Graduate Overview

The Department of Theatre at the University of Missouri offers MA and PhD graduate programs, which provide students a range of artistic and scholarly opportunities through coursework, production work, faculty mentorship, guest artist residencies, and interdisciplinary campus collaborations. Our graduate programs train artist-scholars—individuals grounded in performance practice (e.g. acting, directing, dramaturgy, writing for performance, design, solo performance, choreography/movement, intimacy direction) and rigorous engagement in scholarship (critical theory, history, performance criticism, ethnographic study, applied theatre). Graduate students join a dynamic, award-winning community of faculty, alumni, and staff who excel in the field of Theatre and Performance Studies at regional, national, and international levels. MU’s Masters and Doctoral students are a vital part of the Department of Theatre’s commitment to create socially-engaged theatre and performance that celebrates difference, critiques injustice, and examines the wide range of human experiences.

Opportunities to Teach, Direct, & Participate in MU Theatre

MU graduate students frequently participate in MU's mainstage season as actors, directors, playwrights, designers, or dramaturgs. Graduate students with teaching assistantships teach or assist faculty teaching courses in the Department of Theatre, including: Acting for Non-Majors, Introduction to Performance Studies, Performance of Literature, Playwriting, Introduction to Scenic Construction, Introduction to Costume Construction, and Stage Make-Up. Graduate students often propose scripts to direct in the MU Theatre Season or in the Larry D. Clark Summer Repertory Theatre. 


MU’s Signature Performance Programs

Graduate students regularly participate in the Department of Theatre’s signature performance programs: The Center for Applied Theatre and Drama, the World Theatre Workshop, and The MO Playwrights Workshop. Each of these programs provide graduate students with opportunities to act, direct, and facilitate performance. 

Performing, Presenting & Publishing Research

MU graduate students regularly perform and present research at theatre and performance studies conferences, including: the Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE), the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KC-ACTF), the Mid-America Theatre Society (MATC), Theatre and Performance Studies Divisions of the National Communication Association (NCA) and the Central States Communication Association (CSCA). In addition, MU graduate students often publish their research in top-tier journals and books. Graduate students can apply to the Theatre Department’s Larry D. Clark Scholarship Fund to receive funding to attend academic conferences, in addition to several Graduate School sponsored opportunities.  

Questions about graduate academics?

Claire Syler

Jabarbara Jennings

Contact Info

For applications or more information, please write or call:
Department of Theatre
University of Missouri
129 Fine Arts Building
Columbia, MO 65211
phone: 573-882-2021
fax: 573-884-4034

Please upload unofficial copies of all college/university transcripts to your online application for admission. You will only need to provide official transcripts to the Office of Graduate Studies if you are accepted to the program.