Length of Study and Required Hours for the Doctoral Program in Dance

1 student dressed in blue leaping in the air
Photo by Jesse Scroggins.

Length of Study

Doctoral course work requires at least two years of study (3 summer intensives with week-long residencies in the fall and spring semesters) followed by the Qualifying Examination, and typically 2-3 years for researching and writing the dissertation. The length of time to complete coursework, however, will depend on the academic and dance background of the student in relation to her or his proposed area of research. The timeline and schedule for each student will be determined through advisement in accordance with the policies established by the Graduate School (see the Graduate Catalog, “General Requirements and Regulations for Doctoral Degrees”). Given the nature of the low-residential program, it is extremely important that doctoral students pursuing the degree in this format adhere to the sequence of courses and scheduled residencies. The length of time to complete the dissertation depends on the nature of the research, as well as personal and professional obligations. Currently, the majority of our dissertation students are pursuing full-time employment while working with their dissertation advisors via telephone and online technology.

Required Hours

Work leading to the Ph.D. in Dance requires the completion of at least 90 semester credit hours beyond the bachelor's degree. It is possible to transfer up to 36 credit hours from work leading to the master's degree or courses taken at another accredited institution. In some cases, a candidate may need to complete more than 90 semester hours in order to meet the individual requirements determined by her or his Advisory Committee. The completion of a number of hours, however, is not in itself sufficient; the quality, rigor, and currency of work are the major considerations. All degree requirements, including dissertation, must be completed within ten consecutive years from the date doctoral credit is first earned.

Hours that are part of a completed master's degree are not subject to the 10-year time limit and may be used toward the 90 hours required for the doctoral degree. In consultation with the Advisory Committee, a student may elect to take courses at another institution and transfer those hours to TWU. Any transfer hours not part of a completed master’s degree are subject to the 10-year time limit. At least fifty percent of the work counted toward the doctoral degree program must be composed of courses taken at TWU.