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Columbia College Chicago
Comedy Programs
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Comedy Writing and Performance, Bachelor of Arts in Theatre

Columbia College Chicago is the only college in the United States to offer a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre with a concentration in Comedy Writing and Performance.

This interdisciplinary program provides the cross training necessary for our graduates to build successful careers in professional comedy as performers, writers, directors and producers. The world of professional comedy requires the ability to shift easily between these roles. Our writers learn to perform and pitch their own work, and to understand how to write for performers. Comedic performers create material that showcases their specific persona and skills, and develop an understanding of the writing process.

This rigorous program not only nurtures the development of future professional comedians, it also builds skills that are applicable to a multitude of careers and disciplines outside of the entertainment industry: collaboration, creative risk-taking, and the understanding of personal voice and persona.

Students in Comedy Writing and Performance:

  • Generate original material using a variety of methods, including ensemble improvisation, solo writing, and group collaboration.
  • Develop their personal voice and point of view as a comic artist.
  • Develop the analytic skills and vocabulary needed to revise their original work based on feedback.
  • Develop competencies that allow them to translate their work into a variety of media, especially live performance and video.
  • Learn the skills necessary to manage their careers and self-produce their work.

Chicago is a world class city for comedy, home of such legendary institutions as The Onion and The Second City; the improvisation meccas The Annoyance and iO; alternative artists like 500 Clown and the Neo-Futurists, along with festivals from Sketchfest and the Chicago Improv Festival to the only American Just for Laughs. This vibrant and innovative landscape offers a plethora of opportunities for internships, stage time, or immersion in some of the best live comedy work happening.

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For a short, intense immersion in comedy, see our Semester at Second City Comedy Studies program, available to any college student with 60 credits or above.