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Master of Fine Arts in Theatre

Creating Connections

The M.F.A. in Theatre is a three-year professional training program dedicated to carefully nurturing a select group of theatre artists who seek to:

  • Connect to their individual voice/aesthetic.
  • Connect to their craft.
  • Connect to their collaborators and mentors.
  • Connect to the world their work explores and examines.

The M.F.A. in Theatre is a terminal degree that prepares candidates practically, artistically, and intellectually to succeed professionally in their chosen area of concentration: Acting, Directing, Playwriting, Costume Design, Lighting Design, or Scenic Design. The program is intentionally intimate, allowing for intensive individualized mentorship from our expert faculty—a group of gifted working professionals, passionate about theatre and the art of teaching.

Our faculty seeks to prepare M.F.A. candidates for the unknowns of the professional world, by making them confident in the power of their vision/voice. While intimate in size, the program is broad in scope allowing candidates to explore a full range of learning opportunities, and encouraging collaborations across disciplines.

The Department of Theatre is now accepting inquires for all interested candidates for our Fall 2023 Master of Fine Arts in Acting. Please follow the link below to fill out an application (no fee!) and a faculty member from the Department of Theatre will be in contact with you soon after you submit your form:  UA THTR 2023 Interest Form.

Before applying, please familiarize yourself with the admission requirements in the area you wish to study.  Each area has a unique plan of study tailored to that specific discipline.



Theatre Department Requirements

In addition to meeting University of Arkansas and Graduate School standards, the Department of Theatre requires an audition/portfolio review/script submission and interview for acceptance into the MFA program. This should be completed BEFORE applying to the Graduate School (see Step One above).

Application and admission into the program is a two-step process.


Step One

  • All applicants must apply directly to the Department of Theatre through our Graduate Application Portal  available in Fall ‘22.
  • Please note: there is no application fee for the first step of our application process.
  • The GRE Test is not required for admission to the M.F.A. Program in Theatre.


Step Two

  • After departmental review, qualified applicants will be invited to apply to the University of Arkansas Graduate School for formal admission to the University. The deadline for Step Two will be determined by and communicated to you by the area head after the departmental review.
  • Please do not proceed to Step Two or apply for admission to the UA Graduate School until you receive notification for the Department of Theatre to do so.

The graduate domestic and international application fee is $60.00 for new applicants and $30.00 for returning students.  This application is fee applies only the application to the Graduate School (step two above) and students should first be accepted into the program by the Department of Theatre (step one above) before applying to the Graduate School.

TOEFL Scores are required for applicants whose native language is not English.

The Master of Fine Arts degree requires 60 hours of approved graduate-level coursework that is focused in one of area of concentration: Acting, Directing, Playwriting, Costume Design, Lighting Design, or Scenic Design.  

Each student will be reviewed annually. Departmental faculty will determine whether sufficient progress has been made, artistically and academically, to warrant continuation into subsequent year of study and eventual graduation.

Transfer of credit may be considered for those students entering the M.F.A. program and to those already holding the M.A. degree in Theatre. However, a minimum of 42 hours of graduate-level courses and four (4) regular semesters must be completed on the Fayetteville campus.

Departmental requirements may be waived by the faculty in Theatre only upon receipt of evidence of equivalent learning or skill resulting from earlier education or experience.

We offer graduate assistantships*, fellowships, and teaching opportunities.

Our assistantships pay for all tuition and give an $13,900 stipend each academic year. Additional funds are available through our graduate fellowship, which offers an additional $4000 each year to qualified students. There are some other select scholarships for which you might be eligible, as well. Summer assistantships are also sometimes available.

All new graduate assistants must have background checks before they can be appointed.  We will be permitted to make offers contingent on a successful background check, but no work can begin until the check is complete. 


Areas of Concentration