The Catholic University of America

M.A. Program in Theatre History and Criticism

The M.A. Program in Theatre History and Criticism prepares students to enter the field of advanced theatre studies with a particular consideration of the play within its social and historical context.

The program takes advantage of Catholic University’s location by providing its most qualified students with opportunities for internships at professional theatres in the Washington Metropolitan area and helping students gain access to America’s most important research libraries. With these assets, a variety of students may use the M.A. Program to develop skills for a career in education, theatre management, dramaturgy, or prepare for a Ph.D. in theatre history.

The M.A. requires the satisfactory completion of 30 course credit hours and two practicum credit hours.

The course requirements for the M.A. degree are:

  • five 600 level courses including DR 601, DR 604, and DR 607;
  • three 900 level research seminars including DR 984;
  • and three graduate level electives.

The program director determines course choices and approves internships after consulting with students, keeping in mind each student’s background and objectives. Students are encouraged to serve as dramaturgs for department productions or for other performance projects produced by students in the M.F.A. programs. Second year M.A. students are also encouraged to secure an internship with one of the professional theatres affiliated with the program.

The M.A. Program includes four areas of concentration with electives and internships that qualified students may use to pursue their own interests. The options include the following areas and their corresponding electives:

  • Education: DR 507, DR 526, DR 988 (participate in an Education Outreach Internship with an affiliated professional theatre), and appropriate courses in the Department of Education.
  • Management: stage-manage for a CUA production (2 practicum credits) and DR 988 (participate in a management internship with an affiliated professional theatre).
  • Dramaturgy: DR 983 (required), DR 988 (dramaturg for a CUA production and/or participate in a dramaturgy internship with an affiliated professional theatre).
  • History: Follow all of the requirements listed above, including DR 983, DR 995 (thesis), and DR 987 (an approved research internship).


With the approval of their advisor, the most qualified students in the program have the opportunity to earn credits through internships at professional theatres in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area. 

Through Dramaturgy II (DR 988) students have participated in internships at the following professional theatres: Arena Stage, The Folger Shakespeare Theatre, Round House Theatre, Shakespeare Theatre, Studio Theatre and Woolly Mammoth Theatre.

How to Apply


Kristen Keating
Student in the M.A. Program