The Hunter College Master of Arts in Theatre offers the opportunity to study theatre history, theory, dramaturgy, playwriting, acting and directing within the vibrant theatre environment of New York City. The graduate curriculum integrates theory with practice and accommodates the various backgrounds and career goals of our diverse student body of theatre professionals, dramaturgs, and educators.

Most students continue their professional theatre work or go on to Ph.D. Programs. There are 4 required classes Theatre History I and II, Play Analysis, and Dramatic Theory and Criticism.  The remaining credits are filled with electives that draw from all areas of theatre study. Students can tailor their coursework to their own specific needs and complete at their own pace.

Members of our graduate faculty  possess  academic and professional  credentials and experience. They specialize in such diverse areas as acting, directing, theatre history, performance theory,  Asian theatre, French and German theatre, avant-garde theatre, political theatre, mime, and puppetry.  In addition to the permanent faculty, the Harold Clurman Professorship allows us to supplement the regular faculty with well-known theatre artists and scholars who teach graduate seminars. In the past, seminars have been taught by Arthur Kopit, Eric Bentley, Gordon Rogoff, Andre Deshields, Arthur Miller, Ruby Dee, and Stanley Kauffmann among others.

Grants, Fellowships, and Graduate Assistantships

We provide funding for some of our students through the Vera Roberts Fellowship, awarded to the top incoming graduate student based on the academic record presented for admission, and through faculty recommendations for Roberts Foundation grants. The department has one graduate assistantship to aid with program administration. Students must complete at least one semester of coursework before receiving teaching assistant positions which are extremely limited. Student loan information can be found at the office of financial aid and is independent of the department.



Fall Enrollment Deadline: April 1st

Spring Enrollment Deadline: November 1st

Foreign Students Deadline: October 1st or March 1st

An applicant is expected to have a Bachelor’s Degree from a regionally accredited college or university with:

  1. An overall minimum “B minus” average.

  2. A minimum “B” average in student’s area of specialization


Degree Requirements

Each candidate must complete an approved program of study of at least 30 credits, including following. Courses other than those in the Department of Theatre may be applied toward the 30 credits with the approval of the graduate adviser, but may not exceed 9 credits. Not more than 9 credits may be transferred from nonmatriculated to matriculated status.

  • THC 70200 - History of Theatrical Theory

  • THC 75100 - History of Theatre I

  • THC 75200 - History of Theatre II

  • THC 79000 - Play Analysis


Comprehensive Examination

The student is required to pass a three-hour comprehensive examination covering general knowledge in theatre history, criticism, and production. The comprehensive exam may be repeated if failed, but may be taken no more than three times. The department no longer requires a proficiency examination in one foreign language.


Master's Essay

Master’s Essay: Upon completion of the comprehensive examination, the graduate committee will determine which students shall be invited to submit a proposal for a Master’s Essay. This decision will be based on academic performance: papers, class participation, and the quality of the comprehensive examination. Approved students must register for THC 79900 - Master’s Essay to complete the 30 required credits when the proposal is approved.

  • THC 79900 - Master’s Essay




Graduates of our Masters in Theatre Program will be able to:

- Demonstrate a general command of the major events and movement in the theatre

- Demonstrate a general command of theories of the theatre

- Will have facility in critical analysis of plays and performance

- Demonstrate proficiency in theatre research method