Doctor of Philosophy in Theatre (PhD)

Overview

The Ph.D. program offers students the opportunity to pursue theatre studies through coursework, comprehensive examination preparations and a doctoral dissertation project.  Students are expected to give primary attention to an area of expertise of their choice while training in the broader theoretical, critical, and historical contexts of the field.  As a small program, the faculty are particularly interested to work with students whose academic interests relate to their own fields of expertise and/or the broader research strengths and resources of the Department of Theatre and Film at UBC.  All Ph.D. students will be given the opportunity to develop their academic teaching skills as teaching assistants in UBC's undergraduate theatre studies classes.

Faculty research specialties include classical theatre and its modern adaptations, modern drama, the receptions of alternative theatre and cinema, theatre and health, disability theatre, dramaturgy, intercultural theatre and performance, Asian theatre, twentieth-century Chinese and Japanese theatre, as well as Canadian, American and modern British theatre. Our students also engage with professors and students in our renowed directing, design and film graduate programs.

 

 

 

 

 

What makes the program unique?

Students in this program enjoy strong mentoring relationships with core faculty members and develop research expertise in an area of their choice while also training in the broader theoretical, critical, and historical contexts of the field. They also engage with professors and students in our renowed directing, design and film graduate programs. UBC offers a world-class research library, a dynamic, multicultural theatre environment and a strong research-oriented university community.

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Program Enquiries

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Q&A with UBC Graduate Student Ambassadors

Date: Tuesday, 27 October 2020
Time: 10:00 to 11:00

Join Kelli Kadokawa and Shane Moore from the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies and some of our Student Ambassadors. In this open session the team will be answering any questions that you have on grad school at UBC, life in Vancouver and the application process.

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Q&A with UBC Graduate Student Ambassadors

Date: Thursday, 29 October 2020
Time: 17:00 to 18:00

Join Kelli Kadokawa and Shane Moore from the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies and some of our Student Ambassadors. In this open session the team will be answering any questions that you have on grad school at UBC, life in Vancouver and the application process.

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Admission Information & Requirements

1) Check Eligibility

Minimum Academic Requirements

The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies establishes the minimum admission requirements common to all applicants, usually a minimum overall average in the B+ range (76% at UBC). The graduate program that you are applying to may have additional requirements. Please review the specific requirements for applicants with credentials from institutions in:

Each program may set higher academic minimum requirements. Please review the program website carefully to understand the program requirements. Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission as it is a competitive process.

English Language Test

Applicants from a university outside Canada in which English is not the primary language of instruction must provide results of an English language proficiency examination as part of their application. Tests must have been taken within the last 24 months at the time of submission of your application.

Minimum requirements for the two most common English language proficiency tests to apply to this program are listed below:

TOEFL: Test of English as a Foreign Language - internet-based

Overall score requirement: 100

Reading

22

Writing

21

Speaking

21

Listening

22

IELTS: International English Language Testing System

Overall score requirement: 7.0

Reading

6.5

Writing

6.5

Speaking

6.5

Listening

6.5

Other Test Scores

Some programs require additional test scores such as the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Graduate Management Test (GMAT). The requirements for this program are:

The GRE is not required.

2) Meet Deadlines

September 2021 Intake

Application Open Date
25 September 2020
Canadian Applicants
Application Deadline: 15 January 2021
Transcript Deadline: 01 February 2021
Referee Deadline: 01 February 2021
International Applicants
Application Deadline: 15 January 2021
Transcript Deadline: 01 February 2021
Referee Deadline: 01 February 2021

September 2022 Intake

Application Open Date
25 September 2021
Canadian Applicants
Application Deadline: 15 January 2022
Transcript Deadline: 01 February 2022
Referee Deadline: 01 February 2022
International Applicants
Application Deadline: 15 January 2022
Transcript Deadline: 01 February 2022
Referee Deadline: 01 February 2022

3) Prepare Application

Transcripts

All applicants have to submit transcripts from all past post-secondary study. Document submission requirements depend on whether your institution of study is within Canada or outside of Canada.

