MA in Theatre Arts

MA in Theatre Arts

Each student in the MA in Theatre Arts tailors their degree to their interests and goals. 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, dramaturgy, directing, playwriting, and interdisciplinary work in film and media studies. Our MA program provides skills and concepts for dramaturgs and 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.

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 encouraged 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 department productions; training in the art and practice of dramaturgy is provided in an MA seminar. Additionally, there are some teaching and teaching assistant opportunities, usually available to students in the second year.

Review the Graduate Degree Learning Outcomes

How to Apply

The Fall 2024 application deadlines are

Cal State Apply Application - February 1

Submit Documents to Graduate Admissions - February 15

Submit Supplemental Documents to Department through Interfolio - March 1


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 Cal State Apply.


  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 preparation.
  • 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.
  • English Language Proficiency (for Foreign Students)

For specifics about the application process, and to apply online, visit Cal State Apply.

For more information about the MA in Theatre Arts, contact the Director of the MA Program:

Dr. Shelley Orr
DA 213



- THEA 600 - Writing for the Theatre , 3 units
- TFM 610 - Seminar in Design Aesthetics for Theatre, Television, and Film, 3 units
- THEA 621 - Seminar in Theories of the Theatre , 3 units
- THEA 647 - Seminar in History of Theatre and Performance, 3 units
- THEA 649 - Topics in World Theatre , 3 units
- THEA 790 - Directed Readings in Theatre Arts, 3 units


- THEA 510 - Creative Drama and Language Arts, 3 units
- THEA 515 - Playwriting, 3 units
- THEA 525 - Dramaturgy, 3 units
- THEA 533A - Theory and Styles in Acting and Directing I , 3 units
- THEA 580 - Theatre in the Classroom, 3 units
- THEA 746 - Theatre Internship , 3 units
- THEA 795 - Practicum in Theatre Arts , 6 units
- TFM 499 - Special Study, 3 units

For additional curriculum details, please consult the following:
Graduate Bulletin

For more information, contact the Academic Advisor:

Dr. Shelley Orr
DA 213