Applied Theatre Arts

University of Southern California

24 months
57256 USD/year
57256 USD/year
Tuition fee
Apply date
Start date


The Master of Arts in Applied Theatre Arts at the University of Southern California School of Dramatic Arts invites community-based artists, educators, therapists, social workers and political activists to explore how theatre can be applied to non-traditional theatrical settings through a rigorous one year and one summer course of study.


The graduating student of the M.A. in Applied Theatre Arts at University of Southern California is trained to become a cultural field worker in the practice of theatre arts applied to the areas of educational, therapeutic and socio-political community-based transformation. The range of proficiency typically required of a graduating M.A. student in Applied Theatre Arts includes:

  • Developing a basic knowledge in the fundamental artistic skills of theatre practice of acting, directing and playwriting as applied in a community-based setting.
  • Developing a critical cultural literacy that places the work of Applied Theatre Arts in the context of its community partnerships, particularly relative to issues of oppression based on class, race, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economics, and religious, ethnic or national identity.
  • Developing practical skills for the cultural fieldworker through experiential practice with community internship partners, with a particular attention to Theatre and Therapy, Theatre in Education and Theatre for Social Change.
  • Exhibiting the capacity to apply critical theory, particularly post-colonial theory, to community-based theatre practice through Participatory Action Research.
  • Exhibiting a proficiency in the philosophy, methodology and practice of Theatre of the Oppressed.
  • Showing agency with the management of all aspects of community-based theatre work, from initial community meetings to the rehearsal and implementation of community-based theatre projects.
  • Increasing awareness of the global field of Applied Theatre through participation in a foreign externship.

Programme Structure

Courses include:

  • Engaging Community Narratives
  • Embodied Poetics
  • Theatre and Therapy for Cultural Fieldwork
  • TO Theory, Games and Practice
  • ATA: L.A. Residency
  • Arts and Community Engagement – Theory.
  • Staging Community-based Theatre
  • Popular Theatre for Education and Development
  • Writing Culture
  • ATA: L.A. Residency
  • Liberation Arts and Community Engagement – Praxis
  • Participatory Action Research for Community-Based Theatre
  • Participatory Action Research for Community-Based Theatre
  • ATA: International Externship

Key information


  • Full-time
    • 24 months

Start dates & application deadlines




38 alternative credits


On Campus

Academic requirements

GRE admission requirements GRE® The GRE® General Test is a widely administered admissions test that measures the skills needed in today's graduate and business school programs worldwide. It contains three sections - Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Analytical Writing. Three scores are reported: a Verbal Reasoning score on a 130 - 170 score scale in one-point increments, a Quantitative Reasoning score on a 130 - 170 score scale in one-point increments, and an Analytical Writing score on a 0 - 6 score scale in half-point increments.

English requirements

TOEFL admission requirements TOEFL® IBT The TOEFL iBT® is given online through the internet at designated testing site. The test measures your English-language abilities in an academic setting. The score refers to the total score of 4 subjects (writing, listening, speaking, and reading), each subject has a range of 0 - 30.
IELTS admission requirements IELTS The International English Language Test System (IELTS) tests your English-language proficiency on a scale of 1 – 9. The score refers to the combined average score of 4 subjects (writing, listening, speaking, and reading).

Other requirements

General requirements

  • Resume or Curriculum Vitae (CV): Your resume should include any and all performance activities.
  • Video or photos of a theatrical performance you have been in, directed or designed.
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation
  • Non-refundable fee of $20
  • Submit Transcripts
  • Submit GRE score
  • Submit a FAFSA application (optional)
  • Submit a TOEFL score.

Tuition Fee

  • International

    57256 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 57256 USD per year and a duration of 24 months.
  • National

    57256 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 57256 USD per year and a duration of 24 months.


Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

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Applied Theatre Arts
University of Southern California