Letters of Reference

A minimum of three references are required for application to graduate programs at UBC. References should be requested from individuals who are prepared to provide a report on your academic ability and qualifications.

Statement of Interest

Many programs require a statement of interest, sometimes called a "statement of intent", "description of research interests" or something similar.

Supervision

Students in research-based programs usually require a faculty member to function as their supervisor. Please follow the instructions provided by each program whether applicants should contact faculty members.

Instructions regarding supervisor contact for Doctor of Philosophy in Theatre (PhD)
Applicants should browse faculty profiles and indicate in their application who they are interested in working with. No commitment from a supervisor prior to applying is necessary, but contacting faculty members is encouraged.

Citizenship Verification

Permanent Residents of Canada must provide a clear photocopy of both sides of the Permanent Resident card.

4) Apply Online

All applicants must complete an online application form and pay the application fee to be considered for admission to UBC.

Tuition & Financial Support

Tuition

FeesCanadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / DiplomatInternational
Application Fee$108.00$168.25
Tuition *
Installments per year33
Tuition per installment$1,698.56$2,984.09
Tuition per year
(plus annual increase, usually 2%-5%)
$5,095.68$8,952.27
Int. Tuition Award (ITA) per year (if eligible) $3,200.00 (-)
Other Fees and Costs
Student Fees (yearly)$969.17 (approx.)
Costs of living (yearly)starting at $17,242.00 (check cost calculator)
* Regular, full-time tuition. For on-leave, extension, continuing or part time (if applicable) fees see UBC Calendar.
All fees for the year are subject to adjustment and UBC reserves the right to change any fees without notice at any time, including tuition and student fees. Tuition fees are reviewed annually by the UBC Board of Governors. In recent years, tuition increases have been 2% for continuing domestic students and between 2% and 5% for continuing international students. New students may see higher increases in tuition. Admitted students who defer their admission are subject to the potentially higher tuition fees for incoming students effective at the later program start date. In case of a discrepancy between this webpage and the UBC Calendar, the UBC Calendar entry will be held to be correct.

Financial Support

Applicants to UBC have access to a variety of funding options, including merit-based (i.e. based on your academic performance) and need-based (i.e. based on your financial situation) opportunities.

Program Funding Packages

All full-time students who begin a UBC-Vancouver PhD program in September 2018 or later will be provided with a funding package of at least $18,000 for each of the first four years of their PhD. The funding package may consist of any combination of internal or external awards, teaching-related work, research assistantships, and graduate academic assistantships. Please note that many graduate programs provide funding packages that are substantially greater than $18,000 per year. Please check with your prospective graduate program for specific details of the funding provided to its PhD students.

Scholarships & awards (merit-based funding)

All applicants are encouraged to review the awards listing to identify potential opportunities to fund their graduate education. The database lists merit-based scholarships and awards and allows for filtering by various criteria, such as domestic vs. international or degree level.

Teaching Assistantships (GTA)

Graduate programs may have Teaching Assistantships available for registered full-time graduate students. Full teaching assistantships involve 12 hours work per week in preparation, lecturing, or laboratory instruction although many graduate programs offer partial TA appointments at less than 12 hours per week. Teaching assistantship rates are set by collective bargaining between the University and the Teaching Assistants' Union.

Research Assistantships (GRA)

Many professors are able to provide Research Assistantships (GRA) from their research grants to support full-time graduate students studying under their direction. The duties usually constitute part of the student's graduate degree requirements. A Graduate Research Assistantship is a form of financial support for a period of graduate study and is, therefore, not covered by a collective agreement. Unlike other forms of fellowship support for graduate students, the amount of a GRA is neither fixed nor subject to a university-wide formula. The stipend amounts vary widely, and are dependent on the field of study and the type of research grant from which the assistantship is being funded. Some research projects also require targeted research assistance and thus hire graduate students on an hourly basis.

