Majors & Programs

Undergraduate Comedic Arts (BFA)

Study at a college—and in a city—that has helped launch countless successful comedy careers.

About the Undergraduate Comedic Arts Major

Comedy is a powerful, often life-changing art form, whether it be expressed through sketch comedy or stand-up or Shakespeare. Emerson College’s undergraduate Comedic Arts BFA program is the first degree of its kind in the country. It integrates comedic writing, performance, literature, media, and production.

While this degree is intensely focused on comedy, it also remains rooted in the liberal arts. Cross-departmental in structure, the program draws its faculty from both the School of the Arts and the Marlboro Institute for Liberal Arts and Interdisciplinary Studies.

Emerson’s Comedic Arts program will help you become a well-rounded triple-threat: a writer, performer, and producer whose comprehension of the world affords you the ability to comment through humor. You will be prepared to embark on a rewarding career in all aspects of comedy. 

Comedic Arts Majors and Minors continue their learning beyond the classroom through events and resources provided by The Center for Comedic Arts @ Emerson College. The center hosts workshops and conversations about the comedy industry, training, and more throughout the year.

I absolutely love being a Comedic Arts major because of the diverse opportunities that the major provides, including specializations in acting, writing, stand-up, production…

Real-World Experience as a Comedic Artist

Comedic Arts majors have ample opportunity to gain real-world learning experience. Here are a few examples:

  • Students can participate in 12 comedy troupes on campus. They perform in a variety of formats, including live and filmed sketch and stand-up.
  • ComEx is an annual student-produced show that’s performed in a late-night TV format and features cash prizes and awards. 
  • In their junior year, students take four courses at Emerson Los Angeles. Courses include guest lectures and site visits.  
  • Off-campus, students hone their skills by completing internships at theater and film companies.

Careers for Comedic Arts Majors

Our Comedic Arts graduates work for talent agencies, television networks, theater companies, and more. Examples of careers include:

  • Casting Agent
  • Production Manager
  • Scriptwriter
  • Social Media Manager

Notable Comedic Arts Alumni

  • Cazzie David, Author and Actress, Eighty-Sixed
  • Doug Herzog, Former President of Viacom Music and Entertainment Group
  • Denis Leary, Comedian and Actor, Rescue Me, Ice Age
  • Stefani Robinson, Executive Producer and Writer, What We Do in the Shadows, Atlanta

The uniqueness of the Comedic Arts major is the reason I knew Emerson was the right college for me. In addition to being a supportive creative environment for comedy writers and performers, getting to study the history and philosophy of comedy in an academic setting truly makes me appreciate the art form and my place within it.

Meet Our Faculty

Housed in the School of the Arts, our distinguished faculty come from the departments of Visual and Media Arts; Performing Arts; Writing, Literature and Publishing; and the Marlboro Institute for Liberal Arts and Interdisciplinary Studies.