Graduate Studies

Committee on Theater and Performance Studies Joint PhD Program

The PhD program in TAPS at the University of Chicago is designed to be dialogical, experimental, and highly individualized. Students not only develop a program of study within the TAPS graduate program that reflects their particular training and interests, but also complement their training with a joint doctorate in a cooperating field: Art History, Cinema and Media Studies, Classics, Comparative Literature, East Asian Languages and Civilizations, English Language and Literature, Germanic Studies, Music, or Romance Languages and Literatures. Students extend their experience through the development of performance work, engaging with nationally and internationally renowned artists. Students will graduate with a joint PhD in TAPS and an aligned discipline, attesting to multiple capacities and preparing them for professional possibilities within and beyond the academy.

The program consists of four main components: course work, the preparation of oral fields examinations, a joint PhD dissertation, and teaching. Compared to single degree programs, we expect the joint degree to involve up to an additional year of coursework. See the Doctoral degree Requirements page for more detailed information.

Graduate students already enrolled in PhD programs in partnering departments at the University of Chicago who wish to pursue a joint degree in TAPS may apply to do so by consulting with the Assistant Dean of Students, Admissions, completing the Application to Affiliate with TAPS form, and consulting with the TAPS DGS. Prospective students wishing to begin graduate studies in Autumn 2024 or after should apply to a partnering department and indicate their interest in the TAPS joint program. See the Prospective Graduate Students page for more information.

Visit our Faculty & Lecturers page for more information on graduate faculty and their fields of interest.


image from The Broken Jug
The Broken Jug - graduate student production, 2018


The Committee on TAPS is committed to preparing its students to succeed as teachers. Students in the joint PhD program fulfill the teaching requirements of their entry department. In conjunction with those requirements and in consultation with the directors of graduate studies in the entry department and TAPS, students are expected to teach two quarters of courses related to TAPS. This could take the form of a teaching assistantship or an instructorship for a TAPS-related course in the entry department or teaching a section in the TAPS core.

Students who have successfully completed their coursework and teaching requirements are invited to apply for Humanities Division Teaching Fellowships. This competitive two-year program is designed to enhance pedagogical skills and extend research training. Teaching Fellows participate in a program of professional development under the joint supervision of the Chicago Center for Teaching (CCT) and a mentor in the relevant Divisional department or program. They teach four courses each quarter, including at least two courses in the Humanities or Arts Core, and they are expected to advance their own research agenda and participate in campus activities. More information about the Humanities Teaching Fellowship is available in the Students section of the Division website.

TAPS Graduate Workshop

The TAPS Graduate Workshop brings together faculty and graduate students from across the university whose research involves theater and/or performance. The workshop seeks to provide a forum for work in theater and performance studies that spans a variety of disciplines across the Humanities and Social Sciences, including anthropology, cinema and media studies, East Asian languages and cultures, English, Germanic studies, history, music, romance languages and literatures, and Slavic languages. In addition, the workshop seeks to nurture productive reflection on the longstanding divide between the theories and practices of performance.  In any given quarter, the workshop serves as a forum for graduate student dissertation chapters in progress, artists who are presenting work in progress, and professors from UChicago and beyond presenting current research.

The workshop typically meets on alternating Wednesdays throughout the academic year.  For more information about the workshop and its current schedule of events, please visit the TAPS Graduate Workshop website or contact workshop coordinators Jamie Lee and Jennifer Williams.

Performance Practice Resources