Drama Therapy Graduate Program

Kansas State University's M.A. in theatre is a Drama Therapy pre-professional training program that has been approved by the North American Drama Therapy Association. K-State's program is the only approved Drama Therapy program in the mid-west and the only one at a public university.

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Sally Bailey, MFA, MSW, RDT/BCT has been the director of the program since 1999.

In 2018 Melissa Briggs, Ph.D., RDT, RPT-S, LCPC, BCCS, NCC joined the Drama Therapy faculty.

Our faculty have published books and articles in professional journals and have held national leadership positions in professional associations.

Theatre Productions


K-State is the only Drama Therapy program housed in a Theatre Department in the country, allowing graduate students to continue to develop their theatre skills along with their drama therapy skills. Our production season offers a balance of classics and contemporary drama. Each year we produce one musical and one opera in association with the K-State Music Department. Graduate students are welcomed to audition for shows and propose shows to direct as part of their Master Project.

Production facilities include:

  • an 1800-seat proscenium theatre in McCain Auditorium,
  • a 240-seat thrust theatre (The Mark C. Chapman Theatre) in Nichols Hall,
  • a 125-seat theatre (The Purple Masque Theatre) for student written and directed productions. Drama Therapy graduate students have been successful directors and playwrights in our second stage season.

Our main stage season includes four productions a year, plus two to three plays in the Purple Masque Theatre for the second stage.

Graduate Teaching Assistantships

Assistantships can be available in

  • Fundamentals of Acting,
  • Marketing,
  • Scene Shop.

Stipends for GTAs are offered running from August to May and provide 10 hours of graduate credit tuition that are waived each semester in addition to a stipend of $12,000 paid biweekly. To be considered for a GTA you must have your graduate application in and be accepted into the program by February 1. Faculty uses your graduate school application for the GTA application.

The Drama Therapy Program does not require the GRE or other graduate admissions tests.


U.S. Students

If you wish to be considered for a Graduate Teaching Assistantship, your application should be in no later than February 1 as GTAs are chosen sometime between March and June. Otherwise, we have open application. Students are accepted into the Drama Therapy program to begin either in the summer or fall semester. There are no spring admissions.

Deadline Applications for International Students are earlier in order to provide enough time for student visas and other paperwork to be done on time.

  • January 8 for fall (August) enrollment
  • December 1 for summer (June) enrollment

View the Graduate School admissions details.


  1. Complete the Graduate School application for admission and pay the application fee. Be sure keep a copy of the receipt of payment for yourself. There are separate links on that page: one for U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents to use and one for International Students.
  2. The online application will ask you for copies of the official transcript of each college or university you have attended (if you transferred from one institution to another, we need one from each institution). You can have your university send electronic transcripts or you can upload unofficial transcripts and after you are accepted you can send the Graduate School office your official transcripts.
  3. The online application will ask you for the names and contact information of three people who can write letters of recommendation for you. It is helpful to ask former professors who can speak to your ability to succeed at the graduate level in terms of high academic standards. If they know what drama therapy is, they could also comment on your potential to be a helping professional. If you have been out of school for a while, you can ask an employer if your work for them has related to the area in which you will be studying. Do not ask a relative or friend to write you a letter.
    The College Net system will send an email to the letter writers and request that they upload their letter of recommendation on letterhead to the website.
  4. You will need to upload an essay describing why you wish to study at Kansas State; what aspects of the program appeal to you; what your career goals are; where you feel your strengths lie. If you want to know what NOT to write, please see What to Avoid in your Graduate Application (pdf).
  5. You will need to have an in-person interview at K-State. Graduate faculty will review your application and contact you about this.

For International Students, in addition, you must submit:

1. Your TOEFL Scores sent in by the testing agency.

Score requirements

Test Minimum Score
IBT TOEFL (internet based) 79
Pearson Test of English (PTE) 58


2. Upload an Affidavit of Support (located on the same page as the online application form).

Learn more about TOEFL scores and Affadavits of Support here.

For more information about application procedures, please contact Sally Bailey, the Director of Graduate Studies in Theatre, at sdbailey@k-state.edu