A concentrated program that emphasizes research and dramatic literature. The degree provides students with the necessary research skills to productively engage in scholarly conversations about theatre and performance. Because the department is committed to the integration of theory with practice, students have the opportunity to engage in various types of practical work while focusing their academic studies toward a final Comprehensive Examination or MA Thesis. Many of our MA students have continued study in notable PhD programs, including our own.
A minimum of one and a half years or three terms in residence is required for the completion of the degree. Normally, degree requirements may be completed by passing 33 credits of course work. The faculty will, however, administer a diagnostic examination to the student prior to or during the first term of residence to determine if the student should be assigned course work beyond minimum requirements. Core courses include eight courses in dramatic literature, theater history, criticism, or theory (five of these eight will be graduate seminars in the department). The balance of courses may be selected from the curriculum in theatre arts and other departments with the approval of the student’s advisor. Maintenance of a 3.0 GPA is required. Students are required to pass a comprehensive examination or complete a thesis near the end of their study.
It is possible for MA candidates in theatre arts to achieve Certification for Secondary School Teaching in Pennsylvania by coordinating their course of theater study with the appropriate courses in the School of Education. Students interested in pursuing this option should secure the advice and guidance of the advisor for secondary education in the School of Education.