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Graduate Studies in Theatre

Master of Arts

The Theatre Department offers a Master of Arts (M.A.) degree program, intended to ground the student in advanced fundamentals of theatrical theories and practice, while accommodating individual interests and strengths. Comprised of a broad curriculum that balances both academic and production experiences, the M.A. program constitutes a period of study and practice en route to professional work, teaching, or further advanced degrees.

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At Binghamton, students practice theatre in excellent facilities and receive individual guidance in small classes and through close advising. Qualified M.A. degree candidates may have the opportunity to teach a section of an undergraduate course, undertake assistantships in technical theatre or departmental administration, mount productions in the studio theaters, or act, direct, design, or write within the department's theatre and dance season. Graduate and/or Teaching Assistant lines of support may be available for exceptionally qualified candidates. These are often awarded in the second year of study; for consideration for first-year assistantship funding, applicants intending to enroll in the Fall semester should submit their materials by February 15.

Binghamton University attracts very talented and motivated students. Each applicant is evaluated for evidence of academic strength as well as personal attributes and achievements.

  • Undergraduate specialization in theatre is not required for admission to the M.A. program. However, students lacking a suitable background in theatre studies may be required to satisfactorily complete certain undergraduate courses beyond those required for the graduate degree.
  • When applying, please indicate your prospective concentration (directing, acting, design) or your research interest (for a concentration in history and theory) in your personal statement.
  • GRE scores are required for all applicants as are TOEFL scores for international students.


MA students normally spend four semesters in the program, completing a minimum of 32 credit hours from the following required courses and electives:

  • Theatre Production Technology (THEA 544)
  • Theories of Acting and Directing (THEA 569)
  • Seminar in Dramatic Theory and Structure (THEA 572)
  • Seminar in Theatre History (THEA 579)
  • Thesis (4 credits)
    • Demonstrating mastery of a theatrical specialization (e.g. directing, performance, design, technical production, history or criticism). This work may consist of a realized studio production, a conceptualization for a production, or a substantial piece of scholarly writing. (N.B. All options entail a substantive written component and oral defense.)
  • Electives (12 credits or more)
    • From the department's general curriculum (acting, dance, design, directing, history, playwriting, technology)
    • OR from related graduate disciplines (Comparative Literature, Creative Writing, English, History).

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Last Updated: 12/14/17