A masked performer reaches out from the top of a stone landing
Niki Tulk, PhD student, enacts a scene from Medea at the Sunrise Amphitheatre on Flagstaff Mountain during the Global Ancient and Classical Seminar
A group of CU Boulder graduates
CU Graduates Student Reunion 2019

The Theatre & Performance Studies (TAPS) Master of Arts program is a 30 credit hour degree that is completed in four semesters (excluding summers). Students are encouraged to participate in theatre and dance projects both within the department and in the community and may receive elective credit for acting, directing, dramaturgy and design.


  • 17 credit hours of required coursework: includes theatre and performance studies history and theory
  • 9-10 credit hours of elective coursework: allows students to pursue their interests or develop a specialization
  • 3-4 credit hours for thesis or final project


The MA degree has two tracks, the thesis and the non-thesis track.

Thesis Track

This track prepares students to pursue a PhD degree at CU or elsewhere. Students must write a 25-55 page thesis, a substantial research document demonstrating mature critical thought based on independent study and investigation. Thesis track students take a comprehensive exam in their final semester comprised of two 1 hour oral examinations back-to-back on the same day. The first hour covers coursework and the second hour is a discussion of the thesis.

Non-Thesis Track

Students who do not plan to pursue a PhD can elect the non-thesis track which provides for a wider expanse of career preparation. Students in this track will complete a final project that will serve as a unifying goal for their MA experience. This project might be a creative project, a research study, a management project, an engaged performance experience, or beyond. Non-thesis track students take a two-part comprehensive exam in their final semester comprised of a take home written exam and a 1.5 hour oral exam. The written exam covers coursework and the oral exam is a discussion of the written exam and final project.

Prerequisites & Required Courses Plan of Study

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