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Dance Studies

Dance Studies

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Admission Requirements

Doctor of Philosophy Program

To be admitted to the PhD in Dance Studies, applicants should hold a master’s degree with at least an A- average in dance or a related field in the fine arts (such as music), the humanities (such as history or women’s studies) or the social sciences (such as anthropology). Applications are evaluated on the basis of transcripts, three letters of reference, two examples of scholarly writing and a 1000-word statement of research interest or potential dissertation topic.

Proof of language proficiency is required for students who do not meet one of the following criteria:

  1. their first language is English, OR
  2. they have completed at least one year of full-time study at an accredited university (or institution) in a country where English is the official language of instruction. A minimum Test of English as a Foreign Language score of 600 (paper based) or 250 (computer based) or York English Language Test score of Band 1 or equivalent is required.

The program accepts only those qualified applicants who are able to benefit from the faculty and facilities available.

The PhD program can be completed on a full-time basis. Entry is fall term.

Degree Requirements

Doctor of Philosophy Program

Students must complete course requirements, comprehensive examinations and the dissertation. During their first two years, they are also required to attend the non-credit Dance Colloquium series, which is strongly recommended for the entire time students are active in the program. In the required Dance 6200 3.0: Advanced Research and Dissertation Seminar, faculty members offer students advice on all facets of the dissertation research and writing process, including finding a committee, preparing the proposal, conducting research, writing the dissertation and getting the work published. During these sessions, students present their work in progress and interact with fellow students and faculty at regular intervals.

Students are required to successfully complete five three-credit courses and Dance 6200 3.0: Advanced Research and Dissertation Seminar. They must take at least one 6000-level course in both fields in the program. Students may be allowed to take one three-credit course outside the program and up to two three-credit courses as directed readings in dance studies, with the permission of the Graduate Program Director. Students are encouraged to consider taking the Faculty of Graduate Studies’ course FGS 5000 3.0: University Teaching and Learning.

The comprehensive examinations require doctoral students to engage in both written and oral academic inquiry. The three examinations (major, specific, minor) require students to demonstrate contextual knowledge and mastery of relevant methodologies and resources, both of the field in which they propose to write the dissertation as well as in the minor field. The comprehensive examinations normally are written in the fall term of second year (term 4). The comprehensive examination committee is comprised of the three faculty members who guide the student through the three examinations.

The oral examination, normally completed at the beginning of term 5, consists of a set of questions selected by the comprehensive examination committee members based on the student’s examination submissions. All committee members read all three parts of the examination. The committee, through consensus, decides if the candidate has passed each part of the examination. If consensus is not possible, the Graduate Program Director and examination committee member(s) in the relevant area of expertise make the final decision. If the committee fails the candidate on one or more parts of the examination the student must rewrite the part(s) failed within six months. The examination may be retaken one time only. If the candidate does not pass the second time the candidate is required to withdraw from the program.

To remain in good standing, students must pass the comprehensive examinations before completing year three of their studies.

Students demonstrate their specialized knowledge and research plans through a dissertation proposal and bibliography. They develop the proposal in Dance 6200 3.0: Advanced Research and Dissertation Seminar. Dissertation proposals are reviewed and approved by the program’s Executive Committee as well as the Faculty of Graduate Studies. Students then proceed to research, write and defend a dissertation that embodies the results of original investigation and represents a significant contribution to knowledge in the field. The regulations of the York University Faculty of Graduate Studies for regular reporting on student progress and procedures for the evaluation of dissertations apply.

Doctoral students are required to be in residence for at least two years during which they are expected to participate in the Dance Colloquium series. Attendance at other specified workshops, lectures and events is also part of the residency requirement.

Language requirements are determined in relation to individual project needs. The supervisor or supervisory committee may require the student to verify proficiency in reading, speaking and/or writing in the language(s) necessary to conduct research.

The PhD program is only available on a full-time basis.

The length of time required to complete the PhD is normally four years (12 terms). Doctor of Philosophy students must register and pay fees for a minimum of the equivalent of six terms of full-time registration. All requirements for a doctoral degree must be fulfilled within 18 terms (6 years) of registration as a full-time or part-time doctoral student in accordance with Faculty of Graduate Studies’ registration policies.