The department offers graduate work leading to the MA, MFA, and PhD degrees. Students entering the master’s degree program should have an undergraduate major in theater arts or the equivalent, while students entering the doctoral program should have completed a master’s degree in theater arts or the equivalent.
Graduate Degree Requirements
The MA degree require 45 credits in graduate courses, and both require a thesis with an oral examination. The MA also requires competence in a second language.
The MFA, typically a three-year program, requires a minimum of 54 credits. Areas of specialization are set design, lighting design, and costume design. Typically, course work is substantially completed during the first two years, and students work on their terminal artistic projects during subsequent terms. An oral evaluation and review of the project is held following completion of the project performance. A written report on the project, previewed by the candidate’s report committee, follows the review.
Most theater arts students take approximately 130 credits beyond the bachelor’s degree. After candidates have completed most of their course work, they write a qualifying examination and take an oral examination. The qualifying examination committee may require that all or part of the examination be retaken with or without additional courses. Students who fail to pass this examination by the second try may not remain in the theater arts PhD program. A dissertation with an oral defense is required. The dissertation must be completed within three years after the student is advanced to candidacy, which happens after passing the comprehensive examination.
General Requirements. The only course required of all theater arts graduate students is Research Methods (TA 611). PhD candidates are expected to complete 60 to 90 credits in history, theory, and literature of the theater after obtaining a master’s degree.
Each graduate student is expected to show ability in both academic and production areas. During residence at the university, a student is expected to make a significant contribution in three areas out of the following seven: acting, directing, technical theater, management, playwriting, teaching, and design.
Candidates for an MA degree in theater arts must demonstrate their ability to read a second language. Students seeking the PhD degree must acquire two research tools, one of which must be the knowledge of a second language. The other may be a third language or 9 credits of graduate-level study outside the department in a field related to the student’s research intent.
401 Research: [Topic] (1–21R)
405 Reading and Conference: [Topic] (1–21R)
406 Field Studies: [Topic] (1–21R)
407/507 Seminar: [Topic] (1–5R)
408/508 Workshop: [Topic] (1–21R)
409 Practicum: [Topic] (1–3R) R thrice for maximum of 12 credits.
410/510 Experimental Course: [Topic] (1–4R)
411/511, 412/512, 413/513 Costume History I,II,III (4,4,4) History of Western clothing in cultural context. 411/511: Egyptian to Renaissance. 412/512: mid-Renaissance to romanticism. 413/513: Victorian to the present. Bonds.
416/516 Costume Design (4) Beginning design concepts and various artistic media as applicable to costume design and rendering techniques. Prereq: TA 210. Bonds.
417/517 Advanced Costume Design (4) Analysis and interpretation of scripts for costume design. Continuation of development of rendering techniques. Prereq: TA 416/516. Bonds.
418/518 Costume Pattern Drafting (4) Designing patterns through flat patterning and draping techniques. Practical experience in pattern development and execution. Prereq: TA 212. Bonds.
419/519 Costume Construction (4) Practical problems encountered in building and decorating costumes for the stage. Prereq: TA 212.
420 Return and Review for Actors (1R) Review foundational concepts and technique by participating, demonstrating, and coaching in Acting I or II. Prereq: TA 250, 251, 252; coreq: TA 409. R once for TA 250; once for TA 251.
423/523 Theater Arts Pedagogy (4R)
441/541 Scene Design: Single Set (4) Elements of scene design; the scene designer’s role. Creating a ground plan, measured perspective techniques, elevations, design styles. Design process and procedures related to the proscenium stage only. Prereq: TA 210. Hooker.
445/545 Advanced Projects in Theater Technology: [Topic] (4R) Specialized areas of theater technology, one topic per term. Topics include scene painting, stage management, props, and computer drafting. R seven times when topic changes for maximum of 32 credits.
452/552 Advanced Acting: [Topic] (4R) Topics in the performance of a specific genre or authors, or in specific performance technique, including voice, movement, comedy, Shakespeare, and solo performance. Prereq: TA 252, 271; one from TA 210, 211, 212. R when topic changes. May, Schmor.
465 Playwriting (4) Laboratory seminar focused on active and intensive development of new skills and aims in writing for live performance. Junior standing required. Offered alternate years.
467/567 Lighting for the Stage (4) Designing lighting for the stage; technical and aesthetic problems. Prereq: TA 211. Rose.
470 Majors Seminar (4) Capstone seminar for junior theater majors; readings and research in new theater trends, aesthetics, professional and higher academic opportunities. Prereq: TA 367.
471/571 Studies in Theater and Culture: [Topic] (4R) Dramatic literature and historical cultural concepts. Establishes a cultural context for periods of drama, using arts materials and socioeconomic factors to clarify aesthetic attitudes and practices of theater. R thrice when topic changes for maximum of 16 credits.
472/572 Multicultural Theater: [Topic] (4R) Origins and development of contributions in theater and drama by various cultures including Latino, Chicano, African American, Asian American, and Native American. R four times when topic changes for maximum of 20 credits.
474/574 Themes in Dramatic Literature: [Topic] (4R) The intents, uses, and effects of dramatic literature with special regard for theatrical production and audience reception. R thrice when topic changes for maximum of 16 credits.
503 Thesis (1–16R)
601 Research: [Topic] (1–16R)
602 Supervised College Teaching (1–16R)
603 Dissertation (1–16R)
605 Reading and Conference: [Topic] (1–16R)
606 Field Studies: [Topic] (1–16R)
607 Seminar: [Topic] (1–5R) Graduate students only. Topics in contemporary theory. Forsgren, May, Najjar, Schmor.
608 Workshop: [Topic] (1–16R)
609 Practicum: [Topic] (1–3R) Rehearsal and Performance is a current topic. R five times for a maximum of 18 credits.
610 Experimental Course: [Topic] (1–5R)
651 Theory of Dramatic Production (4)