Financial aid (need-based funding)

Canadian and US applicants may qualify for governmental loans to finance their studies. Please review eligibility and types of loans.

All students may be able to access private sector or bank loans.

Foreign government scholarships

Many foreign governments provide support to their citizens in pursuing education abroad. International applicants should check the various governmental resources in their home country, such as the Department of Education, for available scholarships.

Working while studying

The possibility to pursue work to supplement income may depend on the demands the program has on students. It should be carefully weighed if work leads to prolonged program durations or whether work placements can be meaningfully embedded into a program.

International students enrolled as full-time students with a valid study permit can work on campus for unlimited hours and work off-campus for no more than 20 hours a week.

A good starting point to explore student jobs is the UBC Work Learn program or a Co-Op placement.

Tax credits and RRSP withdrawals

Students with taxable income in Canada may be able to claim federal or provincial tax credits.

Canadian residents with RRSP accounts may be able to use the Lifelong Learning Plan (LLP) which allows students to withdraw amounts from their registered retirement savings plan (RRSPs) to finance full-time training or education for themselves or their partner.

Please review Filing taxes in Canada on the student services website for more information.

Cost Calculator

Applicants have access to the cost calculator to develop a financial plan that takes into account various income sources and expenses.

Career Outcomes

Career Options

Graduates of the Ph.D. program have been successful in a range of pursuits following the completion of their degrees. Some have taken up faculty positions at UBC and prestigious institutions elsewhere. Others have had found the program invaluable for enhancing their credentials and finding work as professional dramaturgs, actors, directors, college instructors, secondary school teachers and art administrators.

Enrolment, Duration & Other Stats

These statistics show data for the Doctor of Philosophy in Theatre (PhD). Data are separated for each degree program combination. You may view data for other degree options in the respective program profile.

Enrolment Data

 20192018201720162015
Applications91011410
Offers13324
New registrations13222
Total enrolment1315131313

Completion Rates & Times

Based on 6 graduations between 2015 - 2018 the minimum time to completion is 4.00 years and the maximum time is 8.33 years with an average of 6.28 years of study. All calculations exclude leave times.
Disclaimer
Admissions data refer to all UBC Vancouver applications, offers, new registrants for each year, May to April [data updated: 10 March 2020]. Enrolment data are based on March 1 snapshots. Program completion data are only provided for datasets comprised of more than 4 individuals. Rates and times of completion depend on a number of variables (e.g. curriculum requirements, student funding), some of which may have changed in recent years for some programs [data updated: 27 October 2019].

Research Supervisors

This list shows faculty members with full supervisory privileges who are affiliated with this program. It is not a comprehensive list of all potential supervisors as faculty from other programs or faculty members without full supervisory privileges can request approvals to supervise graduate students in this program.

  • Firkins, Jacqueline (costume design)
  • Gardiner, Robert (Sceneography , stage design, lightning )
  • Heatley, Stephen (Theatre, acting, directing, new play development, comedy, commedia dell’arte, solo performance, play producing, Canadian theatre, Canadian plays, Literature, gender/sexuality)
  • Johnston, Kirsty (Dramatic literature and theatre history with particular interest in disability arts and intersections between health, disability and performance )
  • Liu, Siyuan (twentieth century Chinese theatre and Asian Canadian theatre)
  • Marshall, Hallie (Performance and Theatrical Productions; Religion, Culture and Space; Arts and Cultural Traditions; Poetry; Cultural Industries; Literary or Artistic Work Dissemination or Reception Contexts; Theatre; Ancient Greek Theatre; Classics; Reception Studies; History of the Book; Tony Harrison; Contemporary British Theatre)
  • Mathijs, Ernest (film, alternative cinema, independent cinema, European cinema, horror film, David Cronenberg, film audiences, film festivals, censorship, fantasy film, Lord of the Rings, Film studies)
  • Murphy, Gayle (Voice for the Actor, Voice and speech)
  • Pennefather, Patrick (theatre design; Theatre Production; digital media; Public VR projects; xR development; Scalable virtual and augmented reality prototypes; Rapid prototyping for mixed realities; Design of spatial audio in physical and virtual environments)
  • Powers, Bradley (Production Technology)
  • Rizzotti, Patrick (Design; Design and Planning of Space; Theatrical Productions; Virtual Reality; theatre design; production design; Augmented reality; narrative visual experience; design for new works; devised work; site specific experiences)
  • Scholte, Tom (Theatre, film, and television)

