Find Your Muse.

M.F.A. Directing

Students of stage directing at USD are training to be interpretive artists and educators. They are expected to develop a high level of skill in text analysis, interpersonal communication, and the director's tools for effective storytelling, while also attaining a broad knowledge of theatre and its companion arts. In addition to focused instruction in acting, directing and design, students are encouraged to develop an understanding of how the present and the past intersect so that they may help others discover the common threads which link human experience.

Because program admissions are limited, each student receives a high level of individualized instruction, opportunities to direct in the Arena season of plays and, in most instances, the opportunity to direct a mainstage production as part of the directing candidate's culminating project.

All M.F.A. directing candidates must stage manage two approved productions and direct three approved productions. The M.F.A. Directing program requires 60 Credit Hours of Study.

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M.F.A. Design/Theatre Technology

With major professor and graduate committee approval, candidates must elect an area of emphasis and must complete additional requirements for the emphasis area:

  • Scenic design
  • Lighting and sound design
  • Costume design
  • Technical production

The M.F.A. Design/Theatre Technology program is a theoretical and practical course of study. The Department of Theatre recognizes that the designer and technician must seek to attain a broad knowledge of the theatre and its companion arts, a high level of analytical and communicative skills, an understanding of the design elements as they apply to live, three-dimensional performances revealed by light, a comprehensive understanding of art and theatrical design history and the ability to communicate graphically.

Because program admissions are limited, each student receives a high level of individualized instruction, opportunities to design in the Arena season of plays, and, in most instances, the opportunity to design a mainstage production as part of the design candidate's culminating project. At least fifty percent of the graduate program of study credit hours must be in courses numbered 600 or above. This program requires 60 Credit Hours of Study.

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Admission Requirements

Application requirements can be found at Graduate School Admission Requirements and include:

  1. Completed Graduate Application
            Apply Online
  2. $35 application fee
  3. One official transcript verifying receipt of an undergraduate degree and previous graduate credit earned
  4. Three letters of recommendation
            Letter of Recommendation Form
  5. Statement of Purpose
  6. Resume
  7. Prescribed examples of creative work
    1. M.F.A. Directing applicants must submit the following: written statement of directorial approach to a full-length play; samples pages (a scene) from a work script/promptbook; and if available, a video from a directed scene.
    2. M.F.A. Design Theatre/Technology applicants must submit the following: portfolio featuring examples of creative and/or technical work.
  8. Additional requirements exist for international applicants.  For more information, visit International Admission Requirements

For more detailed admission requirements, please refer to Theatre in the current graduate catalog.