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Group of theatre students in a play

Texas State was recently ranked among the top ten performing arts schools in the United States, garnering local, regional, and national awards. The master of fine arts (M.F.A.) degree options expand the skills of students, preparing them to work in regional and national theatres and to teach at the university level.

The programs train emerging leaders and guide them to become artists and scholars.

 Contact The Graduate College for general questions about getting started with your application, funding your degree, and more.
If you have program-specific questions after reviewing the program details, we encourage you to contact the following:

Graduate Advisor
Dr. Ana Martinez
Theatre Center (THEA), Room 218

“Texas State University is where I found confidence in myself as both a designer and a human being. It’s where I found the courage to be vulnerable and take risks. It’s where I found the knowledge that has been the foundation for my artistry and career.ˮ

— Marissa Menezes, M.F.A. ’18

“I have emerged with the knowledge, confidence, and connections to be successful in the professional world. ˮ

– J. Robert Moore, M.F.A. ’16

Course Work

The department offers a 60-credit-hour M.F.A. degree. The hours vary based on the area of specialization, and the culmination of the M.F.A. degree is a creative project.

Students take active roles in the field with directing, writing and design projects, conference presentations, and publications. Summer opportunities include professional internships, course work taken as part of the department’s Oregon Shakespeare Intensive, and a Shakespeare in England study abroad program. Graduate courses are offered during the day because of graduate student involvement in theatre productions.

Degree Concentration Hours Thesis Option Minor Option
M.F.A. Design 60 Non-Thesis No Minor
M.F.A. Directing 60 Non-Thesis No Minor
M.F.A. Dramatic Writing* 60 Non-Thesis No Minor
M.A. Dramaturgy* 36 Non-Thesis Minor required
M.A. History and Criticism* 30 Thesis Minor required

*Applications for these concentrations are no longer being accepted until further notice.

Fall 2022 applications for the Directing concentration are no longer being accepted. Applications for this concentration will resume August 1 for Fall 2023.

Theatre Center building

Students regularly earn honors at the regional and national levels of the American College Theatre Festival and present at national and international conferences.

Program Mission

The Department of Theatre and Dance at Texas State University offers a rigorous practice-based M.F.A. in directing, dramatic writing, and design. The M.F.A. is designed to prepare students to work as practitioners and innovators professionally, as well as teach in a university setting.

Visit program website ›

Program Faculty

The programs’ faculty display work at the Prague Quadrennial, and work on Broadway and at numerous Shakespeare Festivals, as well as at regional theatres coast to coast. They also choreograph or perform nationally and internationally. In addition, the faculty have won numerous awards. They regularly publish articles and books and present papers, designs, and workshops at numerous regional and national conferences.

Meet our faculty ›

Career Options

There are a variety of career options for students completing the M.F.A. in theatre including:

  • playwright
  • screenwriter
  • web series creator
  • television writer
  • artistic director
  • freelance director
  • education director
  • producing director
  • dramaturg
  • university instructor
  • industrial/architectural lighting designer
  • theatre designer
  • themed entertainment designer
  • live event designer

Application Process

Step 1

Review Requirements

Application Deadlines

Deadlines U.S. Citizen International
Fall - Priority December 1 December 1
Fall - Standard February 15 February 15
Spring No Admission No Admission
Summer I No Admission No Admission
Summer II No Admission No Admission

Application Deadline
This program has a flexible deadline, which means applications received after the posted deadline may be reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis, with no guarantees for admission consideration.

Funding Information
The deadlines to apply for certain types of funding may be earlier than the deadline above.

Decision Timeline
This program reviews applications on a firm basis.

Application Requirements

The items required for admission consideration are listed below. Additional information for applicants with international credentials can be found on our international web pages.


  Review important information about the online application.

Application Fee

  • $55 nonrefundable application fee
  • $90 nonrefundable application fee for applications with international credentials

  Review important information about application fees.

Transcripts & GPA

  • baccalaureate degree (preferably a B.A. or B.F.A. in theatre) from a regionally accredited university
  • a copy of an official transcript from each institution where course credit was granted
  • minimum 2.75 GPA in your last 60 hours of undergraduate course work (plus any completed graduate courses)
  • minimum 24 undergraduate hours in theatre

  Review important information about transcripts. Official transcripts, sent directly from your institution, will be required if admission is granted.

GRE Scores

M.A. Applicants

  • official GRE (general test only) required with competitive scores in the verbal reasoning and quantitative reasoning sections

  Review important information about official test scores.

M.F.A. Applicants

  • GRE not required

Documents & Other Requirements

All applicants should have non-academic practical theatre experience.

M.A. Applicants

  • resume/CV
  • statement of purpose indicating your proposed area of specialty and detailing past practical experience
  • two letters of recommendation

M.F.A. Applicants

  • resume/CV
  • statement of purpose detailing your area of specialty, related background information, and goals in pursuing the M.F.A. in theatre
  • theatre portfolio (preferably electronic) which may include rehearsal prompt books of past directing projects, design sketches and renderings, production photos, DVDs, reviews, and/or items showing process and aesthetic
  • two letters of recommendation
  • Dramatic Writing applicants: samples of playwriting or creative writing
  • Directing applicants: An interview with program faculty may be required. Read more.

  Review important information about documents.


Applicants are required to submit TOEFL, PTE, or IELTS scores that meet the minimum program requirements below unless they have earned a bachelor’s degree or higher from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or the equivalent from a country on our exempt countries list.

  • official TOEFL iBT scores required with a 78 overall
  • official PTE scores required with a 52 overall
  • official IELTS (academic) scores required with a 6.5 overall and
    • minimum individual module scores of 6.0

  This program does not offer admission if the scores above are not met.

  Review important information about official test scores.

Additional Information

  Interview Requirement
The M.F.A. in theatre requires students to work together closely; therefore, potential candidates in the directing concentration need to bring skills, temperaments, and goals that are in cohesion with the department and the cohort of students they will join. For this reason, semi-finalists will be invited to on-campus or Skype interviews/auditions.