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Graduate Resources

The following documents and forms are designed to guide you during your graduate study in Theatre & Performance. MA/PhD Theatre & Performance Handbook or the MFA Dance Handbook carefully prior to the first day of classes in the Fall term.

The following resources are excerpted from the MA and PhD handbooks for your reference.

MA Schedule Requirements

This document provides an overview of the MA program and its requirements. Please read carefully and consult with your advisor as needed.

MA Thesis Guidelines

This document describes the process of preparing your MA thesis and the necessary steps to complete your project. More information is also available from the Graduate School. Required forms–Application to Candidacy and M-Form–are available below.

PhD Schedule and Requirements

This document provides an overview of the PhD program and its requirements. Please read carefully and consult with your advisor as needed.

PhD Dissertation Guidelines

This document describes the process of preparing your PhD Thesis and the necessary steps to complete your work. More information and all necessary forms are also available from the Graduate School.

Human Research (IRB)

To help protect volunteers, investigators must complete training and receive project approval from a university Institutional Review Board (IRB) before beginning their work. This website goes over the guidelines for IRB Submission at UB.

Important Dates For Graduation

To graduate on September 1, you need to submit the Application to Candidacy by July 1.

The completed and defended thesis is due to the graduate school by August 15.

March 1: Confirm thesis committee (details are available in the MA Student Handbook)

May 15: Complete all coursework satisfactorily. Begin/continue thesis research.

May-June: Work on thesis.

July 1: ATC due to the graduate school. This is a hard deadline. Failure to meet this will result in delayed graduation.

Aug. 1: You should have a completed version of your thesis/project and be prepared to schedule a defense of the project.

Aug. 1-10: Schedule defense dates in this time frame. Keep in mind that if there are necessary revisions to the thesis, this may delay your graduation date. Communicate early and often with your advisor regarding your progress and set realistic expectations for completed sections.

Aug. 15: All conferral materials (thesis, properly formatted and M-form) are due. This is a hard deadline. Failure to meet this deadline will result in a delayed graduation date.

MA Curriculum Checklist

Complete this form in consultation with your advisor to determine the best course of study.

PhD Curriculum Checklist

Complete this form in consultation with your advisor to determine the best course of study.

MFA Curriculum Checklist

Complete this form in consultation with your advisor to determine the best course of study.

Readings for PhD Qualifying Exams in Theatre

Students studying toward the PhD in Theatre & Performance at the University at Buffalo are required to familiarize themselves with the above plays and critical works in preparation for the qualifying exams required to advance to candidacy. These readings can be found at the end of the MA/PHD


Course Registration

As soon as you are enrolled, you will receive a UB person# and username. You can use this to access HUB in MyUB. Check to ensure that there are no holds on your record and then you may enroll in available courses.

Getting Started

This page provides information necessary to getting started at UB, including links to register for your parking pass, how to pick up a student ID, maps of the campus, and other information related to the start of classes.

Orientation Presentation

This presentation provides an overview of the MA  and PhD in Theatre & Performance Program.

Policies and Procedures

The following are the guiding policies from the Graduate School at the University at Buffalo and the College of Arts and Sciences.

Grading Policies

A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, D, F, and FX (never attended) carry quality points of 4.0, 3.67, 3.33, 3.0, 2.67, 2.33, 2.0, 1.0, 0, and 0, respectively and are considered the Graduate School’s weighted grades. Instructors are required to indicate the bases for determining course grades in each course syllabus. Similarly, any deviation from standard grading practice must be made known to all students within a course, in writing, in order to ensure that the standard of equality of opportunity for all students is met.

An ‘S’ indicates credit earned and ‘U’ indicates no credit earned. The ‘S’ grade should be awarded only in those instances where a student’s weighted grade would have been equivalent to a ‘B’ or better. No more than 25 percent of required formal course credits in a student’s graduate program (not including courses taken as research, thesis, project, portfolio, or dissertation guidance) shall be graded on an S/U basis. Satisfactory (Written) ‘SW’ grades shall not be construed as ‘S’ grades for this purpose. An academic unit may establish a lower percentage limit.

Graduate students have the prerogative to resign any course for which they have registered without penalty through the end of week 11 in the fall or spring term. All course resignations processed during the permissible dates (as published in the Class Schedule available through the Office of the Registrar) will be indicated as officially resigned courses by the notation ‘R’ on all grade reports, transcripts, and other official University documents. Resignation from all courses should be done through the HUB Student Center, accessible through the MyUB Portal.

Exclusive of ‘S’ grades, courses to be included as satisfying degree program requirements must average ‘B’ or better. The ‘U’ grade indicates unsatisfactory performance, but is not computed in the overall grade point average reflected on the official transcript. See Student Progress and Grading Procedures for more information.

