Comedy Studies

Comedy Studies

Comedy Studies at The Second City

Anyone can tell a joke – but making great comedy is not so easy. What sets the comedic genius apart from the jokester? Technique: compelling content, strong point of view, comic timing, and the ability to harness creativity.

The Second City and Columbia College Chicago know this. They know comedy, theater, and creative process better than just about anyone. That’s why these two great Chicago institutions have joined forces and created the Comedy Studies program. Unlike any other course of study in content, scope, or resources, it provides a unique opportunity to study full-time at The Second City, the nation’s center of comedy and satire, for an entire semester.

Comedy Studies is developed and taught by the experts in comedy at The Second City Training Center in Chicago, with college credit provided by Columbia College Chicago. It’s a semester abroad right in the heart of Chicago’s world- famous theater scene.

And you won’t just take classes. You’ll also attend shows at a variety of improvisation and comedy venues, network with theater artists, explore Chicago’s unparalleled theater and arts world, and present your work in a showcase.

Who Can Apply?

Comedy Studies is open to anyone with a minimum of an undergraduate junior-level status of 60 credit hours or more. The program also accepts applications from recent college graduates.

Curriculum Includes:

  • developing physical, vocal and improvisational performance skills needed for comedy,
  • writing comedy in various forms and genres,
  • discovering the historical bases for contemporary comedy,
  • examining social and political contexts for satire, and
  • supporting the individual comedic voice within an ensemble.

When and Where are the Classes?

Classes are offered during fall, spring, and summer semesters at The Second City Training Center (the same location as the company’s historic theaters) Monday through Friday.

Comedy Studies video: Learn about our program!



Columbia College Chicago Comedy Studies will consider applications from students attending any four-year college or university who:

  • Are currently enrolled-or have recently graduated- at the undergraduate level in a college or university.
  • Have, or will have, reached a minimum of junior-level standing- or have successfully completed a minimum of 60 credit hours- by the time the program begins.
  • Demonstrate training and/or accomplishment in performance, comic writing and improvisation.

Applicants Must Provide the Following:

  • Completed online application including uploaded theatrical resume (or description of experience), letter of recommendation, and essays.
  • Transcripts to be mailed in to Columbia College Chicago Admissions with proof of successfully completing 60 credit hours or more.
  • Proof of completion of the following courses or their equivalents
    • Improvisation Techniques I
    • Acting II: Advanced Scene Study
    • English Composition II
    • Or narrative description of equivalent academic or non academic experience (for example; college improv or sketch groups, post high school acting classes, etc.)

Unsure whether you have the relevant experience? There are multiple ways to fulfill these requirements, for more information please email

See the “Apply” page for further information about the application process for the program.

Returning Columbia Students Must Provide the Following:

  • Complete Comedy Studies online form.
  • One faculty reference.
  • Theatrical headshot and resume and/or a short description of experience.
  • Three short essays.

See the “Apply” page for further information about the application process for the program if you are a current Columbia student.

Important Dates


FALL 2023: 

Currently accepting applications for Fall 2023 – limited spots still available! 

Applications for Spring 2024 have an early bird deadline of October 12

All applications for Spring 2024 are due by November 2


*Tuition periodically changes, so these numbers can fluctuate slightly. Exact tuition prices will be given upon acceptance into the program. Feel free to visit for further information about shifts in tuition for Columbia College Chicago.

Tuition for the 12 credit hour semester of Comedy Studies is $8,820.00 ($735 per credit hour)

Fall 2024
Tuition for the 16 credit hour semester of Comedy Studies is $14,635.00.

Additional Fees:

Fees Full-Time : 12 credits or more $735
Student U-Pass Fee Full-Time $153 (HIGHLY recommended)

The Comedy Studies program, as well as Columbia College Chicago, do not offer any forms of financial aid to visiting students. Please check with your home institution to see if any aid you are currently using can be applied to your semester with Comedy Studies.

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