Master of Arts in Performance Studies

The Master or Arts in Performance Studies at Texas A&M University is built around a multifaceted understanding of performance. Using a wide range of qualitative methods and theoretical frameworks (from dramaturgical analysis to ethnography and phenomenology), our graduate faculty has expertise in the study of religion and spirituality, theater, media and technology, popular music, state affairs, law, diplomacy, martial arts, urbanism, dance, race, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality. 

Our two-year graduate program offers a true mix of scholarship and practice: besides learning and discussing ideas from a close reading of texts, students have room to explore other modes of knowledge transmission, such as concerts and exhibitions. We keep our graduate classes small to give each student ample opportunity to engage more deeply with the course materials in class discussions. Our students often come from all parts of the world, which stimulates cross-cultural debates in our seminars. 

Students can choose between three tracks: Thesis, Performance and Portfolio, and Comprehensive Examination. The thesis track requires the submission of a 40-60-page monograph and is recommended for students who want to focus on their writing skills. The Performance & Portfolio track entails putting together a performance (from an online platform to a theater play). The Comprehensive Examination track allows the student to examine the field of performance studies more broadly. In all three tracks, students develop their research projects with the guidance of an advisor. 

Our MA prepares students to pursue a broad range of career paths, particularly in cultural institutions (such as museums), intercultural industries (such as tourism), and in the media/communication sector (music production, for instance). Our recent graduates have found jobs as project coordinators at organizations such as Texas FolklifeSafe SpaceEMERGE FellowshipPBK, Hands on Nashville, and the Oleksandr Dovzhenko National Center. Others have used the skills learned in the program to embark on an artist-scholar career. Students interested in continuing their academic training have been admitted to highly competitive PhD programs around the country (Indiana University, Northwestern University, University of California, Davis, among others).