Immerse yourself in the Applied Shakespeare graduate certificate program! Begin with an online, fully interactive graduate introduction to the upcoming Colorado Shakespeare Festival (CSF) plays and other major Shakespeare works. Then, join your fellow students for an on-campus immersion at CU Boulder during the renowned Colorado Shakespeare Festival. You’ll explore acting, directing, interpreting and teaching Shakespeare in a fully interdisciplinary, experiential context with your fellow learners.

The program culminates in the completion of your own Applied Shakespeare capstone project, in which you create a presentation, workshop, paper, solo performance or script that intersects Shakespeare with a topic, specific population, or social issue of your choosing.

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Teaching Shakespeare: New to 2021

We have a new online course starting Fall 2021 called Teaching Shakespeare. This course is open to all teachers and teaching artists; While it is part of our graduate certificate program, this course can also be taken independently of our graduate certificate. If you are taking this as a standalone course, no application is necessary; please email a brief statement of interest to the program director at

Testimonials from Previous Students

The Applied Shakespeare program has been an invaluable experience for me on many levels. It has opened my eyes to multiple new ways of approaching Shakespeare studies.
-Jill Gordon

Not only does Applied Shakespeare offer a unique way of exploring how Shakespeare fits into our contemporary world and serves diverse populations, but with students coming from such varied backgrounds, each class session has been insightful and engaging, and our professors have been both incredibly knowledgeable and encouraging throughout the course and the initial stages of our capstone development.
-Devon Burke

What a lineup. This inspiring program provided us with face-to-face dialogue with the A-list of the leading Applied Shakespeare practitioners.
-Arthur Adams

Curriculum for 2021 Certificate Program

ENGL 5000: Intro to Applied Shakespeare (3 credits)

  • Mondays 3 - 5pm, January 25 - April 26, 2021 
  • Online Course
  • Taught by Associate Professor of English David Glimp
  • Content focus:  
    • What is Applied Shakespeare?
    • Analysis and discussion of plays in Colorado Shakespeare Festival’s 2021 season
    • Initial brainstorming about students’ individual capstone projects
    • Previous guest artists have included CSF Artistic Director Timothy Orr and Managing Director Wendy Franz, as well as directors of the summer season’s productions

THTR 5143: Shakespeare in Community (3 credits)

  • Mondays 3 - 5 pm, May 3 - July 19, 2021
  • Online Course
  • Taught by Associate Professor of Theatre Kevin Rich
  • Content focus:  
    • Applied Shakespeare in community, education, and new work
    • Learn more about CSF’s season from CSF directors, dramaturgs and designers
    • Students begin developing their own Applied Shakespeare capstone projects
    • Previous guest artists have included Curt Tofteland (Shakespeare Behind Bars), Nancy Smith-Watson (Feast of Crispian), Sarah Enloe (American Shakespeare Center), and Kevin McClatchy (Shakespeare and Autism at OSU)

THTR 7004: Summer Shakespeare Intensive (3 credits)

  • Monday - Sunday, July 26 - August 1, 2021
  • One week, on-campus intensive in Boulder, Colorado
  • Content focus: 
    • A variety of hands-on master classes taught by CU Boulder faculty and CSF guest artists, which will include acting, directing, voice, pedagogy and guest lectures
    • Students will view rehearsals and performances in CSF’s summer season
    • In-depth discussion of individual Applied Shakespeare capstone projects
    • Students have up to one month following the intensive to complete and submit their individual capstone projects

New Course Proposed & in Development for 2021!

THTR 5067: Teaching Shakespeare (3 credits)

  • Mondays 3 - 5 pm, Aug 23 – December 6, 2021
  • Online Course
  • Taught by CSF Director of Outreach Amanda Giguere
  • For students enrolled in the graduate certificate program who would like to earn their certificate entirely online, this class may be taken in lieu of THTR 7004
  • For teachers and teaching artists, this course may also be taken independently of the certificate program, for 3 graduate credits
  • Content focus:  
    • Pedagogies, lesson plans and exercises for making Shakespeare accessible for students of all ages and across multiple content 

Admission & Application Requirements

We will be accepting our next class to the Applied Shakespeare graduate certificate program for the spring 2021 term.

To apply for this program you must possess an undergraduate degree from an accredited institution.

  • Application consideration begins on Nov. 16, 2020.
  • Application deadline is December 1, 2020.

Within the application, you must provide:

  1. Unofficial Transcript - documenting completion of an undergraduate degree.    

  2. Statement of Purpose - one page in length (this is your writing sample).

    Note: Please include in your statement whether you are applying for: a) the hybrid online/in person graduate certificate including THTR 7004 (the on-campus summer intensive); or b) the entirely online graduate certificate including Teaching Shakespeare in lieu of THTR 7004.

    If you wish to take Teaching Shakespeare as a standalone, 3-credit course (rather than the full certificate), please DO NOT apply using the link below.  Instead, email a statement of interest directly to the program director at

  3. Reference Contact Information – a message will be sent to your academic or professional reference requesting a letter of recommendation.

Your completed application will be reviewed by the program director and you will be notified of the decision via email.

Complete the Certificate Application Form.


$638 per credit hour or $5,742 for the entire nine credits. This price applies for both CO resident and non-resident students.