Program overview

Major: Theatre

The Cornell theatre program combines two features that are rarely found in the same institution: a rigorous pre-professional training regimen in a dedicated liberal arts context. Accordingly, we are able to serve two different constituencies – both the serious theatre student, preparing in a focused way for the profession and/or for graduate education, and the traditional liberal arts student, committed to exploring the range of human knowledge and activity.

The Cornell theatre program is truly distinctive in a number of ways:

  • We enjoy exceptional facilities, with two new and well-equipped theatre spaces.
  • Each member of our faculty and staff is a working professional as well as an academic.
  • We routinely bring gifted guest artists and professional practitioners to campus to work with our students.
  • We enjoy a special relationship with a nearby regional theatre ( Iowa City's Riverside Theatre) that affords unusual opportunities to our students.
  • We are able to devise highly individualized programs of study and useful internships for qualified students.
  • We have a commitment to the development of new work and to relevant, stimulating programming.
  • While classes are taught within Cornell’s One Course At A Time schedule, production work is undertaken with a more traditional schedule, offering the best of both worlds to theatre students.
  • We approach all of our work with unusual passion and energy.


We hope you will consider attending one of our main stage productions, or browse through our past productions.

National recognition

The 2011 Princeton Review ranked Cornell's theatre department 15th in the nation, up one place from 2010.