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.

M.F.A. in Theatre

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.

M.F.A. in Costume, Lighting, and Scenic Design not accepting new MFA Candidates into the program at this time.  When we are accepting applications, to our M.F.A. in design concentration, please fill out this form, and follow the process below.

Acting, Directing, Playwriting will not be accepting a new cohort until the Fall of 2022.  Of course, things can change and evolve. If you are interested in receiving a notification when the performance application window opens or if positions open up, please fill out this form

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


  • First, all applicants must apply directly to the Department of Theatre through our Graduate Application Portal, usually made available in the fall.
  • Before applying, please familiarize yourself with the admission requirements in the area of concentration you wish to study.
  • 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.


  • Initially, applications will be reviewed by the department. You should not proceed to Step Two or apply for admission to the UA Graduate School until you receive notification from the M.F.A. Theatre program to do so.
  • After departmental review, qualified applicants will be invited to apply to the University of Arkansas Graduate School for formal admission to the University. Please note, the deadline for Step Two will be determined by and communicated to you by the area head after the departmental review.
Graduate School Requirements

The graduate domestic and international application fee is $60.00 for new applicants and $30.00 for returning students.  

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

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. Note: This should be completed BEFORE applying to the Graduate School (see Step One above).

Please see specific requirements in each of the concentration areas.

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 $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. 

Areas of Concentration