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Master of Arts
Educational Theatre
Grades K–12, Initial Certification

Develop your artistic practice in traditional and nontraditional performance spaces, apply your craft in educational and outreach sites, and study with leading theatre educators. You’ll explore concepts using drama strategies and theatre forms in the classroom and on stage as you prepare to work as a theatre artist and educator in schools. This degree leads to eligibility for New York State initial certification.

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Degree Details

Official Degree Title

Master of Arts in Educational Theatre, All Grades: Initial Certification

Full-time or Part-time
Start Date
Application Deadline

You’ll complete course work in drama, dramatic literature, and theatre, which is tied to the four New York State Learning Standards for the Arts. Through an inquiry-based model of teaching, you’ll take core methods courses that link theory to practice, while cultivating a deeper understanding of how to teach theatre as an art form and how to integrate drama into core subject areas at all grade levels. Throughout your program, you will:

  • Acquire specialized pedagogical techniques and strategies that are innovative and appropriate for teaching drama and theatre to today's elementary, middle, and high school students
  • Enhance your skills in theatre production and performance
  • Expand your knowledge and understanding of dramatic literature
  • Develop an understanding and appreciation for drama in education praxis
  • Gain insights in and experiences with youth theatre and Theatre for Young Audiences

You'll gain valuable experience through two semesters of student teaching at NYC schools, under the mentorship of cooperating teachers and an NYU faculty member. Student teaching placements take place only during the regular school year.

You’ll also have the opportunity to participate in the program’s two annual main-stage shows, author production-specific curriculum guides and supplementary materials, design the accompanying learning segments, and facilitate workshops with members of our student audiences.

Graduates of our program are teachers of drama and theatre at preschools and elementary, middle, and secondary schools. They hold positions in education departments in regional theatres, museums and art galleries. They are directors of drama and theatre for community centers, camp and recreation programs, and religious organizations.

Upon graduation, you'll be eligible for New York State initial certification as a teacher of theatre, all grades (K–12). Learn more about teacher certification and our degree's accreditation.

Educational Theatre Scholarships

Graduate and Doctoral students in the Program in Educational Theatre may receive scholarships through one or both of the following methods. The first is through completing the Steinhardt Financial Aid process and potentially receiving merit or need based scholarships. Information on this process is available through the Financial Aid website for graduate students.

The second method is by applying for Educational Theatre Scholarships directly through the Program.

Eligibility Criteria for Educational Theatre Scholarships

  • Educational Theatre Scholarship applicants must be graduate or doctoral students in the Program in Educational Theatre who demonstrate service to the Program, academic merit, or artistic merit.
  • Doctoral students can receive scholarships up to two times, but not in consecutive semesters. Master’s students can receive a scholarship only once.
  • If doctoral students who have already received the award apply again, information included in the statement should only pertain to work completed after the previous award.
  • Priority is given to students with financial need.


Up to a $5,000 bursary will be awarded to students and applied to their Bursar account in one of four areas: Service-based, Academic Merit, Artistic Merit, or Study Abroad.

Note that these scholarships can only be applied towards tuition and/or registration fees for NYU/Educational Theatre courses.

Application Procedure

Students can apply for these scholarships after completing one semester of study. An application form will be circulated to current students through the program’s list serve approximately two - three weeks prior to the start of registration for the upcoming term.

Application Deadlines

  • Fall – April 1
  • Spring – November 1
  • Summer – January 24

The application form requires:

  • a faculty member to support the application
  • selection of one of the four award areas (Service-based, Academic Merit, Artistic Merit, or Study Abroad)
  • a statement of no more than 500 words responding to a corresponding prompt

Statement Prompts:

Statement of Service describing the ways in which you have provided service to the Program that is deserving of acknowledgement.

Academic Merit:
Statement of Academic Merit describing the ways in which your academic work is deserving of acknowledgement.

Artistic Merit:
Statement of Artistic Merit describing the ways in which your artistic work is deserving of acknowledgement.

Study Abroad:
Statement of Service, Academic Merit, or Artistic Merit describing the ways in which your work is deserving of acknowledgement through scholarship for the study abroad program.


Nancy and Lowell Swortzell Permanent Fund in Educational Theatre Scholarships

This scholarship honors the legacy of Nancy and Lowell Swortzell, distinguished professors who founded the Program in Educational Theatre at NYU Steinhardt in 1966, and continued teaching in the program for 40 years. In the spirit of their work, we are pleased to support the financial needs of students as they work toward completion of their degree. Awards are available to students at the graduate and doctoral levels.

Myoung-Cheul Chung Scholarship in Educational Theatre

This scholarship for Educational Theatre students was created by one of the Program's alumni, Mr. Myoung-Cheul Chung, MA '95. The scholarship has supported graduate students in Educational Theatre since its inception in 1999. Mr. Chung was a student of Nancy and Lowell Swortzell, the founders of the Program in Educational Theatre at NYU.

Email Jonathan Jones for more information.


For additional information, please contact Jonathan P. Jones at


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