We are now accepting applications to the MFA in Acting, Costume Design Directing and Lighting programs for the Fall 2019 academic year. We accept students into the program based on a portfolio and interview. We hold on-campus auditions and will attend include URTAs, Unified Auditions, LiNK/USITT, SETC, USITT and ACTF.

Master of Fine Arts in Theatre

Creating Connections

The Master of Fine Arts Degree in Theatre is considered to be the terminal degree in the creative and performance aspects of Theatre. It is awarded in recognition of professional-level achievement in theatre as evidenced by successful fulfillment of a prescribed series of creative and academic requirements. MFA candidates focus on one area of concentration: Acting, Directing, Playwriting, Costume Design, Lighting Design or Scenic Design.

About the Program

A student entering graduate studies in the Department of Theatre should have a bachelor's degree in theatre or a completed BA in another field and a minimum of 24 semester hours in undergraduate drama/theatre credit.

Students not holding a Bachelor's degree in Theatre may be required to take supplemental coursework and/or demonstrate proficiency in the creative areas of Theatre. The student and a mentor will assess the student's needs and establish a plan of study which will prepare the student for advanced degree work.

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.

 The application and admission into the program is a two-part process.

  • First, all applicants must apply to the University of Arkansas Graduate School for admission to the University.
  • Next the Department of Theatre requires an audition/portfolio review/script submission and interview for acceptance into the MFA program (please see specific requirements in the concentration links).

Before applying it is recommended you familiarize yourself with the departmental requirements as well as the admission requirements in the area of concentration you wish to study.

Graduate School Requirements

The graduate domestic and international application fee is $60.00 for new applicants and $30.00 for returning students. You will need to upload the following:

  • Three letters of recommendation from theatre professionals, professors, or other people who are familiar with the applicant and/or their work. One of the recommendations must speak directly to the applicant’s design work
  • A résumé detailing academic experience, professional work in the theatre, and other relevant work experience.
  • Transcripts
  • The GRE Test is not required for admission to the M.F.A. Program in Theatre.

Theatre Department Requirements

In addition to meeting University and Graduate School standards, the Department of Theatre requires an audition/portfolio review/script submission and interview for acceptance into the MFA program.

Please see specific requirements in the concentration areas.

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

Our assistantships pay for all tuition and give an $12,200 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. 


Acting Costumes Directing




Lighting Playwriting Scenic