Audience filling up the seats of the Topper Theatre in the Mullen Center for the Performing Arts

Villanova Theatre is one of only a handful of MA programs in the U.S. that provides students with a broad view of the diverse components of theatre, including acting, directing, playwriting, scenography, dramaturgy and technical theatre. 

Students enrolled in the program undergo a two-pronged course of study that combines scholarly and practical approaches to theatre and works toward a thesis defense in the second year.

The MA degree provides crucial tools for the developing theatre practitioner, performer, educator or scholar.


The Villanova MA in Theatre is a 30-credit program that offers a distinct fusion of both academic work and practical experience. 

As a student, you will have the opportunity to expand your mind through rigorous academic courses, covering topics such as theatre history, dramaturgy, dramatic literature, theatre criticism and script analysis. In addition to these academic courses, Villanova also offers a number of performance-centered classes in acting, characterization, directing, musical theatre, playwriting and more.   

Full-time students take three classes a semester and finish in two years, but it's possible to take classes part-time as well. Semesters are comprised of required coursework and electives of your choosing.

Villanova Theatre is fully committed to theatre practitioner training through the production of professional theatre.

Our four-show seasons provide students with exciting opportunities to work on many aspects of our productions, from acting to costume and set construction/design, stage management to dramaturgy. Villanova’s state-of-the-art Mullen Center for the Performing Arts is located just a few miles outside of Philadelphia, allowing students the chance to work with professionals in the Philadelphia-area both during their time in the graduate program as well as after graduation. 

In the second year of the program, students complete a comprehensive thesis project.

Students will choose their area of focus (which could be acting, directing, an academic paper, stage management, set or costume design, marketing/management, solo performance or dramaturgy) to craft a thesis project. Each experience is different and requires different preparatory work. Mentors are assigned to students to guide them through the process. The project culminates in a thesis defense, in which the students present and discuss their work to a panel of faculty members.  


Ready for the Next Step?

Department of Theatre and Studio Art
800 E. Lancaster Ave.
Villanova, PA 19085



Fall Assistantship: February 1

Fall: August 1

Spring: December 1

Summer: May 1

If you have missed a deadline, please contact Edward Sobel to discuss your options.

Begin your application.


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