What does it mean 'to perform', and what does performance do? Located in the heart of New York City's vibrant art scene, Performance Studies at NYU is dedicated to the analysis and study of cultural enactments of all kinds, and to understand how they can produce meaningful change. Combining an interdisciplinary range of approaches including feminist and queer theory, critical race theory, cultural studies and other intersectional modes of analysis, with an equally diverse range of research methods, Performance Studies offers graduate and undergraduate students the opportunity to explore and think critically about the world-making power of performance in theater, performance art, dance, sound/music, visual and installation art, activism, and online, as well as in the performance of 'everyday life'.

The Department of Performance Studies at NYU Tisch School of the Arts was established in 1980 as the first of its kind and is ranked #1 for doctoral programs in Theater and Performance Studies by the National Research Council. Our graduate programs are taught by internationally-recognized faculty in fields ranging from experimental and protest theater, feminist and queer theory, dance studies, activism, online art, sound studies, performance curation, and critical race theory.

Performance Studies offers its Master's students the unique opportunity to immerse themselves in this concentrated program and earn their degree in one year. Students whose long-range plans include doctoral-level training will receive excellent foundational preparation for not only theater, performance studies, and dance Ph.D. programs, but also for advanced academic research in gender/queer studies, critical race studies, literary studies, visual/communication studies, American studies, etc.

The program targets not only those students aimed at advanced (doctoral) studies in performance or related fields, but those individuals engaged in, or headed towards, careers in art practice as well: choreographers, performance artists, directors, designers, critics, curators in live art, etc. who seek to supplement their technical training with a deep engagement in performance theory will have an opportunity to consider their practice-based knowledge in relation to theories of performance. Graduates of the M.A. program may pursue careers in arts management/administration, education, grant-writing, and other arts-related media and policy work.

The M.A. and Ph.D. Programs in Performance Studies are administered by the Tisch School of the Arts and degrees are conferred by the Graduate School of Arts and Science at NYU.


The Masters in Performance Studies consists of 34 points of full-time coursework to be completed over 3 consecutive semesters beginning in September during the fall semester. There are two required courses (see below) and the remaining points are taken as graduate electives. Subject to the approval of the Director of Graduate Studies, M.A. students may take up to two courses at other NYU graduate departments.

Students may transfer up to 4 points of graduate credit earned at another institution upon approval by the Chair and the TSOA Director of Graduate Admissions. Requests for transfer credit must be made during the student’s first semester. Only courses earning a grade of “B” or higher may be applied to the degree and a minimum of 24 points must be completed with resident faculty.

Required M.A. courses

M.A. students are required to take the following courses:

  • Introduction to Performance Studies (PERF-GT 1000, 4 points) in their first semester; and
  • Projects in Performance Studies (PERF-GT 2000, 6 points) in their final semester.

Duration & Prices

Since the Master's degree is conferred by the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Performance Studies students follow the GSAS tuition schedule and not the Tisch School of the Arts Flat Fee rate.

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS) (2018-2019)

Credits Enrolled Tuition & Fees
Fall 2018 12 points $22,631.00
Spring 2019 16 points $30,055.00
Summer 2019 6 points $11,495.00
Total: 34 points $64,181.00
Basic Health Insurance Fees $3,484.00
International Student Fee: $90 per semester


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Last updated January 29, 2019
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Sep 2019
1 year
- Since the Master's degree is conferred by the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Performance Studies students follow the GSAS tuition schedule.
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By date
Start Date
Sep 2019
End Date
Aug 31, 2020
Application deadline

Sep 2019

Application deadline
End Date
Aug 31, 2020