The Master of Fine Arts program in theatre arts requires a minimum of 61 s.h. of graduate credit, plus additional courses and production requirements depending on the student's specialty area of concentration. Students normally must complete six semesters in residence (internships may be substituted).
The graduate program is dedicated to creative development of theatre artists. Graduates have a solid background in major performance theories, dramatic literature, and practices of the past and present as well as in the craft of their chosen specialties.
Special attention is given to understanding the role and importance of live theatre in society. Interactions among the various theatre disciplines are emphasized, both in classes and through the department's extensive production program. Particular emphasis is placed on the development of new works for the theatre.
Students must make normal progress toward completion of the degree requirements to remain in the program: they must maintain a g.p.a. of at least 2.75 overall and 3.00 in all coursework within the primary area of concentration, they must receive no letter grade in the primary area below B-minus and no grade of U (unsatisfactory) in the primary area, and they must build a record of substantial creative work of high quality. Students who fail to make normal progress are placed on academic probation and given one additional semester to demonstrate their qualifications for earning the degree.
Contact the Department of Theatre Arts for specific information on any of the M.F.A. specialty areas.
Students who demonstrate exceptional ability in acting, directing, dramaturgy, playwriting, design, or stage management may apply for admission to the program of study and production leading to the M.F.A. degree. Admission is based on an interview, audition, and/or a portfolio of relevant work, the undergraduate record or other proof of artistic accomplishment, and letters of recommendation.
Submission of playscripts is the most important element in gaining admission to the Playwrights Workshop.
Applicants must meet the admission requirements of the Graduate College; see the Manual of Rules and Regulations of the Graduate College on the Graduate College website.
The graduate program in theatre develops not only talent but discipline, self-confidence, and personal vision. Through their work in courses and productions, through teaching and production assistantships, and through the intensive, individual mentoring they receive from faculty, graduate students prepare themselves to contribute to the nation’s culture. They can then enter the profession, joining hundreds of other University of Iowa graduates who have made their mark in theatre, film, television, and the entertainment industry.