Online Performing Arts Masters Programs

Earning a degree that could elevate your craft as a performer or supporter of the arts may be as simple as turning on your computer and pursuing an online performing arts masters program. You could have the opportunity to engage with advanced performing concepts to build upon the technical foundation you developed as part of an undergraduate degree. With the skills and knowledge you could learn as part of this masters program you might become the performer you always wanted to be – all from the comfort of your living room. Or, from your favorite coffee shop. Or, wherever you have access to wi-fi! You may find that a perfect online performing arts masters might only be a few clicks away!

Continue reading below for more information about how earning a performing arts masters degree online might a great choice for you and your art!

What are Types of Performing Arts?

Performing arts are any artistic form that culminates in a live presentation and may involve disciplines such as dance, music performance, or theatre. Online performing arts masters programs act as a similarly broad heading and include a wide array of performance based concentrations for students. Under this umbrella of performing arts, you could have the opportunity to study some of the following subjects depending on your intended concentration:


Programs and courses offered may vary by institution. Check with prospective programs for a complete course guide or list of required curriculum.

Pursuing Online Performing Arts Masters Programs: MA & MFA

Performing Arts masters programs are typically offered as either a master of arts (MA) or master of fine arts (MFA).  While both degrees strive to increase students’ understanding of their art form,

and the knowledge and skills associated with it, they differ in how they go about doing it. For example, MA programs may involve more academic studies, oftentimes with students learning about the history, criticism, and theory that goes along with their preferred art form. MFAs, on the other hand, may encourage students to take a more active role in their craft, and require students to perform (or publicly practice) their skills and knowledge daily. While the degrees offer different focuses, each endeavors to prepare students to jumpstart a career in their intended field, post-graduation. Programs may vary by institution and curriculum, but many students complete these programs in 1 to 3 years depending on students’ enrollment status and school, as program lengths vary by school.

Online Performing Arts Masters Requirements

Even though you may be focusing on performance techniques throughout your online masters program, admissions requirements aim to assess not only students’ talent but their academic ability as well. Due to this, many programs require students to submit a 3.0 undergraduate GPA. It is also common for schools to request students to attend or film auditions for their program. For non-performance related fields, such as stage management or costume construction, students may be asked to supply a portfolio of previous work. Check with your intended program for information on their specific supplemental application requirements. 

Potential Benefits of Pursuing Your Performing Arts Masters Online

Pursuing a performing arts masters degree program online might be a great way to fit your education into your hectic working schedule. Performers, in particular, may be unable to attend traditional class times due to their job in the entertainment industry. Online masters programs allow you the option to access your education after you’ve completed all of that! You might be able to attend class when your schedule permits. This could mean logging into your classes on your lunch break, while on tour, or when you have an extended gap between productions. Online degrees may be especially interesting for students who are pursuing concentrations in arts administration, business, or theory. These concentrations rely more on data, research, and scholastic learning as opposed to other concentrations that may necessitate more practical application which makes them ideal for the online classroom.

What Could I Do With My Performing Arts Masters Degree?

While many students might be concerned about the stereotypical “starving artist,” they may be surprised to learn that the performing arts industry offers a wide range of professions for you to pursue post-graduation. Depending on your masters degree concentration, you could potentially pursue the following careers:

  • Actor[i]
  • Dancer & Choreographer[ii]
  • Music Director or Composer[iii]
  • Producer or Director[iv]
  • Singer or Musician[v]


It’s important to note that many of these professions require a bachelor’s degree – or no degree – to pursue at an entry level. While that might be true, an online masters degree in performing arts may help you develop techniques and methods that are not taught at the undergraduate level. This may help you enhance your own career when out “pounding the pavement” for your next performance gig![vi]

While there may be a plethora or professional career paths available, it’s hard to produce an average compensation that many of these careers could potentially earn. Variables such as available opportunities and regional demand often determine how much performers could expect to make. For instance, performers may have more access to steady employment working in an urban center as opposed to a rural or suburban. In fact, Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, and New Orleans have the highest employment levels of performers.[vii] Before pursuing a career in performing arts, be sure to research prospective area’s ability to support your profession.  

Log In and Earn an Online Performing Arts Masters Degree

The stage managers has called places, so you better be ready to pursue an online performing arts masters program! To continue your search, scroll further down this page to view a list of potential programs. To cater this list further to your specifications, select your preferred specialty from the menus on this page. Just like your future degree program courses, a perfect performing arts masters program online might only be a few more clicks away!

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