Master of Arts, Theatre
Christopher Herr, Graduate Director
Craig Hall, Room 352; Phone 836-3212
The MA program in Theatre is designed to give students the skills they need to be successful as theatre scholars, teachers, or practitioners. It is broad enough to allow students to discover a more particular area for future study, but it is also rigorous enough to allow students to develop their practical and pedagogical skills. Interdisciplinary in focus, the program allows students to explore theatre not just as a blending of theory and practice, but also as it relates to other fields within the University. All of the requirements for the degree are designed to provide students with the tools, especially teaching, research, and writing skills that they will need whether they choose to be teachers, scholars, or artists.
Aside from the Theatre Practicum course (THE 794), all 700-level and many 600-level courses are offered online, so that it is possible to complete the entire degree program online, or with a combination of online and face-to-face instruction.
The Master of Arts in Theatre is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Theatre.
Entrance Requirements for the M.A. in Theatre
- The MA in Theatre requires an undergraduate major in Theatre or a minimum of 24 hours in Theatre to demonstrate an adequate background for graduate work. A student may make up a deficiency with additional undergraduate courses, though such courses may not be counted toward the total requirements for the master's degree.
- The student must have a GPA of at least 3.00 for the last 60 hours of undergraduate work.
- The student must submit a writing sample.
- The student must submit three (3) letters of recommendation.
Degree Requirements. (Minimum of 33 hours)
Core: The academic program consists of a required core of the following seminars: 27 hrs
|Course Code||Course Title||Credit Hours|
|THE 631||Theatre History I*||3 hrs|
|THE 632||Theatre History II*||3 hrs|
|THE 794||Theatre Practicum**||3-6 hrs|
|THE 700||Graduate Research Methods in Theatre and Interpretation||3 hrs|
|THE 707||Seminar-Theatre Pedagogy: Theories and Practices||3 hrs|
|THE 742||Seminar-Dramatic Theory and Criticism||3 hrs|
The core curriculum also includes a Research Requirement: 6-9 hrs
|Course Code||Course Title||Credit Hours|
|THE 798||Thesis Research||3 hrs|
|THE 799||Thesis Writing||3 hrs|
|THE 793||Degree Paper||3 hrs|
|THE 795||Applied Research Project||3 hrs|
|THE 793||Degree Paper||3 hrs|
|THE 793||Degree Paper|
* May be able to test out of course. Please note that if this option is allowed, or if the student completed THE 541 and/or THE 542 as an undergraduate at Missouri State, the student will be required to take additional hours to meet degree requirements.
** Demonstration of proficiency in at least one area of theatre production (design, acting, directing, etc.) is required for graduation. Student may fulfill this requirement with successful completion of THE 794 (Practicum in Theatre), or they may demonstrate proficiency to the graduate faculty through independently adjudicated production work. Work completed for THE 795 (Applied Research Project) may fulfill this requirement.
Research Requirement. A research requirement must be satisfied. (See below for explanation).
Comprehensive Examination. A comprehensive examination must be passed by the candidate before a degree will be granted.
Production Proficiency. As explained above, students must demonstrate practical proficiency in at least one area of theatrical production. Such proficiency may be demonstrated through the successful completion of coursework (e.g., THE 794, a final project (e.g., THE 795) or through independent adjudication by department graduate faculty.
All Master’s work shall conclude with a research component. To satisfy the research requirement, students may choose one of two options: an academic research option which requires the submission of a thesis or seminar papers, or an applied research option which requires the submission of one degree paper and a graduate project. Up to 6 hours of research credit hours (THE 798 and 799 or THE 793 and 795 or THE 793 and THE 793) may be counted toward the degree.
- Academic Research Option
Students preparing for Ph.D. programs are encouraged to take the academic research option consisting of a thesis which may be a critical, historical, theoretical, ethnographic, or pedagogic study. After completing 18 graduate hours, students should enroll in THE 798 (Thesis Research). During that semester, students will complete a thesis prospectus. The following semester, students will enroll in THE 799 (Thesis Writing), during which time, they will complete the thesis.
Alternatively, students have the option of completing two degree papers, a path designed primarily for students working in secondary schools. Students should enroll in THE 793 twice for their research credit hours. The degree papers must be produced from work begun in theatre 700-level courses, but will entail substantial revision and development of that work. Arrangements must be made with both the instructor and the candidate's research advisor during the semester(s) in which the degree papers are to be produced.
- Applied Research Option
Students preparing to work in theatre companies, community colleges, agencies, or secondary schools are encouraged to take the applied research option consisting of one degree paper and a research project. Students should enroll in THE 793 and THE 795 for their research credit hours. The degree paper must be produced from work begun in theatre 700-level courses. Arrangements must be made with both the instructor and the candidate’s research advisor during the semester in which the degree paper is to be produced. The degree paper may or may not relate to the applied research project. The applied research project may consist of: (1) creative project (directing, designing, scripting, performing), or (2) an internship with a host company or agency. Usually creative projects are done in cooperation with an already-scheduled production or activity. Occasionally, students may apply to direct, design, or present a show expressly selected to address their research objectives. Internships are done in cooperation with a theatrical company, a community agency, corporation, or other appropriate institution.
Arrangements must be made with the candidate’s research advisor and, if appropriate, the host institution during the semester before the project shall be conducted. For the applied research project, students must design specific educational, as well as artistic, objectives and appropriate assessment measures in consultation with an advisor. Students who choose the applied research option will present to the graduate faculty and interested students a research report based upon either the degree paper or the project before they will be allowed to graduate.
Each candidate is required to arrange for a research advisor from the graduate faculty. The candidate will work with the advisor to develop a curriculum and a schedule for the completion of the research requirement. If the candidate chooses the academic research option, the research advisor should serve as the chair of the thesis committee. If the candidate chooses the applied research option, the research advisor should serve as the applied research project mentor.
Accelerated Master's Degree Option
Eligible Missouri State undergraduate theatre majors may apply for preliminary acceptance into the Master of Arts in Theatre program after admission requirements for the accelerated master’s option are met. If a student is accepted, the undergraduate requirements of up to nine (9) hours of 600-level theatre courses may be counted towards both the undergraduate and graduate degrees. These courses will include, except in rare circumstances, THE 631 (3 hrs) and THE 632 (3 hrs). This option allows student with exceptional academic achievements to complete the coursework for both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in ten semesters with additional time as needed for the completion of the research requirement (see information under MA, Theatre requirements).
Before enrolling in a course to be counted towards both programs and to count the course towards the MA degree, an undergraduate student must be accepted into the accelerated program and receive proper approval from the graduate program advisor, department head, and Dean of the Graduate College. Acceptance into the program and all approvals must be completed prior to the end of the Change of Schedule period for the semester the course is taken. See the Graduate College for further information.
Entrance Requirements for the Accelerated Master's Option in Theatre
- Junior standing.
- Successful completion of at least 12 hours of THE courses and a Writing II course with a GPA of 3.40 or above.
- Overall GPA of 3.40 or above.
- Submission of a statement of purpose, an academic writing sample, and two letters of recommendation from faculty.
Students may apply for admission to the Accelerated Master’s Option anytime after the admission requirements have been met. They should submit application materials to the Graduate College and the department’s Graduate Coordinator as early as possible to ensure timely consideration of their materials.
Graduate assistantships may be available to students in the Accelerated Master’s option, but such support is not guaranteed.