Online performing arts graduate programs might be a great choice for artists striving to pursue a career as an educator or for busy performers trying to fit their education into a constantly fluctuating schedule. Flexible online scheduling means you could hone your craft on your own time anywhere that has internet access. Imagine earning a MFA, doctorate, or graduate certificate in your artistic medium from the comfort of your local coffee shop! If you’re ready to begin the next part of your performance training to develop your artistic methods and techniques, read on. You may find that a perfect online performing arts grad degree for you is only a few mouse clicks away!
Online performing arts graduate programs encompass the many different art forms that perform live on stage. These programs may include concentrations in dance, theatre, music, or stagecraft. The curriculum of these programs varies greatly due to the needs of the different concentrations. For example, dance courses may not be appropriate for an oboe player. Or, music theory might not be a great choice for a stage manager. However, each program is united by a common goal: to enhance a student’s understanding of performance. Depending on your chosen medium, you could tackle some of the following subjects during your online performing arts grad program:
In addition to this general coursework, some online performing arts graduate programs may offer concentrated areas of study. You may be able to focus on a particular type of dance, drama, or music such as ethnomusicology or composition. Keep in mind that while online programs do offer performance
concentrations, they often focus more on the academic side of the arts such as education and theory. If your goal is to take your skills and knowledge into a classroom setting post-graduation, this could be a great program for you.
The online format may also be especially beneficial to active performers. Completing this coursework as part of an online performing arts graduate degree might be a great way for busy performers to pursue their education while juggling their auditions, rehearsals, and professional life. Students may be able to log into their classes as their routine allows – or from anywhere in the country. This might be a great way to constantly adjust your academic hours to best suit your needs. Of course, the online community also offers the opportunity to eliminate lengthy commutes from your education, which could save you time and resources. When your classroom is in your office or your local library, getting there might be a quick as turning on your computer.
Earning a performing arts grad degree online might potentially jumpstart your career in the arts industry thanks to the skills and knowledge you may have learned. Depending on your concentration, you could pursue occupations such as an actor[i], dancer, choreographer[ii], music director, composer[iii], producer, director[iv], or musician.[v] While these positions typically require a bachelor’s degree – or no degree – to pursue an entry-level position, the potential experience gained from online grad classes in performing arts may help improve your performance (and resume), potentially enhancing your career.[vi]
When pursuing these careers, students might find more career opportunities available in urban areas as opposed to rural or suburban. Cities may have many performing spaces, directors, and producers at their disposal, potentially making them a great place for jobs to pop up. Metropolitan areas with high employment levels in these occupations include Los Angeles, New York, Chicago and New Orleans.[vii] As a freelance artist, relocating could be a viable option to potentially have access to a potential wider sea of career opportunities.
Through online grad classes in performing arts, you may have access to a wide range of potential artistic concentrations at a myriad of educational levels. To find a great online performing arts graduate program for you, try laying out your own academic requirements for prospective programs. For example, you may want to consider:
Using these guidelines as a starting point, read on to learn more about which online performing arts graduate program might match your educational goals.
Online performing arts masters degrees typically come in two forms: the master of arts (MA) and the master of fine arts (MFA). The master of fine arts often emphasizes improving artistic techniques and methods, which may be a great asset for current performer. The MA, on the other hand, may take a holistic academic stance, making it a perfect choice for students pursuing a potential career in arts education. Due to the varying program requirements and concentrations, graduation timelines for these programs are difficult to generalize. Students could expect to graduate in 1 to 3 years on average. Program lengths vary by school.
Since online performing arts masters programs may include intense academic study as well as performances, admissions requirements aim to assess both criteria equally. To do so, schools might ask students to submit a 3.0 undergraduate GPA in addition to submitting an artistic portfolio or auditioning. Requirements vary so contact your preferred programs for further details.
Online performing arts doctoral programs typically place more emphasis on research and analysis than other graduate programs. Topics of study might include analyzing criticism and the historical contexts surrounding an art form, culminating in your own dissertation research. This coursework could be a great asset when seeking potential careers in research or arts education[viii]. Due to the curriculum, as well as dissertation requirements, online performing arts doctoral programs often have the longest completion time of the graduate programs, with many students earning a degree in 2 to 4 years. Program lengths vary by school.
Admissions guidelines also reflect the doctoral program’s demanding coursework. Many programs require a 3.0 graduate GPA as well as GRE exam scores as part of their application. Note that schools might require previous graduate work, which could make an online performing arts doctoral program a great option for students who currently hold a masters degree and wish to further develop their understanding of an art form. Check with your preferred programs to learn more about application and graduation requirements.
Current performers might consider integrating their education into their busy professional schedule by pursuing a shorter course of study. In this case, an online performing arts graduate certificate program might be a great choice. Certificate programs’ curriculum often cover specific performing arts topics to flesh out previous education, such as conducting, dance therapy, or music technology. This succinct curriculum makes for a shorter completion timeline, with many students earning a degree in 1.5 years on average. Program lengths vary by school. This might make an online performing arts graduate certificate a perfect way for performers to quickly apply new skills and knowledge to their current career.
Certificate programs aim to provide opportunities to a wide range of students with varying educational backgrounds, and therefore often do not require a minimum undergraduate GPA for admission. Instead, more emphasis is placed on students’ auditions or presentation of a technical portfolio. Check with your intended school for audition policies and requirements.
All the world’s a stage, and so is the next step of your education – so get out there and start auditioning! Browse the list of links below to preview several programs that may be great for you. To direct your search further, you could also select your preferred degree program, educational level or format from the menus on this page. Good luck!
Sources: [i]bls.gov/ooh/entertainment-and-sports/actors.htm | [ii]bls.gov/ooh/entertainment-and-sports/dancers-and-choreographers.htm | [iii]bls.gov/ooh/entertainment-and-sports/music-directors-and-composers.htm |[iv]bls.gov/ooh/entertainment-and-sports/producers-and-directors.htm |[v]bls.gov/ooh/entertainment-and-sports/musicians-and-singers.htm | [vi]bls.gov/ooh/entertainment-and-sports/musicians-and-singers.htm#tab-8 | [vii]bls.gov/oes/current/oes272011.htm#st | [viii]bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/postsecondary-teachers.htm#tab-4