Frequently Asked Questions

For more comprehensive information about TAPS graduate programs, please read our Graduate Handbook.

Top Frequently Asked Questions:

Do I have to take the GREs? No, GREs are not required for any of the Theatre Arts & Performance Studies Graduate programs - PhD, MFA Playwriting, MFA Acting or MFA Directing.

When applying to the graduate program, do I need to set up an interview? Interviews are not a necessary part of the process, although an audition is required for the Acting and Directing applicants. While we do not require interviews, we are open to meeting you if you desire a visit. We do not use interviews to determine candidacy, they are informational only. We are always open to answering questions over email as well. Contact the Director of Graduate Studies or members of the faculty at any time with questions.

What kinds of financial support are available? Please consult the financial aid website for more information. 

Are foreign students eligible for financial aid? Yes.

What is a Statement of Purpose? How long should it be? Your Statement of Purpose should be a succinct document, generally two to three pages in length, in which you tell us why you want to pursue a doctoral degree.  And, if you have a reason, why Brown?

Is a writing sample required? How long should it be? We are interested in seeing a sample of what you consider to be your best scholarly writing.  The sample can either be a research paper, or a theoretical essay, literary analysis or analysis of theatrical or art. We do not place any official constraints on the writing sample, but we recommend sending a sample between 10 and 25 pages.

Can I send samples of playwriting or other non-scholarly writing in addition to a scholarly sample? You are free to send us any kind of sample you wish, we must stress that we will not be able to read material that exceeds a manageable number of pages.

What teaching opportunities are available to graduate students? A graduate student who is awarded a fellowship upon entry can expect to have either teaching assistantships, proctorships, or research assistantships as part of the financial award package. For doctoral students, your first year is a fellowship year. After that year, you can expect an assistantship in some capacity for three years.  Graduate students teach in years two, three, and four, including as TAs for professors. The fifth year is another fellowship year, with no assistantship requirements. We currently have students teaching as part of the Speech and Dance programs in the Department of Theatre Arts and Performance Studies.  The Sheridan Center at Brown also offers a certificate in teaching preparedness for graduate students. This certificate, awarded after a series of workshops and instructional sessions, is an invaluable asset on the job market. For more information, see the Sheridan Center's website.

What kinds of careers do persons with graduate degrees from Brown pursue? There is 100% job placement for TAPS alumni with graduates and post-docs.  Recent placements include Harvard, Colgate,  NYU, McGill, Emerson, Colgate, Washington University, University of Cincinnati,  Princeton, and Yale.

How many PhD students are in residence in any given year? In general there are between ten and fifteen A.M./Ph.D. students in residence in any given year. We accept only two to four students a year from an applicant pool between 80 and 110 in the past six years.

Can I transfer MA/MFA credits? Transfer credits will be considered on a case-by-case basis after admission.  See the graduate school website and Graduate Handbook for more information.

What is the best schedule for completion of the degree? Or, What are “milestones” for progress? See the Graduate Handbook for more information.