The M.F.A. in Theatre with a specialization in drama and theatre for youth and communities program admits four candidates each year from an intensely competitive group of applicants. The degree is a three-year, 60 credit hour program that is considered a terminal degree for related fields of study.

Sample Program of Study and Curriculum

Year One, Fall Term

Research Methods and Resources

Designed for students to practice knowledge, skills and techniques needed to conduct research, to include organization, style and bibliographic forms.

Drama-based Pedagogy and Practice

A comprehensive pedagogical exploration and immersion training experience in the use of drama-based instructional strategies (the use of kinetic activities, improvisation and role play) in a variety of contexts.

Historiography of Drama and Theatre for Youth and Communities

Discover the historical development of drama and theatre for youth and communities through the theoretical ideas articulated in professional writings from 1890 to present.


Year One, Spring Term

Dramatic Literature for Youth and Families

A comprehensive study of the dramatic literature of theatre for children with an emphasis on historical context from fairy tales to mature themes; the behavior and reactions of child audiences; the young audiences' needs both in playwriting requirements and production techniques.

Applied Drama and Theatre

An examination of the theories, practices, pedagogies and politics associated with the various uses of theatre games, improvisation, role play and devised performance in a range of fields that extend beyond the formal theatre setting.



Year Two, Fall Term

Community Engagement and Outreach

An introduction to some of the justifications for and practices of theatre outreach and community engagement.

Supervised Teaching

An examination of the theories and practices of contemporary pedagogy to prepare you for your work as a scholar and artist in higher education.



Year Two, Spring Term

Pre-Thesis: Research and Practice

Develop a rigorous, original research question, research design/methodology and thesis project that engages with salient scholarship and practices in the field.


Year Three


A selection of electives, including:

  • Community-Based Theatre
  • Critical Theory for Performance
  • Digital Storytelling in Community-Based Settings
  • Dramatic Literature for Youth and Families International
  • Drama and Theatre Applications in Museum Settings
  • Latino/a Theatre for Youth Audiences
  • Nonprofit Management and Strategy
  • Playwriting for Youth
  • Performing Justice
  • Performance Ethnography
  • Teaching Artists in Schools and Communities
  • Theatre for Social Change
  • The Working Artist

Portfolio Programs

Portfolio programs are opportunities for students to obtain credentials in a cross-disciplinary academic area of study while they are completing the requirements for their M.F.A. Students often consider the following portfolio programs:

  • African and African American Studies
  • Arts and Cultural Management and Entrepreneurship
  • Cultural Studies
  • Disability Studies
  • Mexican American Studies
  • Museum Studies
  • Native American and Indigenous Studies
  • Nonprofit Studies
  • Women's and Gender Studies

For a complete list of programs, descriptions and application requirements, visit the Graduate School.

Public Teacher Certification

Pursuing K-12 teacher certification is possible while pursuing the M.F.A. in Theatre with a specialization in drama and theatre for youth and communities. Faculty offer students a comprehensive curriculum in theatre, drama, technical theatre and educational methods combined with in-depth field and student teaching experiences. Interested students are encouraged to inquire about this option.

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