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Master of Arts in Theatre Education

It's finally here: a Master's program in Theatre Education that takes only 2 and a half full years to complete! This focused program includes a combination of online classes, hands-on work, and theatrical experiences ranging from courses in directing to curriculum development. UNC's Theatre Educator Intensive is an ideal way to earn your Master's degree in Theatre Education.

  • Program Description

    Degree Requirements - 36 Credit Hours

    This focused program consists of:

    • Four 3-credit online courses (graduate transfer credits may also apply)

    • Two 3-week in-person summer institutes for 18 credits

    • Six credits of comprehensive exams taken over two semesters

    for a total of thirty-six (36) credits spread out over the course of two and one-half academic years and two summer sessions.

    Core Courses - 33 Credit Hours

    THED 530 Theatrical Production I (3)
    THED 531 Theatrical Production II (3)
    THED 540 Directing/Acting: Realism and Non-Realism/Period Styles (3)
    THED 541 Directing/Acting: Musical Theatre (3)
    THED 560 Innovative Strategies in Drama Education (3)
    THED 561 Voice and Movement (3)
    THED 600 On-Line: Dramaturgy /Research Methodology (3)
    THED 670 On-Line: Advocacy, History and Philosophy of Theatre Education (3)
    THED 680 On-Line: Theatre Education Curriculum Development (3)
    THEA 696 Action Research I (3)
    THEA 697 Action Research II (3)

    Theatre Electives - 3 Credit Hours

    Approved 500 or 600 Level Theatre course (3)

    The Coordinator of the M.A. in Theatre Education: Theatre Educator Intensive program will assign each student an academic advisor and a comprehensive exam committee. The academic advisor will serve as the chair of the committee. Comprehensive exams are required of all Master of Arts degree candidates in the School of Theatre Arts and Dance.

    It is recommended that students have a review each semester with their advisor. The academic advisor will keep a record of the review and share it with the Coordinator of the M.A. in Theatre Education: Theatre Educator Institute program. The student assumes responsibility for scheduling graduate reviews. Two unsuccessful graduate reviews will be considered grounds for termination of the program.

    Upon completion of the program, the student will be required to demonstrate competence in the designated area of concentration in accordance with approved school standards. The student's committee must approve the candidate for graduation.

  • General Information

    Theatre Education Program Description

    The MA in Theatre Education is an academically rigorous intensive program that examines the philosophical, theoretical and practical implications in the field of theatre education. In this program, students will reflect on the bigger challenges that constantly face theatre educators in the classroom, and more broadly, in the country. Students should expect to reflect, assess, and re-evaluate their own practice and theoretical understandings of the field. They should delegate 12-20 hours a week to coursework, and will be responsible for producing high level academic work with attention to detail and critical thought.


    This focused program consists of four 3 credit on-line courses spread out over two and a half academic years, two three-week summer institutes for 18 credits (9 each year), and 6 credits of comprehensive exams for a total of 36 credits.

    The program begins every fall semester. While on campus the following two summers, students will attend classes, and view or work on productions, Monday through Saturday for a total of 45 hours per week. The summer classes will be held during the first three weeks in July.


    Applicants must have a Bachelor's degree and a strong desire to obtain a Master of Arts degree in Theatre Education. Applicants should have two years of experience teaching as either a full-time teacher in a school or as a teaching artist, and be familiar with creating curriculum and daily lesson plans. A teaching certificate is recommended yet not required. 

    Approximately twenty students will be admitted each year. The goal is that each class will reflect a mix of diverse backgrounds, experience and interests. Applicants must meet the University of Northern Colorado’s graduate admission requirements and apply by April 1. The applicant must also submit an essay discussing their goals for the program, why graduate school is an appropriate choice at this time, how accommodations will be made in their professional and personal life to make time for graduate school, and any successes or challenges with writing; a resume; and three letters of recommendation. Selection for the program will be made by the end of April. The GRE is not required.


    The cost of the program is calculated each year based on increases in operation costs. View current tuition rates. Arrangements can be made for a monthly payment plan, but there is a service/interest charge. Students may also pay by credit card and/or make their monthly payments to the credit card. Financial aid is also available through the UNC Financial Aid Office. More information is also available on the Graduate School website.


    On campus summer housing is available at UNC in Hansen-Willis Hall just two blocks from Frasier Hall. Hansen-Willis is an air-conditioned residence hall, in which each unit consists of two bedrooms, bathroom and living areas. Each unit houses up to four persons per apartment. Requests for one person per bedroom will be honored on a space available basis. All reservations must be paid for on or before arrival. The MA Theatre Education program advisor will contact you regarding housing opportunities during your first year in the program. A word about residence halls: UNC residence halls are good student housing, not hotels. There is no maid service, there are shared facilities, BUT it is very convenient. If you have misgivings about residence halls, please consider the hotel option.

    Looking for Summer Housing Off Campus?

    Please visit the Greeley Convention and Visitors Bureau web site for more information on hotel options (Accommodations). We do not provide transportation to and from hotels. For those who have the perfect house on wheels and travel to Greeley in a motor home, there are campgrounds close to the University as well. Beginning June 26, the City of Greeley is very busy as we host the annual Greeley Stampede - the "World's Largest 4th of July Rodeo and Western Celebration!" If you are interested in getting a hotel room, please do so right away.


