Graduate Admissions Guidelines


There is no set number of graduate applicants accepted by the Department of Theater and Dance each year.

The application deadline for the Ph.D., M.A./Ph.D., and M.A. programs is December 15th. Fellowships are awarded by the end of February. Applicants who have been awarded fellowships must decide whether or not to accept by April 15. Applicants to the M.A./Ph.D. track who are not admitted into that program are automatically considered as applicants to the M.A. program. Admission decisions to the M.A. program are made on a rolling basis beginning in March. All admission decisions will be made by April 15.



  • Minimum Undergraduate G.P.A.  of 3.0.
  • Doctoral applicants must hold an M.A. in drama or an M.F.A. in theatre.
  • Other M.A. degrees, such as in English literature, might be considered in cases where the applicant has given special attention to an area of theatre studies, but the statement of purpose should make a clear case for the applicability of the degree.
  • M.A. or M.A./Ph.D. applicants need not have a B.A. or B.F.A. in theatre, but evidence of a significant background in theatre studies should be provided.

See the UCSB Graduate Division’s “HOW TO APPLY”  page for detailed information on the graduate application process.

  • Deadline: December 15
  • UCSB Graduate Application
  • The TOEFL Exam  is required for students whose first language is not English. Minimum TOEFL scores are 550 Paper-Based Test (PBT), 80 Internet-Based Test (IBT) or IELTS (International English Language Testing System) Overall Band Score of 7 or higher.
  • Personal Statement that gives clear indications  of the applicant’s interests and abilities in the area of theatre scholarship
  • Statement of Personal Achievements/Contributions
  • Résumé or Curriculum Vitae (CV)
  • Three Letters of Recommendation that, when possible, address scholarly potential.
  • Writing Sample. A polished essay, indicating critical acumen, historical research, or other indicators of scholarly potential
  • Financial Information
  • Application Fee (click here to view current fees for domestic/international applicants)
  • Supplemental Materials: Acting resumes, design portfolios, original plays, and so on will be considered as part of the general profile but cannot replace the writing sample.


Graduate Admissions Calendar

The following calendar is a general outline of the process of Applying to the University and the Department. Please confirm all dates with the GRADUATE PROGRAM ASSISTANT

August-December On-Line application at the Graduate Division website.
September-October If applicable, register for TOEFL  exam. Applicants to doctoral program should arrange for a testing date early enough so that scores will be received by January 5. At the time of application TOEFL scores must be no more than two years old.  
December 15 Application deadline for fellowship competition. All applications should be received by this date.
February-March Admission and fellowship decisions are made during this period, with notification coming as early as possible. First to be notified will be those admitted to Ph.D. and M.A./Ph.D. programs.
March 2 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form deadline. Required of all students receiving any form of aid, regardless of need.
April 15 Deadline for acceptance of fellowships.
April-May All admissions decisions completed. Decisions made about apportionment of teaching assistantships.
Summer Office of the Registrar emails registration information in late August/early September.
Late September Beginning of the academic year, preceded by specific teaching assistant training sessions.