a university setting. For purposes of the dissertation defense, the committee must include at least one additional doctoral faculty member who is 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 primary advisor and student confer with the Dissertation Examining Committee to establish a date for oral defense of the dissertation. A majority of the members of the Dissertation Examining Committee must approve the written dissertation and oral defense; once passed, the student has 30 days to complete final revisions. Detailed guidelines for the dissertation process and examination are published in the Graduate Handbook.

Program Contact Information:

Department Information:

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

Department Contacts:


Mary Garcia


Graduate Program Coordinator:
Dr. Mark Franko


Dr. Sherril Dodds


About the Program

The Dance Department offers programs of study leading to the Master of Arts, Master of Fine Arts, and Doctor of Philosophy degrees. All students are expected to develop a command of the discipline of dance, as a performing art and as both subject and 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:


Although all of the department courses are offered on Main Campus, students may take the out-of-department credits on another campus.

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, Philosophy, Sociology, 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.


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 African and African American aesthetics; dance as a phenomenon in its own right; dance reconstruction; dance teaching and learning across the life span; feminism and dance; and philosophical, historical, and cultural perspectives of the body and dance, including issues of gender, race, and class; performance theory and practice; and more. Research expertise of doctoral faculty is in aesthetic, artistic, educational, ethnographic, historical, phenomenological, and sociological modes of inquiry in dance.

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 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), Research Assistantships (RAs), and Academic Internships (AIs) are available. Teaching responsibilities usually include teaching university general education courses. On occasion, TAs are assigned to teach B.F.A. Dance repertory, technique, or theory courses for which they are qualified. This award includes a monthly stipend, book allowance, and tuition remission. Assistantships are generally awarded for a maximum of two years.

The TA/RA/AI application is part of the supplemental dance application for admission. Continuing students who have not held an assistantship also submit a written application in the semester prior to commencement of the award.

All Ph.D. applicants are considered for departmental nomination for a University fellowship. This university-wide scheme is highly competitive, and recipients are selected by the Graduate School.

Updated 7.19.13