PhD Program


For fall 2020 admission

  • Deadline for international applicants:  Monday, December 30, 2019, 10:00 pm MST
  • Deadline for domestic applicants: Wednesday, January 15, 2020, 10:00 pm MST

For spring 2020 and spring 2021 admission 

  • The Department of Theatre & Dance does not accept applications for spring admission.

To be evaluated for admission, the applicant must submit all of the items in the checklist below via the online application by the deadline above. This includes letters of recommendation. Incomplete applications cannot be guaranteed review. Applicants may monitor the completion of their applications on the admissions portal.  

Completed applications are reviewed by members of the Graduate Faculty. The Graduate Faculty recommendations are forwarded to Graduate Admissions for final approval. Once Graduate Admissions determines that all requirements have been met, it will confirm admission to each applicant by email, usually by the beginning of March. Students will be notified at that time if any support has been awarded by the department. Students who have received offers of support are asked to accept or decline admission by April 15, 2020. Students who have been admitted without support will be notified April 15-17 if support becomes available, and are asked to accept or decline admission by April 20, 2020.

  1. Have an undergraduate GPA of at least 2.75 and meet the Graduate School's Minimum Admission Requirements.
  2. Have a master's level degree in any subject. Students who apply to the PhD but will not have earned a masters degree prior to the start of the program will instead be considered for the MA in Theatre.
  3. Submit the online Application for Graduate Admission, including the $60 application fee paid via credit card ($80 for international applicants). The application fee may not be waived unless you are a current McNair Scholar, a Project 1000 participant, or an active Peace Corps or AmeriCorps volunteer.
  4. Submit a 1-5 page personal statement briefly describing your past work in your proposed or allied fields of study, including non-course educational experiences, teaching, or other relevant employment, publications, theses, research in progress, other scholarly activities, and your plans for graduate study and a professional career. The personal statement is uploaded in the Personal Statement section of the online application.
  5. Submit a CV or theatre resume showing evidence of theatre performance, and/or production experience. The CV/resume is uploaded in the Employment History section of the online application.
  6. Submit one 10-20 page sample of critical writing (plays and other kinds of creative writing are not accepted). The writing sample is uploaded in the Writing Sample section of the online application. 
  7. Submit one transcript from each institution of higher education attended.  You may upload an unofficial copy of your transcript(s).
  •  Transcripts are uploaded in the Academic History section of the online application.  Scroll down to the bottom of the "Add Institution" or "Edit Institution" window to find the "Submit Transcript" section. 
  • The University of Colorado Boulder requires one unofficial transcript from each undergraduate and graduate institution that you attended. This includes community colleges, summer sessions, and extension programs. While credits from one institution may appear on the transcript of a second institution, unofficial transcripts must be submitted from each institution, regardless of the length of attendance, and whether or not courses were completed. 
  • Failure to list and submit transcripts from all institutions previously attended is considered to be a violation of academic ethics and may result in the cancellation of your admission or dismissal from the university. 
  • Only after you are recommended for admission will you be asked to provide official transcripts. 
  • Instructions for Uploading Unofficial Transcripts to Your Application
  1. Submit three or four letters of recommendation. Please do not submit more than four. References should be requested from individuals qualified to judge your potential for success in graduate school. 
  • We prefer that your recommenders upload their letters directly to your application. 
  • Within the online application you will be asked to supply the names and email addresses of your recommenders. You may submit up to four names.
  • When you click the "send to recommender" button, your recommenders will immediately receive an email with a link for them to upload their letter and complete the Graduate Recommendation Form.
  • Before you enter recommender names and email addresses, please notify your recommenders that they will receive an email from the University of Colorado,
  • Our system will accept incoming letters of recommendation either before or after submission of the application.
  • If your recommenders experience difficulty submitting online they may email their letter, and a completed Graduate Recommendation Form, to the to the Admissions Office at  
  • Please let your recommenders know that their letters must be received by the application deadlines posted above.
  1. Submit GRE verbal, quantitative, and analytical writing scores (taken in the last 5 years).
  • The Department of Theatre & Dance does not require minimum GRE scores.
  • Official test scores must be reported by the testing service directly to the university. The institution code for the University of Colorado Boulder is 4841. The department code is not needed.
  • Your scores must be received by your application deadline. If you cannot take the test in time, please apply next year.
  • Please note: for the PhD application we do not make exceptions to the GRE requirement or for the age of your test scores (they must be taken within the last 5 years).

International Applicants must submit the above, plus the following:

  1. Valid TOEFL or IELTS scores
  • The Department of Theatre & Dance requires a minimum TOEFL score of 550 (paper-based), 79 (internet-based) or a mimimum IELTS score of 6.5.
  • Official test scores must be reported by the testing service directly to the university. The institution code for the University of Colorado Boulder  is 4841. The department code is not needed.
  • Please note, the university must receive your scores by the December 30 deadline. If you cannot take the test in time, please apply next year.
  • Requirements for English proficiency can be found on the English Proficiency Requirements webpage.  This page includes minimum test scores, countries excepted from submitting test scores, and alternate methods of meeting the proficiency requirement.

International applicants should please visit the International Applicants page of the Graduate Admissions website for more information.  

For additional information about the application process please visit the Graduate Admissions website.  The FAQ page is particularly helpful.

If you have questions about your application or the process, please don't hesitate to call or email the Graduate Program Assistant, Patricia Paige: or 303-492-7356.

If you are experiencing technical difficulties with the online application please contact  Graduate Admissions directly.