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Master of Arts (M.A.)
A two-year program of coursework in theatre studies, requiring demonstration of research competence (basic translation/comprehension reading skills) in a foreign language and completion of a master’s thesis. A master’s degree emphasizes academic study and research, often leading to further study towards a Ph.D.

Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.)
The M.F.A. is the terminal degree for those planning to work or teach in theatrical production. We offer three-year programs of study in scenic design, costume design and lighting design or a pairing of two of these areas. Some students also work on technical direction. Completion involves a creative project with an accompanying written report.
We do not offer the M.F.A. degree in acting, directing or playwriting.

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
The Ph.D. is the terminal degree for those interested in theatre scholarship as well as theatre practice. Ph.D. students take two years of coursework, including some outside the department, to prepare for qualifying examinations. Shortly following exams, students complete and must have their committee approve a prospectus for the dissertation, which must be completed six years following advancement to candidacy. In addition to coursework and dissertation research/writing, we expect Ph.D. students to demonstrate advanced competency and progress in at least one area of theatre practice, primarily in directing. Ph.D. students must also prove reading/translation competence in a foreign language (unless already demonstrated at the M.A. level) and a second “research tool” relevant to their dissertation research.

The department may not accept new candidates in each degree every year.

How to apply to our graduate degree programs

Please click link below to apply via the UO online graduate application. 

Apply to Graduate Program

Application Deadline
February 1st

Required materials: 

Letter of Recommendation Please provide the appropriate contact information for three (3) references, including an email address. Each reference will be contacted via email by the university and asked to fill out a reference sheet, which includes a space for them to add a letter of recommendation. Please encourage your references to complete and send their referral by the application deadline.

Personal Statement. This document should be a short essay that acquaints the faculty with your reasons for wanting to pursue a graduate degree in theatre arts, including areas of emphasis and research interests and considered sketch of your career goals past graduate study.

Transcripts. Please upload a copy of your transcript to the online application. While official transcripts are not required for the online version of the application, an applicant must have official transcripts sent directly to the Office of the Registrar at:

Office of the Registrar
5257 University of Oregon
Eugene, OR 97403

Writing Sample. This should be a sample of your best scholarly writing (article, chapter of thesis, term paper, etc.) Resume and/or Curriculum Vitae. This can be uploaded to the Personal Statement section if no specific Resumes or CV section appears on your application.

Portfolio. Only MFA applicants are required to submit a portfolio. The portfolio may by a website, in which case the applicant should upload a PDF with the web address into the Personal Statement section of the application.

Optional materials for all applicants:
GRE scores
Institution Code: 4846
Department Code: 2403

International students
Please refer to the Graduate School website for information about satisfying the English language requirement for admission.

Graduate Employees
Admitted students are typically awarded Graduate Employee (GE) appointments, which include tuition waiver, salary and health insurance.  By agreement with the Graduate Teaching Fellows Federation (GTFF), all appointments are contingent on good academic progress in coursework or thesis/dissertation work.
• MFA GEs will spend most of their time in either the costume or scene shop, instructing undergraduate students in the fundamentals of technical theatre. MFAs may be asked to teach a class in an area of theatre considered a specialty.
• Ph.D. GEs spend the majority of teaching time as instructors of basic acting classes.

Please contact Dr. Theresa May, Director of Graduate Studies,, 541-346-1789.