MA in Theatre & Performance Studies

Admissions Requirements

Honours degree (BA or BFA) in Theatre and/or Performance Studies or a related field in Arts, Humanities, or Social Sciences and a B+ average or higher.

Graduate students also have the opportunity to do a combined MA/MBA degree within the Arts and Media Program. Please visit MBA Program in Arts & Media Administration for more information.
Important: Please be advised that our international student acceptance rate is extremely low and we may not accept international MA applications every academic year.

Degree Requirements

Normally completed in three terms, the Master of Arts in Theatre & Performance Studies requires completion of one of the following pathways:

Pathways to DegreeOverview of Requirements
Coursework24 credits of coursework*
Major Research Paper (MRP)18 credits of coursework* + MRP**
Research-Creation Major Research Paper18 credits of coursework* + creation-based performance work + MRP***
Thesis12 credits of coursework* + Thesis****

*All students are required to successfully complete the following as part of the coursework requirements:

  • Theatre & Performance Studies Graduate Colloquium (THST 5052 0.0)
  • Theatre & Performance Studies Professional Placement (THST 5051 3.0)
  • An approved Research Methodology course of at least 3.0 credits
  • An approved Canadian Theatre course of at least 3.0 credits
  • A Theatre & Performance Studies (THST) course of at least 3.0 credits that is aligned with the program's subfields

Courses which can be used to fulfill the research methodology, Canadian theatre, and sub-fields requirements can be found on the 'Courses' section of the website.

Remaining coursework requirements can be met through successful completion of graduate level Theatre & Performance Studies or approved cognate courses.

** The Major Research Paper (MRP) option requires 18 credits of coursework plus a research paper of approximately 40-50 pages that involves original research and writing on an approved topic.

*** The Research Creation MRP option requires 18 credits of coursework plus a Research-Creation MRP, which includes a creation-based performance work accompanied by a support paper of approximately 25 pages. The performance work could include a public or recorded performance (theatre, performance art, installation, etc.); the development of a significant piece of performance-based writing, design, or composition; or a public or recorded demonstration of a performance-based method. The support paper must offer a critical analysis of the research-creation project and be situated it within relevant scholarship.

**** The Thesis option requires 12 credits of coursework plus a piece of original research and a thesis of approximately 100-120 pages on an approved topic that, in its research and analysis, demonstrates independence, originality, and a thorough understanding of the area of investigation.

Program Components


Students are required to attend a bi-weekly non-credit colloquium, (THST 5052) during the first two terms of study. Students meet with the Graduate Program Director to discuss research approaches, pedagogical strategies, and various aspects of professional development. In the winter semester, guest visitors will offer mini-lectures on key issues in Theatre & Performance Studies. In addition to equipping students with the skills they need to succeed in grad school, the Colloquium serves as an important venue for creating a sense of intellectual community among new students in the graduate program.

Students are evaluated on a pass/fail basis.

Professional Placement

As part of our commitment toward ensuring that all of our students have some applied, professionally–oriented work experience, students are required to set up a working placement of at least 75 hours through the completion of Theatre & Performance Studies Professional Placement (THST 5051 3.0). Ideally, this work should be connected to one of the student's fields of specialization and/or research interests. The placement must be under the guidance of an approved mentor, on or off–campus. Should students be unable to set up a professional placement on their own, an advisor will work with students to find a suitable program.

Many of these placements lead to continuing work for our students. They also help to connect York with local, national, and international theatre communities. Here is a brief sampling of some of the companies and organizations with which students have conducted professional placements:

  • AfriCan Theatre Ensemble
  • magazine
  • Aluna Theatre
  • Augmented Reality Lab
  • Berlinklusion (Berlin)
  • Big Brother Canada
  • Buddies in Bad Times Theatre
  • Cahoots Theatre Company
  • Canada Council
  • Canadian Theatre Review
  • Canadian Stage
  • Clod Ensemble (UK)
  • Common Boots Theatre
  • Cornerstone Goat Howl Theatre
  • Downward Dog Yoga Centre
  • El Centro Juan Pablo II (Nicaragua)
  • Erin Gee
  • Factory Theatre
  • FADO Performance Art Centre
  • Fixt Point
  • Fu-GEN Asian Canadian Theatre Company
  • Harbourfront Centre World Stage
  • Hudson Bay Company
  • La Pocha Nostra (US)
  • Libido Productions
  • MT Space
  • Mixed Company Theatre
  • Modern Drama
  • Modern Times Theatre Company
  • Native Earth Performing Arts
  • Nightwood Theatre
  • Obsidian Theatre Company
  • Performance Studies International
  • Roseneath Theatre
  • Sandglass Theatre (US)
  • Scleroderma Society of Canada
  • Tarragon Theatre
  • The Shaw Festival (Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON)
  • The Artists Newstand
  • Theatre in the Ruff
  • Theatre Research in Canada
  • Toronto Performance Art Collective
  • Toronto Review of Books
  • Universidad de Las Artes
  • Vtape
  • Young People's Theatre
  • + working with individual researchers and artists