• More than ever, media literacy is an essential skill that needs to be taught to everyone, everywhere -- in classrooms, at home, in our communities, and through the media itself. We're doing our best to prepare our students to critically and meaningfully engage with media and culture -- as teachers, scholars, artists, and citizens.

    Benjamin Thevenin, PhD.
    Benjamin Thevenin, PhD. Assistant Professor of Media Arts, Associate Graduate Coordinator
  • I have been impressed with the solid foundation in film theory and criticism that I have been given in my first year in the program. It has helped me enormously to develop a radical pedagogy for my students so that they can critically negotiate media.

    Bob Bauer
    Bob Bauer Theatre and Film teacher at Provo High School, MA Candidate 2015
  • We teach graduate students to creatively engage with issues of representation, identity, and performance. We prepare them to research, write, teach, and encourage them to become thoughtful participants in their communities and the world.

    Megan Sanborn Jones, PhD.
    Megan Sanborn Jones, PhD. Associate Professor and Graduate Coordinator
  • BYU faculty genuinely care about their students' needs. BYU faculty also provided individualized support along the way. My love of teaching stems from my experiences working with such dedicated faculty.

    La Donna
    La Donna Assistant Professor of Theatre Arts, University of Oregon
  • My top best things about a BYU MA in Theatre and Media Arts:

    1. Rigorous academic standards that push you to expand your intellectual and artistic capability.
    2. Openness to discovery and exploring what excites you, individually.
    3. A chance to explore this challenging discipline in a safe, deeply spiritual environment.

    Shelley Graham
    Shelley Graham Resident Dramaturg at the Covey Center for the Arts

The Program

The Program

The Theatre and Media Arts Department offers one MA degree in Media and Performance Studies.  It is an interdisciplinary program that trains students to critically examine how text, performance, and interactivity construct social realities in different historical moments—including the present historical moment.  The program pulls together cutting-edge studies from the fields of history, literary and screen theory, curatorial studies, critical race theory, popular culture, performance philosophy, women’s studies, and media literacy.


The degree consists of core classes and a range of special topics electives. Students will work with graduate faculty drawn from both the theatre and media arts to shape a course of study that is targeted for their own interests.  The program wraps up with comprehensive exams and the writing of a solid scholarly thesis.  This MA degree stresses rigorous scholarship, high artistic standards, and learning inspired by the gospel of Jesus Christ.


Students who complete the master’s degree in Media and Performance Studies, will be prepared to:

  1.  Pursue a doctoral degree in the fields of performance studies, English, theatre, music, communications, curatorial, film, education, and cultural studies.
  2.  Improve their on-going work as an educator, teaching artist, or practitioner.
  3.  Join the staff of a wide variety of artistic institutions like museums, arts agencies, public history programs and archives.
  4.  Work within a wide variety of media like commercial and noncommercial television, film, and web production as well as culturally relevant magazines and web publications.

Theatre and Media Arts Graduate Handbook 2021-2022

Expected Learning Outcomes


Admission to the Program

Semesters of entry and application deadlines: Fall – February 15th  (*Fall 2022 Applicants only) – (U.S. and international).

Application requirements: Two critical analysis writing samples demonstrating capacity to function at acceptable graduate student entry level; letter of intent; three letters of recommendation.

To begin your graduate program application, click here.


Credit hours (32): Minimum 26 course work hours plus 6 thesis hours (TMA 699R) (minimum 20 hours must be in theatre/media arts or theatre/media arts–related courses).

Required courses: All MA student will complete a sequence of core classes.  They will complete their coursework with electives, selected in consultation with the advisory committee.  

Thesis: The MA in Media and Performance Studies will be an article-length scholarly essay that makes a genuine contribution to body of knowledge and meet highest academic standards.  Our intention is that this thesis is of a quality to be published a top-tier scholarly journal.  Thesis projects and methodologies will be tailored for a student’s area of emphasis as agreed upon with the advisory committee.

Examinations: (A) comprehensive written examination; (B) oral defense of thesis.


Program Statistics

Current Students: (As of Fall 2014)
Total Students            9
International          0%
Female         66%
LDS        100%
Minority          0%
BYU Undergraduate         70%
Admitted Students: (Previous Five Year Average)
Applied per year           12.66
Admitted per year           8.33
Percent Admitted           66%
Average GPA           3.64
Test Scores of Admitted Students: (Previous Five Year Average)
GRE Verbal Score          378.90
GRE Quantitative Score          350.90
GRE Writing Score          4.65
Graduated Students: (Previous Five Year Average)
Graduated per year         3.00
Average Years to Degree         3.27


Contact Us

Graduate Secretary Tina Bellon, Phone: 801-422-6645, Email: tina_bellon@byu.edu

Graduate Coordinator Wade Hollingshaus, Email: wadeh@byu.edu