    On campus classes will be located at Frasier Hall and Crabbe Hall on the University of Northern Colorado Campus. View the UNC Campus Map


    As part of the on-campus program, students will attend theatre productions on campus at the Little Theatre of the Rockies, and selected theatre productions in Denver and/or Boulder.


    Prior to the on-campus summer sessions, students will be sent a list of textbooks, plays, and resources. They may also be given assignments that will need to be completed in advance of their arrival on campus. Before beginning the program, students should consider a play for their thesis project.

    Prospective Student Info

    Learn more about online courses
    Learn more about Greeley, CO

  • Curriculum
    YEAR 1    
    THED 600 Dramaturgy/Research Methodology
    Fall Online
    3 credits
    THED 670 Advocacy, History and Philosophy of Theatre Education
    Spring Online
    3 credits
    THED 530 Theatrical Production I
    3 credits
    THED 540 Directing/Acting: Realism & Non-Realism/Period Styles
    3 credits
    THED 560 Innovative Strategies in Drama Education
    3 credits
    YEAR 2    
    THED 680  Theatre Education Curriculum Development
    Fall Online
    3 credits
    THED 696 Action Research I (Comps I)
    Spring Online
    3 credits
    THED 531 Theatrical Production II
    3 credits
    THED 541 Directing/Acting: Musical Theatre
    3 credits
    THED 561 Voice and Movement
    3 credits
    After 2nd Summer   3 credits
    THED 697 Action Research II (Comps II)
    Fall Online
    3 credits
    When Convenient Approved 500 or 600 Level Theatre Course 3 credits
  • Course Descriptions
  • Application

    Applicants must have a Bachelor’s degree; a teaching certificate is recommended, yet is not required. Graduate school admission is required. No GRE is required.

    To obtain an application to the graduate school, access the UNC Graduate School website and follow the procedures outlined.

    Please submit to the Graduate School by April 1:

    • Application
    • Transcript(s)
    • Essay discussing: goals for the program, why graduate school is an appropriate choice at this time, how accommodations will be made in one’s professional and personal life to make time for graduate school, and any successes or challenges with writing
    • Theatre Resume, and 3 letters of recommendation

    Once admitted to the program, students should refer to http://extended.unco.edu/current/graduate/education-arts/Theatre_Ed_MA.asp, where they will get current student information such as their course schedule, course registration number, link to the syllabus and other important details.

Faculty & Staff

Shelly Gaza, Theatre Arts & Dance Faculty

Shelly Gaza

Voice & Speech, Acting

Brian Hapcic, Theatre Arts & Dance Faculty

Brian Hapcic

Lighting Design

Ryan Driscoll, School of Theatre Arts and Dance Faculty


Area Head of Musical Theatre
Associate Professor of Musical Theatre


Read Full Bio

John Leonard, Theatre Arts & Dance Faculty

John Leonard

Musical Theatre

Gillian McNally, Theatre Arts & Dance Faculty

Gillian McNally

Professor of Theatre Arts

Tom McNally, Theatre Arts & Dance Faculty

Tom McNally


Andrea Moon, Theatre Arts & Dance Faculty

Andrea Moon

Dramatic Literature, Movement

Rebecca Rich, School of Theatre Arts and Dance Faculty


Coordinator of Undergraduate Studies, Theatre and Dance
Assistant Professor of Acting


Read Full Bio

Mary Schuttler, Theatre Arts & Dance Faculty

Mary Schuttler

Theatre Arts

Anne Toewe, Theatre Arts & Dance Faculty

Anne M. Toewe

Head of Design and Technology; Costume Designer


Guest Artist

Richard Robichaux

Richard Robichaux received his M.F.A. from Rutgers University and BFA from Stephen F. Austin University. Recent credits include OCEAN'S 8 in theaters last summer and the ABC comedy SPEECHLESS last fall. This March you can see him in WHERE'D YOU GO BERNADETTE? with Cate Blanchett. This marks Richard’s 4th film with award-winning director Richard Linklater. Other credits include: BOYHOOD, which was nominated for six Academy Awards and won the Golden Globe for Best Picture, THE BOOK OF LOVE, with Jason Sudeikis and Jessica Biel with all original music by Justin Timberlake, BERNIE, opposite Shirley MacLaine and Jack Black, as well as extensive television credits. His theatre credits include the Shakespeare Theatre in Washington, D.C., Yale Repertory Theatre, Mark Taper Forum, Syracuse Stage and great theatres in New York, California and everywhere in between.

Professor Robichaux has worked with many of the top programs in the country and is a nationally recognized leader in actor training. He has conducted masterclasses for students and teachers at dozens of conferences and universities. He is an outspoken advocate for theatre education and is proud to have delivered the keynote address at several events, including the Southeastern Theatre Conference, Texas Thespian Festival, Florida Association of Theatre Educators, Heartland Film Festival, Colorado Thespian Festival, and the Educational Theater Association's National Teacher Conference. He is also a judge for the College Television Awards presented by the EMMYS. Professor Robichaux was the Head of Acting at Penn State University and UCSD.

Read about Robichaux's performer journey on the Disney+ original series Big Shot