This is an archived copy of the 2021-2022 bulletin. To access the most recent version of the bulletin, please visit

Musical Theater Studies, M.A.

Center for the Performing and Cinematic Arts / SCHOOL OF THEATER, FILM AND MEDIA ARTS

Learn more about the Master of Arts in Musical Theater Studies.

About the Program

The Master of Arts in Musical Theater Studies is designed for graduate students to continue their education and practice in the disciplines of acting, music, and dance/movement in preparation for careers in education, performance, production, or direction. The Center for the Performing and Cinematic Arts, comprised of constituent faculty and programs within the Department of Theater in collaboration with sister faculty and programs in the Boyer College of Music and Dance, is ideally suited to offer such a progressive degree opportunity. Both faculties are professionally experienced in musical theater as performers, directors, designers, musicians, and administrators, all notable and proven teachers with enviable records of success both professionally and academically.

Historically, students wanting to pursue a graduate musical theater degree in the United States had to choose between a Master of Fine Arts and a Master of Music, given that master's degree programs in musical theater were rare. Today, Temple University’s M.A. in Musical Theater Studies is the only M.A. in Musical Theater Studies with a curriculum that combines classroom study with practical training in musical theater performance, including acting, directing, choreographing, and educating equally in all areas of musical theater production and performance. The curriculum reflects current institutional trends supporting interdisciplinary study in the performing arts.

Time Limit for Degree Completion: 3 years

Campus Location: Main

Full-Time/Part-Time Status: Students complete the degree program through classes offered at convenient times of the day and evening.

Interdisciplinary Study: By its very nature, the program is interdisciplinary. The curriculum interweaves study in acting, music, and dance.

Accreditation: The Theater Department is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Theatre (NAST).

Job Prospects: The degree serves as a bridge for further specialization in the area of musical theater for students coming from the various genres of music, theater, and dance who seek more advanced graduate education. Skills acquired in teaching and producing musicals in primary and secondary education could lead to immediate employment. The skills and expertise acquired would also apply to educational positions and outreach programs affiliated with professional theaters.

Non-Matriculated Student Policy: Non-matriculated students may take up to 9 credits within the department at the discretion of individual instructors.

Admission Requirements and Deadlines

Application Deadline:

Fall: February 1

Applications are evaluated together after the deadline has passed. Late applications may be considered for admission.

APPLY ONLINE to this graduate program.

Letters of Reference:
Number Required: 3

From Whom: Letters of recommendation should be obtained from college/university faculty familiar with the applicant's academic competency and/or from professionals in the fields of theater, music, or dance.

Bachelor's Degree in Discipline/Related Discipline: All applicants must present credentials that are the equivalent of the appropriate baccalaureate degree at Temple University.

Statement of Goals: In approximately 500 words, explain your personal interests, educational aims, and professional goals, along with relevant biographical information.

Standardized Test Scores:
Applicants who earned their baccalaureate degree from an institution where the language of instruction was other than English, with the exception of those who subsequently earned a master’s degree at a U.S. institution, must report scores for a standardized test of English that meet these minimums:

  • TOEFL iBT: 100
  • IELTS Academic: 7.0
  • PTE Academic: 68

Resume: Current resume required.

Transfer Credit: The M.A. program in Musical Theater Studies accepts graduate credits completed in coursework relevant to the program. Acceptance of transfer credits is determined solely by the Musical Theater committee. The maximum number of credits a student may transfer is 3.

Program Requirements

General Program Requirements:
Number of Credits Required Beyond the Baccalaureate: 30

Required Courses:

Core Courses
THTR 5012American Musical Theater3
THTR 5134Directing for the Musical Stage3
THTR 5392The Business of the Business in Theater3
THTR 5804Dramaturgy3
Inclusive Vocal Development: Pre-Kindergarten - Secondary
Assessment of Music Learning
Musical Theater Voice and Acting
Musical Theater Scene Study
Musical Theater Dance Techniques
Speech for the Actor I
Vocal Production for the Actor I
Vocal Production for the Actor II
Dance for the Actor I
Dance for the Actor II
Rehearsal & Performance
Script and Score Analysis
Costume Production
Lighting Design II
Costume Design II
Theatrical Makeup
Scene Design II
Project in Acting
Projects in Directing I
Total Credit Hours30

Culminating Events:
Master's Thesis:
A final performance, demonstration project, and/or research paper is required. The student works with a thesis advisor, as assigned, until the project is completed. Prior to graduation, students make a formal presentation of their thesis for Theater faculty, students, and invited guests. Detailed guidelines for a written M.A. thesis process and evaluation are found in the Graduate Handbook.


Program Web Address:

Department Information:

Theater Graduate Admissions

Center for the Performing and Cinematic Arts/School of Theater, Film and Media Arts

2001 N. 13th Street, 127 Presser Hall

Philadelphia, PA 19122-6016


Fax: 215-204-4957

Submission Address for Application Materials:

Department Contacts:


James Short

Recruitment Coordinator

M.A. Program Co-Directors:

Peter Reynolds


Fred Duer