Theatre (Dramatic Writing), MFA

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If you are interested in developing your dramatic writing skills for stage and screen in a collaborative, immersive environment, this MFA program provides the rigorous training and opportunities you need to take your passion to the next level.

The concentration in dramatic writing under the MFA in theatre includes coursework in playwriting, screenwriting, historical studies in theatre, dramatic theory, directing new work, literary management, electives and related topics such as writing for solo performance, storytelling, devising and collaborative writing.

The School of Music, Dance and Theatre supports the production of new plays and performance works written by its Master of Fine Arts students. Student-written work is included in the Theatre Labs and is considered for main stage productions.

At A Glance

Theatre (Dramatic Writing), MFA

Plan of study

The Plan of study is the required curriculum to complete this graduate level program.

View Plan of Study

Application Requirements

A separate theatre application is required in addition to the university application. For a complete list of requirements, visit the Steps to Apply page. Admission to the dramatic writing program occurs each fall semester.

Application Deadlines:

Spring admission: applications are not accepted for spring admission
Fall 2023: January 15, 2023

Curriculum check sheet

Check sheets break down the course requirements for the degree program and can be accessed below.

Theatre (Dramatic Writing), MFA 2022-2023

Degree requirements

Required Core (27 credit hours)
THE 500 Research Methods (3)
THE 504 Studies in Dramatic Theory and Criticism (3)
THE 520 Theatre History and Literature (3)
THP 560 Dramatic Writer's Workshop (15)
THP 561 Scripts in Progress (3)

Concentration (9 credit hours)
THE 562 Dramaturgy Workshop (3)
THP 520 Directing the New Play (3)
THP 598 Special Topics (3)

Electives (18 credit hours)

Culminating Experience (6 credit hours)
THP 693 Applied Project (6)

Additional Curriculum Information
As part of the electives coursework, students have the option to complete an internship (THP 684) for three credit hours.

Students should see the academic unit for a complete list of approved electives and they should consult the degree check sheet.

The applied project is the writing of a thesis play, which is to be developed as one of the following: a full production on the school's main stage, a staged reading, or a workshop production.

Admission requirements

Applicants must fulfill the requirements of both the Graduate College and the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts.

Applicants are eligible to apply to the program if they have earned a bachelor's or master's degree in theatre or in creative writing from a regionally accredited institution. An applicant may have an undergraduate degree outside of theatre and may be admitted on the basis of excellent creative writing and academic work. Deficiencies in undergraduate preparation may be removed while pursuing the MFA degree.

Applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in the last 60 hours of their first bachelor's degree program, or applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in an applicable master's degree program.

All applicants must submit:

  1. graduate admission application and application fee
  2. official transcripts
  3. three letters of recommendation
  4. current resume
  5. statement of career goals, including writing endeavors or interests
  6. manuscript sample of either a full-length play (60 pages or more) or a series of one-act plays (30 pages minimum)
  7. proof of English proficiency

Additional Application Information
An applicant whose native language is not English must provide proof of English proficiency regardless of current residency.

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