Application Deadline: December 1st


Thank you for your interest in the Ph.D. Program in Performance Studies at UC Davis. Our program is designed to prepare students for advanced research in the dynamic field of Performance Studies. As a Graduate Group, the Performance Studies Program at U.C. Davis is unique. We draw accomplished faculty from across the University. Faculty members affiliated with the Performance Studies Graduate Group have diverse areas of interest and expertise. We encourage you to read more about their work here

Before completing an application, we encourage you to learn more about the program by reviewing the website and contacting faculty members directly whose research interests match your own. 

While we assume your ideas will evolve once you are taking classes, we believe prospective students should have an understanding of their educational goals. Successful applications often articulate potential projects and areas of research. The Personal History and Diversity Statement and Statement of Purpose are designed to help us learn more about you and ultimately understand your place in our program. 

The Performance Studies Graduate Group at UC Davis is excited to recruit a diverse and talented community of students with wide-ranging interests and experience.

The priority application deadline for the PhD program in Performance Studies is December 1st.


The application requires:  

Three letters of recommendation

Statement of Purpose

Personal History and Diversity Statement

A curriculum vitae

A sample of critical writing (20-40 pages)

A portfolio (where appropriate).

A minimum GPA requirement of 3.0 or international equivalent 

A Bachelor’s or Master’s degree or equivalent

The Graduate Record Examination (General Test) is not required.


The English proficiency examination for international applicants who have not studied at a university at which English is the primary language of instruction:  TOEFL or other University approved examination.  International applicants must meet the Office of Graduate Studies minimum TOEFL score.

Official transcripts (UC Davis requires academic records from each college-level institution you have attended.  You will be instructed to upload scanned copies of your transcripts after you have submitted your online application.  More info can be found here.


The Graduate Group’s Admissions Advisory Committee will submit its recommendations to the dean; final admissions decisions rest with the Dean of Graduate Studies. The Dean of Graduate Studies will notify you in writing of your acceptance or denial, usually in late March. No decision can be given out over the telephone. This approval procedure applies to all applicants, including those admitted to UC Davis from another UC campus.

As it generally takes several weeks to complete an application, it is strongly recommended that applicants prepare their materials early to ensure completion by the deadline.

Think about your research area as you complete your application and make appointments to speak with faculty who engage similar topics. This could be a research topic such as Latina/o Theatre and Performance, a critical subject like Gender Performativity, or on an area that is of methodological interest to you such as Rhetoric, Ethnology, or Dramaturgy. If you are still in the early stage of the application process it may be helpful to think more generally within one of the designated streams: Interactive Media, Embodiments, Cultures/Ecology, and Text/History.

While not required, this stage is important because the department and/or faculty you contact will be responsible for your long-term support academically and administratively.

Once you have discussed your interests with relevant faculty, you may want to visit the campus, view facilities, and meet people. It’s also important to contact the Program Administrator early on in your process. Let them know of your interest in the program, and get advice on the application procedures (see Staff list for current Program Administrator).

In the fall of each year, the Office of Graduate Studies at UC Davis opens the SLATE system for applications. At this point you can go online for Application Information and begin to fill in your application form.

One of the most important elements to fill in is ‘Mentors’. These are the faculty you wish to work with in the long term on your research dissertation, and are often faculty you’ve been in touch with during the pre-application process. You may list faculty you have not contacted, or been unable to contact, but try to ensure that those people you initially talked with are among the mentors listed.

All ADMISSION INFORMATION relevant to applicants who wish to be considered for Fellowships can be found here.

All applications that wish to be considered for Fellowships are due December 1st with the application for admission. Late applications may be considered up to May 31st of the incoming year, but late applicants are unlikely to receive financial support. The application fee is $80 for the domestic application and $100 for the international. The fee may be paid by credit card or e-check. The fee must be paid before the application will be considered as complete.



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