The Master of Arts in Theatre Studies helps students to begin developing a broad, comparative grasp of the major methods, approaches and protocols currently used in both the study and practice of theatre and performance.  Special emphasis is placed on (1) an analytic understanding of theatre history and similar genres of performance, (2) the ability to critically engage the practical protocols, past and present, that have been influential in the creation and study of theatrical art and performance, and (3) the capacity to understand socio-cultural contexts that influence theatre scholarship and practice.

The M.A. helps to prepare students for leadership roles in a wide array of community, regional, and national arts organizations. The M.A. degree also provides students with a strong foundation to transition to a doctoral program. 

Please visit the Department of Theatre and Dance’s Graduate Resource page for more information. 

Admission to Graduate Studies

An applicant seeking to pursue graduate study in the College may be admitted as either a degree-seeking or non-degree seeking student. Policies and procedures of Graduate Studies govern the process of Graduate admission. These may be found in the Graduate Studies section of the online catalog.

Please consult the Departments & Programs section of the online catalog for information regarding program-specific admissions criteria and requirements. Special admissions requirements pertain to Interdisciplinary Studies degrees, which may be found in the Graduate Studies section of the online catalog.

Graduate Admissions

Our holistic application evaluations are based on several criteria: grades, the strength of recommendation letters, written or portfolio samples, previous experience and the fit of your interests with our program. A full list of application materials and deadlines is available on The Department of Theatre and Dance's admission pages. The Department of Theatre and Dance does not admit new students for the Spring or Summer terms. 

The completed application should be submitted online.

Contact Information

Graduate Administrative Associate
University of Kansas
Department of Theatre & Dance
356 Murphy Hall
1530 Naismith Drive
Lawrence, KS 66045
Phone: 785-864-3511
Email: kuthr@ku.edu

M.A. Degree Requirements

The Master of Arts in theatre is an academic degree, but students are expected to complete 6 hours in theatrical production. All M.A. students must write a thesis as the culmination of the degree.

To complete the M.A., the student must sustain a grade-point average of 3.0 or higher through 33 graduate credit hours. Up to 6 hours of additional courses in a foreign language or research skills may be required by your advisor.

Requirements for the M.A. in Theatre

A total of 33 hours is required.

Core Requirement
THR 800Introduction to Graduate Study in Theatre3
In consultation with an advisor, students choose from among departmental courses in theatre history, dramatic literature, theory, and criticism6
Production - Select two courses in either directing, scenography, dance, or dramaturgy:6
A. Directing
Play Directing
Problems and Techniques of Direction
Advanced Play Production
B. Scenography
Scenic Painting Techniques
Computer-Aided Design
Scenography and the Classic Script
Scenography and the Modern Script
Scenography and the Musical Theatre
Scenography and the Contemporary Script
Scenography and the Experimental Production
C. Dramaturgy or Dance
Graduate Seminar in: _____
General Theatre Studies
Select 15 hours of courses from graduate offerings in theatre history, dramatic literature, history and criticism: Of these 15 hours, up to 6 may be graduate courses from other areas such as film and media studies; child psychology; American studies; African and African-American studies; women, gender, and sexuality studies; developmental psychology; English; and pertinent offerings from language and culture programs.15
Completion of the Degree
An oral examination structured around a thesis based on scholarly and/or creative research:
THR 899Master's Thesis3

All courses should be selected in consultation with the graduate advisor.