Degree Requirements

Required Courses

The Master of Liberal Arts, Dramatic Arts degree field consists of 12 courses, three of which you take to gain admission. You complete the degree through a combination of on-campus and online courses.

12 Graduate Courses

The degree is highly customizable. Within the program curriculum, you choose the dramatic arts and elective courses that meet your personal learning goals. 

  • Proseminar
  • Five dramatic arts courses
  • One dramatic arts seminar
  • Two general electives
    • EXPO 42a is an elective option
  • Crafting the thesis proposal
  • Master’s thesis part one
  • Master’s thesis part two

Eight of the above courses need to be taught by instructors with the Harvard instructor designation. The thesis courses are always taught by a Harvard instructor.

Search Dramatic Arts Degree Courses

Admissions: Earn Your Way In

To begin the admission process, you simply register—no application needed—for the following three degree courses:

  • HUMA 100 Proseminar: Graduate Research Methods and Scholarly Writing in the Humanities
    • Before registering, you’ll need to pass our online test of critical reading and writing skills or earn a B or higher in EXPO 42a Writing in the Humanities.
    • You have two registration attempts to earn the minimum grade of B in the proseminar, which cannot be more than two years old at the time of application.
  • One dramatic arts course
  • One dramatic arts course or elective (e.g., EXPO 42a)

You complete the three degree courses with a grade of B or higher, without letting your overall Harvard cumulative GPA dip below 3.0. The courses need to be taken at the graduate level and be four credits each. Before you enroll in any degree-applicable courses, you need to possess an undergraduate degree.

Applying to the Degree Program

During the semester of the third degree course, submit an official application to the program. We have fall, spring, and summer admission cycles.

If you submit a complete application—which includes required Harvard courses, grades, and cumulative GPA—you will be admitted, after which you’ll have only nine more courses to take to earn the degree.

How to apply

The Harvard On-Campus Experience

You are required to come to Cambridge for at least three of your courses. However, given the in-person workshop teaching method of our dramatic arts courses, the majority of the courses are available only on campus.

To Complete Your Degree

Achieve an Average Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.0 or Higher

Earn a B or better in each of the three admission courses and a B– or better in each of the subsequent courses, but be sure to maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 (B) or higher. You are allowed two withdrawal (WD) grades. Any additional WD grades count as zero in your cumulative GPA. See Academic Standing.

Finish Your Coursework in Under Five Years

You have five years to complete your degree requirements. The five-year timeline begins at the end of the term in which you complete any three degree applicable courses, regardless of whether or not you have been admitted to a degree program. Moreover, courses over 10 years old at the point of admission will not count toward the degree.

Graduate with Your Harvard Degree

When you have fulfilled all degree requirements, you will earn your degree: Master of Liberal Arts in extension studies, Field: Dramatic Arts. Degrees are awarded in November, March, and May. You may participate in the annual Harvard Commencement ceremony in May. 

Degree Guidelines and Policies

For information special academic opportunities, student privileges, and policies, see Completing Your Degree