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

Learn more about the Master of Arts in Theater Instruction.

About the Program

The Master of Arts in Theater Instruction provides opportunities for students to explore ideas and concepts using drama strategies and theater forms in the classroom and, most importantly, how to translate the student’s learning back into their own classroom. Students learn how to demonstrate understanding of all areas of theater performance — acting, design/tech, directing, history, musical theater, production and management, and more — and how to best present this information to their own Kindergarten to grade 12 classrooms.

The MA in Theater Instruction is designed for existing teachers with certification in any subject who want to add the Theatre Endorsement from the Pennsylvania Department of Education while earning a master's degree in Education that will further their effectiveness in the classroom. It is also designed for current endorsement holders or those who have been teaching drama in schools but need new or remedial training in all areas of live theater production.

The program consists of a mix of subjects to provide the student with a well-rounded theater degree. This allows existing teachers to return to the classroom with a wealth of knowledge for their own students. All classes are taught from the perspective of teaching theater teachers how best to teach theater. Coursework integrates theory and reflective practice, offering the student the opportunity to develop skills and expand knowledge in the art of theater, the principles of teaching and learning in the arts, and the practices of applied drama and theater.

Time Limit for Degree Completion: 3 years

Campus Location: Main

Full-Time/Part-Time Status: The MA program features online, hybrid, on-campus and practical fieldwork. The program is offered in a hybrid format with some in-person instruction/meetings and some online learning/instruction. Fall and Spring terms are mostly hybrid or online, while two Summer II sessions are intensives on campus. By the nature of the schedule, this program is tailored for working teachers or those interested in teaching in the performing arts.

Interdisciplinary Study: By its very nature, the program is interdisciplinary. The curriculum interweaves all elements of theater study.

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

Job Prospects: The degree serves to elevate the stature of current teachers in their schools as they bring deeper knowledge of teaching theater and its various elements to the K-12 classroom. It increases the marketability of those with certification in another subject area.

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: March 1
Spring: November 1
Summer II: June 1

Applications are evaluated as they are received. Late applications may be considered for admission.

APPLY ONLINE to this graduate program.

Letters of Reference:
Number Required: 2

From Whom: Letters of recommendation should be obtained from evaluators, such as a school principal, department chair or college/university faculty, who can provide insight into the applicant's aptitude for graduate study.

Bachelor's Degree in Discipline/Related Discipline: Applicants must hold a baccalaureate degree, but it need not be in a theater-related field.

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.

Program Requirements

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

Required Courses:

Plan of Study Grid
Year 1
Summer IICredit Hours
THTR 8101 Stagecraft for Teachers 3
THTR 8102 Acting 1 for Teachers 3
THTR 8103 Introduction to the Director's Art for Teachers 3
 Credit Hours9
THTR 8104 Methods of Teaching Theater for Teachers 3
THTR 8105 Stage Management for Teachers 3
 Credit Hours6
THTR 8106 World of the Play for Teachers 3
THTR 9382 Projects in Directing I 3
 Credit Hours6
Year 2
Summer II
THTR 8107 Acting II for Teachers 3
THTR 8108 Directing for the Musical Stage for Teachers 3
THTR 8109 Introduction to Design for Teachers 3
 Credit Hours9
 Total Credit Hours30

Culminating Event: Successful completion of coursework is required to earn the MA in Theater Instruction.


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

Head of Theater Education:

Matthew Miller



Fred Duer