Theatre Conservatory

Offered in: Chicago

The Theatre Conservatory

The Theatre Conservatory of the Chicago College of Performing Arts is distinctively positioned to educate and train its students within a professional conservatory setting, offering baccalaureate program and an MA in Theatre Directing.

Roosevelt University’s Chicago campus is the home of the acclaimed Auditorium Theatre and the blockbuster hits Les Miserables, Phantom of the Opera, Miss Saigon, and Show Boat. Centered within the heart of downtown Chicago, one of America’s greatest theatre cities and home to approximately 200 professional theatre companies, the campus is within walking distance of world-class arts institutions such as the Goodman Theatre, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Lyric Opera.

TheTheatre Conservatory presents a full season of mainstage and studio productions during the fall and spring, and all are open to the public. A calendar of events is available upon request, and monthly updates about Theatre Conservatory performances are available by signup through the CCPA webpage.


Admission to Roosevelt University does not necessarily include admission to the Theatre Conservatory. The student entering the MA program must be a working high school theatre or drama instructor and must present a successful interview, audition, and three letters of recommendation.

Academic requirements

The only acceptable grades for MA  students are A, A-, B+, B, and B-. Grades of C+ or C will be reviewed by the associate dean/director of the Theatre Conservatory, in consultation with program faculty, to determine if the student is required to repeat that course. A maximum of two such grades may be applied toward the MA requirements. Grades of C- or lower are unsatisfactory and may not be applied toward degree requirements.

Receiving an unsatisfactory grade in a Theatre Conservatory course will be grounds for disciplinary action; receiving an unsatisfactory grade for a second time in the same class may result in dismissal from the Theatre Conservatory. Students should review the grade policies in the Theatre Conservatory Student Handbook for further information.


Punctual attendance at all classes and rehearsals is an important element of the discipline needed for a career in the performing arts and is an important sign of respect for instructors, directors, colleagues, and oneself.

In the Theatre Conservatory, for classes that meet once a week, a student’s final grade will be lowered by one-half letter for every absence after one. A student’s final grade will be lowered by one-half letter for every absence after two for classes that meet twice a week. In both cases, two instances of tardiness are the equivalent of one absence.

Beyond these generic guidelines, any instructor may implement additional attendance policies, published in the class syllabus.

Health policy

Successful completion of coursework and degree programs in the Theatre Conservatory requires that a student is in good psychological and physical health and has the stamina required to participate safely.

The conservatory recommends that students undergo regular medical checkups and report any preexisting vocal, physical, or psychological conditions that might affect their work to the appropriate Theatre faculty member.

Because of the specialized nature of the work involved in theatre training, a general physical examination might not be sufficient to detect conditions such as vocal or orthopedic pathologies. When deemed necessary by a faculty member, students will be required to consult a specialist of the student’s choice to ensure that participation in coursework or rehearsals will not compromise the student’s health. In cases where such a recommendation is made, a faculty member has the option of requiring documentation from a medical professional verifying that continued participation in training work in the conservatory is not contraindicated before the student will be allowed to re-enter the class or rehearsal.

The Theatre Conservatory faculty and the college administration will work with students to make reasonable accommodations to assignments and schedules to allow for necessary vocal, physical, or psychological rehabilitation. If, however, severe pathological conditions prevent satisfactory participation and/or completion of courses or the degree, a student may be required to take a leave of absence until sufficient health is regained. The associate dean/director determines the Theatre Conservatory in consultation with appropriate faculty and staff.

In cases where the seriousness of the condition makes a leave of absence inappropriate, a student may be dismissed from the program. The associate dean/director will make this determination of the Theatre Conservatory in consultation with appropriate faculty and staff.