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Master of Fine Arts in Theatre

The University of Idaho offers the state's only Master of Fine Arts in theatre. Areas of specialization available: Performance, Directing, Dramatic Writing, Pedagogy or Design and Technology. In addition to UI's graduate school admission requirements, the M.F.A. program in theatre requires a 3.0 GPA, a statement of goals or intent, three letters of recommendation, and an audition for actors or a portfolio of creative work for directors, designers, technicians and playwrights.

The M.F.A. is a rigorous two to three-year*, 60-72 hour degree designed for talented students wishing to prepare themselves for a career in the professional theatre. Degree tracks in the areas of design, directing, performance, writing and technical production are built around specific curriculum categories and individual courses are selected by the candidate in consultation with his or her major professor. Student progress is monitored by portfolio review or performance jury each semester. Exit procedures from the program include a creative project and comprehensive exam.

*Ask about our new distance-delivered, low-residency MFA option and MA-MFA conversion program for working theatre professionals. Students who have already earned an approved Master's degree can apply for Conversion to the MFA in Theatre. Distance-ed students are given the freedom to progress through the program as quickly or as slowly as their schedule and professional engagements permit. This is truly a unique program, with flexibility for those individuals who may already have a position within the industry but would still like to pursue a terminal degree.

The deadline to apply for the M.F.A. program is Jan. 30.

Specific degree requirements related to area emphasis can be found on the Resources Page.

General Requirements

Candidates must fulfill the general requirements of the Graduate College and a minimum of 60 credits from the course groupings listed below.

Studio Area (12-16 credits)

A minimum of 12 credits are taken in course work directly related to an area of specialization. The studio area of study is individualized to the candidate's specific needs and areas of weakness. Candidates will enroll in M.F.A. Studio each semester of residence excluding summers.

Voice and Movement Area (minimum 12 credits, 6 credits in each area)

A minimum of 12 credits are taken in a related studio area which generally pertains directly to the candidate's area of specialization.

History/Literature/Criticism (9-12 credits)

A minimum of 9 credits are taken in history or literature courses which relate directly to the studio area. Courses taken to fulfill this requirement might include dramatic literature, social history, art history, architectural history and theatre history.

Internship (6 credits)

Six credits of THE 598: Internship are taken to augment course work with professional experiences with professional regional theatres in the area.

M.F.A. Jury/Portfolio Review (6 credits)

A minimum of 6 credits of THE 515: MFA Jury/Portfolio Review must be completed with a grade of B or better before the awarding of the degree. A maximum of 1 credit of THE 515 may be taken each semester.

M.F.A. Exit Procedures (3 credits)

Exit procedures vary with the area of specialization. In each case the exit procedure revolves around a thesis project or exam completed sometime in the last two semesters of residence. Projects are designed in consultation with the candidate's graduate committee. Candidates must enroll in THE 596: M.F.A. Exit Project during the semester the project is undertaken.

Teaching Assistantships

Graduate Teaching Assistantships are available for qualified graduate candidates. Currently there are six full time graduate assistantships split equally between Scenery Lighting and Costumes.

Typical job responsibilities include the safety, maintenance and training of students in these assigned areas. In addition, qualified graduate candidates in the performance area are assigned to paid positions in the courses of “Speech Communication,” “Basics of Acting,” and “Introduction to the Theatre” as funding is available.

APPLY | Graduate Assistantships in Costume Design, Scenic Design

The University of Idaho, Department of Theatre Arts offers 20 hour per week, paid graduate assistantships to exceptional, self-motivated design students. Minimum stipends are typically $11,000 per academic year. For details contact Theatre Arts at 208-885-6465.

This three-year M.F.A. design program offers intensive hands-on production experience, individual mentoring and the opportunity to design main stage productions. Cross-disciplinary study is encouraged in studio art and other related topics.

To apply, visit the College of Graduate Studies

Physical Address:
Corner of 6th and Rayburn Shoup Hall - 2nd Floor

Mailing Address:
Theatre Arts Department
University of Idaho
875 Perimeter Drive MS 2008
Moscow, ID 83844-2008

Phone: 208-885-6465

Fax: 208-885-2558


Web: Theatre Arts Department