Doctor of Philosophy in Dance - PhD

7 female dancers in a variety of poses
Photo by Jesse Scroggins.

Doctor of Philosophy in Dance Program

Our PhD in Dance is a research-oriented program culminating in a written dissertation that contributes new knowledge to the field of Dance Studies. Strong applicants to our program have a clear research agenda that is a good match for our program’s faculty and coursework, and a commitment to contributing to the dance field through written publications. Requirements include:

  1. A master’s degree in dance or a related field of study from an accredited college or university.
  2. An academic record reflecting the ability to pursue advanced study and research in the field of dance.
  3. Proficiency in written and verbal communication skills.
  4. Experience in the field of dance, including teaching, performing, choreographing, and/or other related practice.

Low residency format

Established in 1958, our doctoral program is the longest running and most well-established PhD in Dance program in the nation. Building upon our long history of doctoral study, in summer 2006 we entered a new era of graduate programming with the inauguration of the Low-Residential Format for the PhD in Dance. Responding to the needs of the field and full-time professionals seeking doctoral degrees, we redesigned the format of the PhD program to meet the needs of accomplished working professionals. Learn more about our Low Residency Format.

When can I begin the doctoral program?

The low-residential PhD in Dance is a cohort program in which students are only admitted every other year. Doctoral students begin their studies in the summer of even years (e.g. summer 2020 or summer 2022).

Admission Requirements to the PhD in Dance

Program Contact 

Adeksola Akinleye, PhD 

Application Deadline

October 1

It is recommended that International Students complete the graduate school application and submit required materials for review and processing at least three months before the deadline.

Admission Requirements

  1. Hold an earned master's degree or equivalent from a U.S. college or university or an equivalent international degree (Applicants who are in the process of earning their master's degree may be provisionally admitted, conditioned upon their satisfactory completion of the degree in progress.)
  2. Demonstrate the ability to pursue advanced study and research in the field of dance and a commitment to contributing to the dance field through written publications.
  3. Demonstrate proficiency in written and verbal communication skills.
  4. Have experience in the field of dance, including teaching, performing, choreographing, and/or other related practice.
  5. Upload the following into the application:
    • Complete the TWU PhD in Dance Questionnaire.
    • Statement of Purpose (3 pages) that outlines:
      • How your personal and professional goals align with our doctoral program and faculty.
      • Why you are applying to the TWU PhD in Dance program and what you want to do here.
      • Your research interests and area of intended specialization.
      • The questions that you want to investigate in relation to what dance practices.
      • The new knowledge and skills that apply to your research interests that you are expecting to develop in our program.
      • Whether you see evidence that the necessary resources (coursework, faculty) are available at TWU.
      • How you see this program helping you reach your career goals.
      • Feel free to include any additional information that may aid us in evaluating your preparation and aptitude for doctoral study at TWU.
    • Curriculum vitae highlighting your experience in dance.
    • A scholarly writing sample (max. 20-25 pages) such as a journal article, thesis chapter, research paper, or conference paper. The writing sample is your opportunity to demonstrate your critical thinking and writing skills, and it should showcase the potential for the kind of research, analysis, and synthesis that is essential to a doctoral program.
  6.  Email addresses for three academic or artistic professionals familiar with your academic preparation and potential for success in doctoral study who can provide letters of recommendation to be requested through and submitted into the application. 

  7. Participate in an interview, either in person or over the phone. Qualified applicants will be contacted by the Department of Dance recruitment coordinator to schedule an interview.

    Applicants who choose to apply for a graduate assistantship in dance should review the Graduate Assistantships Dance webpage and complete the Application for Graduate Assistantship and Teaching Expertise in Dance forms found on that page.

    Graduate Admission

    Begin by reviewing your program's website to see if there are additional admission requirements and application deadlines prior to applying.  

    1. Apply online.
      Apply to Graduate Programs  via the TWU Online Graduate Application Portal following instructions below.  
    2. Submit transcripts to TWU.
      • Domestic Applicants must submit official transcripts for each college or university attended, both undergraduate and graduate. See the Information on Transcripts website for more details.
      • International Applicants are now required to provide an evaluation prepared by a NACES or AICE member evaluation service. International transcripts should not be sent directly to TWU. See the International Admissions website for more details.
    3. Submit Recommendation Requests
      If your program requires you to submit names for recommendations you will need to do it in the application.
    4. Pay the application fee.
      The $50 fee ($75 fee for International applicants), which applies to all new and returning applicants, can be paid by:
      1. Credit card - Pay Online through the application as the last step before submitting the application. The second portion of the application will not be available until the application fee has been received.
      2. Certified check or money order by mail or electronically - Payable to TWU, sent by mail to:
        TWU Admissions Processing, 304 Administration Drive, Suite 102, Denton, Texas 76204
        (include your full name and ID number).
      3. Cash (no personal checks) - Pay at the Bursar's Office. After paying, bring the receipt to Admissions Processing (down the hall in ACT).
      4. Fee Waivers - Graduate applicants who are certified McNair Scholars are eligible for a McNair Scholar Application Fee Waiver. TWU Alumni may be eligible for the Alumni Advantage Fee Waiver. Check your eligibility here: If eligible submit the request using the Application Fee Waiver Submission
      5. Following fee payment return to the application dashboard where supplemental application documents can be uploaded. The online application will list which documents are needed to fulfill the program admission requirements. You can also check the program's website.

    For more information or assistance with the application or graduate admissions, visit the Graduate Admissions website.

    Students who wish to apply for a Graduate Assistantship must meet the General Criteria for Appointment of Graduate Assistants

    Program overview

    Need more information?

    To inquire about our doctoral degree program, please contact the program coordinator, Adesola Akinleye, 
    PhD, at, or fill out the following form:

    Request More Information

    Page last updated 10:04 AM, March 26, 2024