School of Theatre, Television and Film

Theatre - Master of Arts Degree in Theatre Arts

The opportunities available in our MA program vary depending on the person enrolled. Our core courses provide surveys of theatre history, theatre theory, and dramatic literature. In addition, a wide range of electives are available in subjects including theatre for youth, creative drama, and interdisciplinary work in film and media studies; there are also some opportunities to take practice-based classes such as writing, directing, and acting. In general, our MA program provides: skills and concepts for teaching artists, professional development for San Diego-area teachers, personal enrichment for members of the community, and preparation for further graduate study for students interested in continuing on to an MFA or a PhD program.

The Theatre MA courses broaden students’ appreciation for and understanding of a range of ideas about theatre from around the world, past and present.

There are no emphases in the MA Program. Students take a range of courses, primarily academic. These academic courses broaden students’ appreciation for and understanding of a range of ideas about theatre from around the world, past and present. However, students are free to take other courses offered in the School of Theatre, Television, and Film and in other departments on campus. The MA in Theatre prepares students for further study in the field or a professional career in teaching. Students in the MA regularly work as dramaturgs on select department productions; training in the art and practice of dramaturgy is provided in an MA seminar. Although some of our MA students think of themselves as writers, directors, actors, or dramaturgs, there is no graduate level training for any of these areas except dramaturgy. Additionally, there are some teaching and teaching assistant opportunities, usually available to students in the second year.

Application Requirements

Our preferred deadline for submitting applications is February 1 for admission in the Fall.
At this time, we are not accepting students mid-year.

Interested students need to submit the following for the admissions committee to review.
Applications are submitted online through Interfolio.


  • Statement of Purpose – Please write a 300-word essay describing your interest in Theatre Arts and outlining how our program could help you reach your career goals. Make sure to address your previous experience in Theatre Arts and how you plan to apply what you learn in our MA program to your future work in, for example, the theatre arts profession, in teaching theatre arts in a K-12 or other educational setting, in a PhD program, or other context.
  • Letters of Recommendation (3 required, 5 maximum) – Three letters of recommendation are required. At least one must be from a professor who can comment on your academic work.
  • Official Transcripts – Please provide official transcripts issued within the past year for all universities attended. Official transcripts MUST be sent directly to the Graduate Admissions office.
  • GRE Exam (both the GRE General Test and GRE Writing Assessment Test)
  • English Language Proficiency (for Foreign Students)


  • Writing Sample – Please provide a writing sample showcasing your analytical writing about theatre. Please limit the sample to 1250 words.
  • Resume of past theatrical experience.

For specifics about the application process, and to apply online, visit Interfolio Dani_Bedau


For more information about the MA in Theatre Arts, contact the Director of the MA Program with questions.
Assistant Professor Shelley Orr