IX. Graduate Programs

Theatre Studies

MA Program

The Masters of Arts Degree in Theatre Studies is a research-based degree that offers students the opportunity of working with award winning theatre scholars and practitioners. The program applies several dynamic approaches to theatre studies that merge theory and practice. Students take five courses, including two mandatory courses and three elective courses. The required courses include i) THST*6220, which provides a context for the discipline and establishes a consistent discourse for students working in the program; and ii) THST*6150, which introduces students to the theory and practice of theatre-historical analysis, and situates selected aspects of theatre history as a practice and an institution. The degree provides opportunities for students to pursue in depth an area of specialized research.

Elective courses are subject to the special interests of faculty research and practice; these courses will rotate regularly among core faculty. For their electives students may take any graduate course offered in English or Theatre Studies, or may apply to take graduate courses in other programs, however, it is strongly recommended that at least two of the three electives come from the Theatre Studies course offerings in the Winter Semester.

Admission Requirements

In addition to the minimum requirements stated elsewhere in the Graduate Calendar, applicants to the MA Program in Theatre Studies would normally be expected to have a baccalaureate degree in an honours program (or equivalent) in drama or literature from a recognized post-secondary institution with at least a 78% or higher in the last two years of study. Students with degrees with excellent academic records in other related disciplines will also be considered. In very exceptional circumstances, an applicant may lack the required Honours degree but may be assessed as qualified to undertake the MA program in Theatre Studies on the basis of other experience and practice. For details, contact the Graduate Program Coordinator.

Applicants are not required to write the Graduate Record Examination. Successful applicants will be admitted in the Fall Semester, the Program’s only entry point. Program offices should be consulted for admission deadlines.

Applicants whose first language is not English are required to submit documentation of English language proficiency at the time of application.

Program Requirements

Students enrol in one of two study options: 1) course work and major paper, or 2) thesis.


Students must complete the required: THST*6220 and THST*6150 in the student's first semester, plus one Theatre Studies elective course plus an original research-based thesis (approx. 20,000 to 25,000 words)

Course Work and Major Paper (MRP)

Students must complete the required: THST*6220 and THST*6150 in the student's first semester, plus three Theatre Studies elective courses, plus either THST*6500 (approx. 7,500 words) or THST*6280. It is strongly recommended that at least two of the three electives come from Theatre Studies courses offered in the Winter Semester.

Both the thesis and the research paper may, with approval, and contingent upon faculty availability, be completed as exercises in creative writing accompanied by critical and theoretical commentary.

Internship Opportunities

All students may apply to the Graduate Program Committee to include an internship as part of their program as a course, or as a component of the Major Research Paper or thesis. Internships are not guaranteed, and it is the responsibility of students to make arrangements with their hosts and submit a thorough application including a clear statement of how the internship articulates and supports their program of research.

Library Resources

The University of Guelph’s library resources are remarkable for all aspects of the study of drama and theatre, and particularly for archival and special collections in Canadian Theatre, theatre and performance history, theatre festivals, and individual authors. Applicants who wish to work with these collections are especially welcome.

University of Guelph
50 Stone Road East
Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1