Theatre Arts & Performance Studies

Graduate Admissions

Information about the application process and frequently asked questions.

Application Process

For questions about the application process (including TOEFL submission, LORs, transcripts, and other technical questions), please contact the Graduate School directly at Applications to the Ph.D. and MFA programs are submitted to, and managed through the Graduate School. Please do not email the department with technical questions or requests to troubleshoot your online application submission. You can find detailed instructions about the application process and components on the Graduate Programs website. For other questions refer to the application FAQ page.

Transcripts and letters of recommendation should be uploaded directly in the system. Sending application materials directly to TAPS will delay the processing of your application.


Frequently Asked Questions

For more information, refer to The Graduate School Handbook for Admitted Students. The TAPS departmental handbook for graduate students has more information specific to the theatre arts department. Please note pertinent University web resources should be regarded as the primary references for degree requirements and options.

No, GREs are not required for any of the Theatre Arts & Performance Studies Graduate programs - PhD, MFA Playwriting, MFA Acting or MFA Directing.

Interviews are not a necessary part of the process, although an audition is required for the Acting and Directing applicants. While we do not require interviews, we are open to meeting you if you desire a visit. We do not use interviews to determine candidacy, they are informational only. We are always open to answering questions over email as well. Contact the Director of Graduate Studies or members of the faculty at any time with questions.

Please consult the Graduate Funding and Support website for more information.


Your Statement of Purpose should be a succinct document, generally two to three pages in length, in which you tell us why you want to pursue a doctoral degree.  And, if you have a reason, why Brown?

We are interested in seeing a sample of what you consider to be your best scholarly writing.  The sample can either be a research paper, or a theoretical essay, literary analysis or analysis of theatrical or art. We do not place any official constraints on the writing sample, but we recommend sending a sample between 10 and 25 pages.

You are free to send us any kind of sample you wish, we must stress that we will not be able to read material that exceeds a manageable number of pages.

A graduate student who is awarded a fellowship upon entry can expect to have either teaching assistantships, proctorships, or research assistantships as part of the financial award package. For doctoral students, your first year is a fellowship year. After that year, you can expect an assistantship in some capacity for three years.  Graduate students teach in years two, three, and four, including as TAs for professors. The fifth year is another fellowship year, with no assistantship requirements. We currently have students teaching as part of the Speech and Dance programs in the Department of Theatre Arts and Performance Studies. The Sheridan Center at Brown also offers a certificate in teaching preparedness for graduate students. This certificate, awarded after a series of workshops and instructional sessions, is an invaluable asset on the job market. For more information, see the Sheridan Center's website.

There is 100% job placement for TAPS alumni with graduates and post-docs.  Recent placements include Harvard, Colgate,  NYU, McGill, Emerson, Colgate, Washington University, University of Cincinnati,  Princeton, and Yale.

In general there are between ten and fifteen A.M./Ph.D. students in residence in any given year. We accept only two to four students a year from an applicant pool between 80 and 110 in the past six years.

Transfer credits will be considered on a case-by-case basis after admission. See the graduate school website and Graduate Handbook for more information.

See the Graduate Handbook for more information.