A New MFA Option for Theatre Education

Cutler Majestic Theater

We are proud to announce that our MA in Theatre Education is expanding to include a new Masters of Fine Arts. The new title of our program is the Theatre Education and Applied Theatre MA/MFA.

Beginning fall 2019, entering MA students will be required to take 36 credits, and 48 credits if they are accepted into the MFA. The Emerson Theatre Education and Applied Theatre MFA is designed to accommodate students whose work lives require more flexibility in completing the requirements of the degree. The MA can be completed in a year; the MFA can be completed in 2 years of full time study, one semester of which may be in the student’s home community as they implement their MFA Thesis Project.  

Whether students apply for the MA in Theatre Education or Theatre and Community, or for the Theatre Education and Applied Theatre MFA, several popular features currently available in the MA are also available in the MA/MFA, such as:

  • The opportunity to pursue licensure in pre-K-12 Theatre
  • Permeability between areas, which encourages students to pursue coursework in both the licensure area and the Theatre and Community area
  • Access to project-based work in both streams, to build skills and experience in the student’s areas of interest

Completion of the 48 credit MFA, however, opens the door to teaching full-time in colleges and universities for those interested in a career in higher education. The opportunity to work as a Teaching Assistant in a variety of courses, built into the MFA for interested students, offers valuable experience and resumé credentials that facilitate a successful transition into teaching Theatre Education and Applied Theatre courses in post-secondary education.

The MFA also expands Qualitative Research skills and experiences, as well as access to a wider variety of advanced theatre skills courses, including new courses, in both the Teacher Education and Applied Theatre areas, which prepare students to engage in social justice initiatives. These changes increase experiences in arts-based research and publication, and the addition of an MFA Thesis Project expands students’ practical experience in creating and implementing extended community engaged work.  

So how will this impact our current MA students in both the Teacher Education and Applied Theatre streams, as well as our recent graduates? Anyone currently in the MA has the opportunity to apply for the MFA this spring, to complete an additional 12 credits across two semesters beyond the 40 credit Masters Degree.  The second semester may be off site, as students implement their MFA Thesis Project. Furthermore, those of you who may wish to return in a few years to pursue the MFA will be able to apply to do so, and will do the same 12 credit, two semester sequence.

The Theatre Education and Applied Theatre MA/MFA will be open to the general public in fall 2020.  The adapted application process for this year, open only to current students and recent graduates of the MA, will be available on the grad admissions website starting Feb 15th 2019.

Learn more about the changes in this program on our website.

Join us for informational meeting about the program on Feb. 15th from 4-5 pm in the Walker Building at Emerson College (rm. 511). We’ll be able to answer any questions prior to the formal announcement (and invitation to recent graduates of our program) in the coming weeks.