Come learn with us. Come laugh with us.

At Emerson, we believe that great comedy stems from a huge bank of knowledge: to make the world laugh, you must first understand what makes it tick. While our BFA in Comedic Arts sustains an intense focus on comedy, it remains rooted in the liberal arts and exposes you to a wide range of perspectives. We foster well-rounded triple-threats: writers, performers, and producers who are awake and aware, and whose comprehension of the world affords them the ability to comment through humor.

Our BFA in Comedic Arts is the first degree of its kind in the country. You’ll become immersed in a hands-on and multi-faceted exploration of comedy, learning to practice the craft while exploring its historical, cultural, and theoretical dimensions as a global art form.

Curriculum

Our Comedic Arts curriculum integrates courses in writing, performance, production, and comedic studies to immerse you in a hands-on and multi-faceted exploration of comedy. You will learn to practice the craft of comedy while exploring its historical, cultural, and theoretical dimensions as a global art form. We draw our courses and distinguished faculty from the departments of Visual and Media Arts; Performing Arts; and Writing, Literature and Publishing. After striking a balance between writing, performance, and production in your first two years, you may choose to concentrate your studies in one or more of these arenas beginning in your junior year. The table below outlines the course requirements for a major in Comedic Arts.

Course Requirements

Every Comedic Arts major is required to take the following classes: 32 credits

Comedic Arts Core
CA 100 Why Did the Chicken? Fundamentals of Comedic Storytelling
CA 102 Evolution of Comedy I
CA 103 Evolution of Comedy II
TH 122 Introduction to Acting: Comedic Arts
PA 125 Performing Improvisational Comedy
CA 200 Modes of Comedy Production
VM 222 Writing for Television
CA 300 Theories of Humor and Laughter 

Choose three of the following: 12 Credits

Writing Production and Performance
PA 321 Topics in Comedic Performances                                            
PA 325 Performing Sketch Comedy
CA 333 Elements of Sitcom Production
VM 321 Writing the Tween Series
VM 322 Comedy Writing for Television
VM 326 Writing for Animation
VM 327 Writing for Web Series
VM 385 Comedy Writing for Late Night
VM 386 Writing Comedic Movies 
WR 322 Comedy Writing: Stand Up
WR 323 Comedy Writing: Sketch Troupe

Choose one course from each of the following areas: 12 Credits 

Studies 
CA 410 Craft and Contemporary Comedic Literature
LI 372 Shakespearean Comedy
VM 403 Seminar in Comedic Studies
VM 412 American Film Comedy 
Capstone
VM 423 Writing Television Pilots 
VM 429 Comedy Writers' Room
CA 420 Topics in Comedic Arts
CA 450 Capstone in Comedy Writing, Performance and Production
CA 498 Directed Study in Comedic Arts 
SA 420 Advanced Sketch Troupe
Electives
Courses used to satisfy requirements above may not also satisfy this requirement
VM 403 Seminar in Comedic Studies
VM 412 American Film Comedy
VM 423 Writing Television Pilots
VM 429 Comedy Writers' Room
VM 473 Editing Comedy Productions 
PA 334 Acting for Film and Television
CA 320 Topics in Comedy
CA 400 Partnered Studio
CA 420 Topics in Comedy
CA 450 Capstone in Comedy Writing, Performance and Production
CA 498 Directed Study
CA 499 Internship

In addition to the Liberal Arts and major requirements, all students are required to complete at least two courses at the 300 or 400 level from the following liberal art areas: 8 credits 

EC Economics 
HI History 
IN Interdisciplinary Studies
LI Literature
PH Ethnics, Philosophy
PL Political Science
PS Psychology 
RL Religion
SC Science
SO Sociology 
TH Theatre (TH313,315)
VM Visual and Media Arts (VM315, 409, 410)