MA/MS in Theater Arts

The Master of Arts and the Master of Science in Theater Arts consist of forty-five graduate credit hours planned after admission in consultation with the departmentalgraduate advisor, Dr. Richard Wattenberg. Twelve of the forty-five graduate credits may be in courses taken outside the school, if specifically related to a student's course of study and approved in advance by the Theatre and Film graduate adviser.


Prospective graduate students who plan to earn an M.A. or M.S. in Theater Arts should present a minimum of 28 credits in theater arts, including 8 credits in acting, 4 credits in directing, 8 credits in technical theater, 4 credits in script analysis, and 4 credits in costuming, or equivalent competencies as determined by the school. Individual students may be required to complete additional graduate and undergraduate courses to make up for deficiencies.

Believing that specialization best proceeds from a broad knowledge of the field as a whole, the program recommends the completion of a bachelors degree in theater. Students with a bachelors in theater, who meet university requirements, will be admitted to regular degree status, as will prospective students who have completed the following or equivalent courses:

TA 111, 112 Technical Theater I, II, (3, 3)
TA 114, 115 Technical Theater Productions (1, 1)
TA 248 Acting I: Process (4)
TA 301 Script Analysis (4)
TA 311 Scene Design I (4) or TA 314 Lighting Design I (4) or TA 321 Intro to Costume Design (4)
TA 454 Directing I (4)

(Students with lower division deficiencies are admitted with qualified status; regular degree status is conferred only after deficiencies have been removed.)

Required Courses

The program requires that all graduate students complete the following courses or their equivalents by the end of the Masters program. The extent to which a graduate student may specialize will partly be determined by the scope of his or her study as an undergraduate.

TA 511 Introduction to Theater Research (2)
TA 564, 565 Development of Dramatic Art (4, 4)

4 credits chosen from:

TA 567, 568 Modern Theater
TA 571 Theater History: Periods/Topics
TA 572 Theater History: Figures

Final Project

At the end of the program, the student is required to complete a project, for which no fewer than 6 graduate credits in Theater Arts will be given. The standard project will consist of two papers on subjects chosen from the fields of theater history, theory, practice, or dramatic literature/criticism. Each will probably range between 20 and 30 pages in length.

If a student fulfills the appropriate qualification process, the student may be considered for one of the following kinds of projects:

  • A research thesis on an approved topic from fields of theater history, dramatic literature, or criticism.
  • A research and practicum project in production design (scene, light or costume), directing, acting, or playwriting.

A final oral examination is required for all three options. Candidates for the MA must also satisfy the graduate foreign language requirement.

The Theater Arts Graduate Handbook contains information on degree requirements, procedures and instructions for the various thesis/project options.

Graduate Advising Handbook for MA/MS in Theater Arts