A man and woman dance in a scene from Pride and Prejudice

Master of Arts in Theatre

Graduate students in theatre at Miami are given the unique opportunity to participate in a program devoted solely to one degree, the Master of Arts. The MA is typically a two-year program, but can also be completed in one year as part of a combined BA/MA. Intended to prepare students for work in the professional theatre or further study at the doctoral or MFA level, the MA provides students with a foundation in performance theory and criticism, dramatic literature and theatre history, while at the same time allowing students to refine skills as directors, playwrights, dramaturgs, or designers.

At any given time, there are between seven and ten graduate students in the program, which allows faculty mentors to devote a significant amount of personalized attention to each student. Our faculty remains active outside the university, publishing books and essays, editing journals, participating at national and international conferences, and pursuing professional work as directors, acting coaches, and designers.

Students come to our program from throughout the US and the world, with a wide variety of theatre and life experience, making the community a diverse and exciting place to study. Our recent graduates have consistently achieved success in prestigious PhD and MFA programs nationwide, while others have gone on to work in the professional theatre or to teach at the secondary level.

Program of Study

The curriculum includes 31 credit hours, distributed as follows:

Core classes

THE 601: Research and Methodology (3)
THE 605: Intro to Performance Theory (3)
THE 703: Graduate Colloquium (4)
THE 581: Integrating Performance, Theory and Practice (3)


At least one of the following seminars (3):
THE 522: Theatre: Politics and Ethics
THE 523: Topics in Theatre and Performance
THE 524: Topics in Applied Theatre, Practice, and Pedagogy

At least one graduate level course outside the department approved by the student's advisor (3)

An additional 6 hours to develop a field of special interest either within theatre studies or across disciplines. With their advisor, students will create a focus area such as applied theatre, a practical artistic area (directing, design, dramaturgy, acting, arts management), or an area of cultural/performance scholarship. (6)


THE 700 (1-12; minimum 6, maximum 12 credits)
The thesis may take one of two formats:

    • Creative Portfolio with oral defense: Through a single or a series of creative engagements, the student will document their creative work, methodology, and results. The portfolio will be introduced with an essay synthesizing the work, and it will result in an oral defense.
    • Written Thesis (either research or creative): This scholarship will be defended with oral examination.

Non-thesis Option

A student who chooses the Non-thesis option will take a minimum of 6 additional credits of THE 500-level classes (or other 500/600 level classes outside the department) and complete a Comprehensive Examination with an oral defense.

Thesis Requirement

Student coursework culminates in either a research-based scholarly thesis or a creative thesis. The creative thesis allows students to apply theory and research to artistic practice in a major project. A creative thesis might include the direction of a full-length play in the Department of Theatre season; taking on a significant design or dramaturgy assignment; or a performance project. Creative theses are guided by faculty mentors and require an accompanying monograph to interpret, contextualize, and reflect upon the artistic project.

Graduate Assistantships and Scholarships

Graduate assistantships at Miami offer students full tuition remission and a living stipend while allowing them to gain valuable experience teaching and working with faculty and staff in other departmental areas. Some graduate positions include

  • Grading Introduction to Theatre for Non-Majors
  • Teaching Acting for the Non-Major
  • Working with faculty as a research assistant
  • Working as part of an editorial staff on national journals
  • Working as a marketing and front-of-house liaison for the Department