Incomplete Grade

For all graduate-level courses, an interim grade of Incomplete (I) may be assigned if the student has not completed all requirements for the course. This grade is generally available only to those students currently in good standing in the course and in cases of serious and unavoidable emergencies. An interim grade of ‘I’ may not be assigned to a student who has not attended the course. For all graduate courses the default grade accompanying an interim grade of ‘I’ shall be ‘U’ and will be displayed as ‘IU’ on the UB record. The default Unsatisfactory ‘U’ grade shall become the grade of record if the ‘IU’ is not replaced by a permanent grade within twelve (12) months after the close of the term for which the ‘IU’ is assigned according to the following chart:

Courses Taken In Any Given Year During Deadline for Change of Grade or Petition for Extension of Deadline
Summer Semester Aug. 31st of the following year
Fall Semester Dec. 31st of the following year
Spring Semester May 31st of the following year


The instructor may set an earlier deadline for completion of the course requirements. If an earlier date for completion is set, the instructor must inform the student thereof in writing. A student may not re-register for any course in which the student has an interim ‘IU’ grade. The instructor must fill out a request for Incomplete Grade form.

Grades for Thesis or Dissertation Work (L Grades)

Load (L) grades may be assigned to signify adequate progress in dissertations, research, theses, projects and portfolios since continuous registration is required. All ‘L’ grades will be changed to ‘S’ grades by the Office of the Registrar upon final acceptance of the dissertation, thesis, project or portfolio and completion of all degree requirements. If the instructor wishes to have a default grade other than ‘S’ recorded, a Universal Grade Change Form must be submitted. For Master’s degree students, if all degree requirements are satisfied by means other than the thesis, research, project or portfolio (e.g. comprehensive exam), any ‘L’ grades received will permanently remain on the transcript.

Faculty will assign Satisfactory ‘S’ or Unsatisfactory ‘U’ or weighted grades to any term of dissertation, research, thesis, project or portfolio work, since these grades do not imply final approval of the dissertation, thesis, project or portfolio itself.

Repeating Courses

If a graduate student repeats a course that is not normally “repeatable” (“repeatable” courses include dissertation, research, thesis, project or portfolio guidance; independent study; directed readings, etc.), only the highest grade earned in the course will be counted toward the degree and used to calculate the grade point average associated with the graduate degree program requirements. However, the student’s official graduate transcript will record all courses attempted (including repeated courses). All resulting grades earned are calculated in the cumulative GPA reflected on the students’ final official transcript.

Academic Withdrawal

Under extraordinary circumstances, graduate students may petition for total academic withdrawal from a given term. The Graduate School will only consider cases where the student or department (on the student’s behalf) can document:

  • lengthy medical incapacitation of the student or member of the student’s immediate family, or
  • death of a student’s immediate family member, or
  • other similarly extraordinary measures as petitioned by the student

Academic withdrawal is for the entirety of a student’s registration in that term (i.e. these cases are considered on an all or nothing basis). The deadline for graduate students to submit petitions for total academic withdrawal is the end of the subsequent academic term. The Graduate School reserves the right to consult members of the faculty and others as appropriate when reviewing total academic withdrawal cases.

Academic withdrawal from the term will be indicated on the transcript by the symbol ‘W’ (withdrawal) next to each registered class. For the purposes of determining Good Academic Standing/Satisfactory Academic Progress, courses given ‘W’ grades do not count as having been attempted.

Academic Grievance Policies and Procedures

It is an objective of UB and its Graduate School to encourage the prompt consultative resolution of graduate students as they arise, and to provide orderly procedures for the formal consideration and resolution of complaints that cannot be resolved through consultation.

To this end, extensive policies are available on The Graduate School website under Academic Grievance Policies and Procedures. If you have any questions, please consult with your faculty advisor or Director of Graduate Studies.

Production Policies

Graduate Studio

As graduate students in Theatre & Performance, it is expected that students will seek out opportunities for additional performance and production work. Each spring, all Theatre & Performance students will enroll in the Graduate Studio. This course meets every Friday from 12-4 in the Katherine Cornell Theatre (KCT) in UB’s Ellicott Complex on North Campus.

All students using the KCT for any reason are required to abide by the policies and procedures outlined in the KCT Handbook. While not all of these policies may be relevant for every project, it is the responsibility of every student using the KCT to be aware of all procedures and to adhere to these guidelines whenever relevant. Please also refer to the section on the Graduate Studio in the Theatre & Performance Program Handbook for more information specific to the graduate use of the KCT.

Additional Space Requests

All departmental space used in academic courses will be reserved by Molly Casarella and given first priority. Additional requests for use of space outside of regularly scheduled courses should be forwarded to Mike Formato (

This includes all rehearsal requirements for both student and departmental productions, recitals, play readings, auditions, any special events, etc. This would include any use of the following CFA rooms: B-83 (Rehearsal Workshop), B-76, The KCT, Alumni Arena rooms 188, 190, 195, and 284A (seminar room).