Bachelor's, master's, and Ph.D. degree programs are available for students who want to study drama.
For bachelor's programs, students must hold a high school diploma or its equivalent and most programs require official transcripts from an applicant's high school. Some programs may require students to complete an associate degree before enrolling. The majority of theater education master's degree programs require that students hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution. Some might ask that applicants have a teacher's certificate. Doctoral programs take approximately four years to complete, and students must have a master's degree in a related field. Some programs may be set up to accept bachelor's degree graduates, but these students might need to complete certain prerequisite theater courses before enrolling in a Ph.D. program.
Depending on the program level, students will be exposed to a variety of practical theater coursework, stagecraft, and production development.
Bachelor's Degree in Theater Education
A bachelor's degree introduces students to a wide range of theater-related topics. Most programs can be completed in four years or fewer and involve both theoretical and practical theater coursework. Some programs may lead to a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree in Theater Education. Others may lead to a bachelor's degree in theater arts or fine arts with an emphasis on education.
The curriculum of most bachelor's degree programs in theater or drama education involves a combination of general education and core theater coursework. Below are some of the topics that may be included in such a degree program:
- Theater history
- Basics of directing
- Drama as a form of education
- Modern American theater
- The craft of staging
Master's Degree in Theater Education
A master's degree in theater education is designed to provide students with the opportunity to pursue an advanced degree that combines technical theater and educational coursework, as well as an opportunity to teach at the university level. Most programs lead to the Master of Arts (M.A.) in Theater Education. Some programs may lead to a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) with a concentration in theater education.
The curriculum of a master's degree in theater education generally exposes students to teaching methodology and a wide range of theater-related topics. Below are some of the subjects that may be included in the curriculum of such a degree:
- Movement and voice
- Theater education strategies
- Technical theater issues
- Theater for youth
- Theories of performance
Doctor of Philosophy in Theater
A Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Theater is considered the most advanced degree program in the field and introduces students to advanced theater theory.
Ph.D. programs are geared towards students who wish to pursue an academic or scholarly career in a theater-related subject. Students may study a variety of drama theory and history courses in seminar style classes. An original doctoral dissertation is required before graduation. Some of the possible courses of a Ph.D. program in theater are listed below:
- Theatrical conceptualization
- History of costume
- Directing historical drama
- Script development
- Advanced sound design
- Post-realist drama
Popular Career Options
Graduates of Ph.D. programs in theater may work in academic or scholarly institutions. Some of the possible positions available to Ph.D. in theater graduates are listed below.
- College theater educator
- Theater curator
- Drama historian
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov) expects that all postsecondary teachers may have a 13% job growth for the years 2014 through 2024. Drama, art and music postsecondary teachers made median annual wages of $65,340 in May 2015.
Drama teachers can earn their education from a variety of programs, from bachelor's to master's to doctoral degrees. Depending on your level of education, you can find employment in a number of different school levels and departments.