Doctoral Citations

A doctoral citation summarizes the nature of the independent research, provides a high-level overview of the study, states the significance of the work and says who will benefit from the findings in clear, non-specialized language, so that members of a lay audience will understand it.
Year Citation
2020 Dr. Dunn examined the relationship between real estate and theatricality in downtown Vancouver. Through case studies that detailed the urban histories of theatre spaces, she showed that downtown Vancouver is unique in its inability to sustain large-scale locally-produced theatre, and that this gap has perhaps been filled by real estate development.
2018 Dr. Henderson's dissertation is a critical exploration of aging and old age in contemporary, professional Canadian theatre. It investigates recent English-language, Western-based plays, asking how they offer alternatives to stereotypical, negative ways of depicting aging and old age either through aspects of their dramaturgy and/or production.
2018 Dr. Lachance's research makes a significant contribution to our understanding of Indigenous Theatre on Turtle Island. Her work provides excellent historical context and advances an original and deeply persuasive argument about the importance of dramaturgy in the conceptualization and embodied experience of Relational Indigenous theatrical methods.
2017 Dr. Ferguson studied principles of cognitive neuroscience to better understand how we use our bodies and minds to make sense of our surroundings during a theatre performance. He examined how artists create spatial compositions in which audience members use their physical memories and neural patterns to create meaning and new experiences.
2016 Dr. Everett-Kabut's research explores the use of theatrical performance as a tool for propaganda, education and community building in the early years of the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation in 1930's Vancouver. This work suggests that workers' theatre in Canada was far more widespread than previously believed and suggests that theatre was and remains a vital tool for political and social change.
2015 Grounded at the Coast Salish village of Xway' Xw@y' in Stanley Park, Dr. Couture's research demonstrates how theatrical, cultural and tourist performances are used for cultural continuation and historiography. Ways of thinking embedded in the h@n'q'@m'in@m language and place names gave access to Indigenous histories obscured by the colonial archive.
2015 Dr. Leung studied how East Asian artists in Canada and Britain started theatre companies to create opportunities for Asian Canadian and British East Asian cultural expression. Comparing Toronto's fu-GEN theatre and London's Yellow Earth, she juxtaposes two ethno-national sites not often paired together, revealing remarkable, shared vocabularies.
2012 Dr. Harrison explored the origins and development of stage fighting in Canada. He examined how the British and American influences in the art of stage combat affected Canadian theatrical violence, and how fight directors have developed as professional artists since the inception of Canada's Stratford Shakespeare Festival.

Further Program Information

Specialization

The Theatre Program offers opportunities for advanced studies leading to the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) and the Master of Arts (M.A.) in dramatic literature, theatre history, and criticism. The program also offers advanced studies leading to the Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) in the direction of plays and in the design of scenery, costume, and lighting.The program has diverse offerings in both practical theatre and the academic study of dramatic literature, history, and criticism.

Faculty Overview

Program Identifier

VGDPHD-XV
 

Apply Now

If you don't have a UBC Campus-Wide Login (CWL) please create an account first.
 

September 2021 Intake

Application Open Date
25 September 2020
Canadian Applicant Deadline
15 January 2021
International Applicant Deadline
15 January 2021

September 2022 Intake

Application Open Date
25 September 2021
Canadian Applicant Deadline
15 January 2022
International Applicant Deadline
15 January 2022
 

Supervisor Search

 

Departments/Programs may update graduate degree program details through the Faculty & Staff portal. To update the application inquiries contact details please use this form.

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