Apr 17, 2024  
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog 
    
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog

Theatre Major, MFA


The MFA Degree in Theatre is the terminal degree in the discipline. The program seeks to prepare MFA degree candidates to work as professional journeyman artists in the mainstream professional theatre. The program is distinguished by its affiliation with the Clarence Brown Theatre Company, one of the charter theatres in the LORT system (League of Resident Theatres). Students receive professional credits in their area of concentration during their training.

Campus Code


Knoxville Campus

Admissions Standards/Procedures


  • Applicants must have completed undergraduate degrees approximately equivalent in requirements to those specified for degrees conferred by the University of Tennessee, Knoxville
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Interviews with appropriate faculty are required of all applicants.
  • Applicants for admission to the MFA design/technical theatre programs must submit samples of their work.
  • Auditions are required of MFA degree performance applicants.
  • Not all areas of concentration accept applicants every year.

Requirements for a Second Master’s Degree


  • Students admitted to the MFA program who have already earned a master’s or a doctoral degree may apply up to 12 credit hours from the previous graduate program to the MFA degree with approval of the student’s committee, the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, and the Dean of the Graduate School.
  • Any such credits applied from a previous graduate program would be from courses that are directly relevant to the student’s MFA curriculum and must have been earned within the time limit (6 years) established for completion of the MFA.

Academic Standards


  • Students in the MFA degree program are evaluated each semester by faculty on overall performance, portfolio submission (in Design), and standards of behavior.
  • Continuation in the program is with the approval of the faculty for the appropriate concentration within the MFA degree program.

Acting Concentration


Credit Hours Required


At least 60 graduate credit hours

Required Courses


Costume Design Concentration


Credit Hours Required


At least 60 graduate credit hours

Required Courses


Lighting Design Concentration


Credit Hours Required


At least 60 graduate credit hours

Required Courses


Scenic Design Concentration


Credit Hours Required


At least 60 graduate credit hours

Required Courses


Sound and Media Design Concentration


Credit Hours Required


At least 60 graduate credit hours

Required Courses


Non-Course Requirements


  • An oral defense of the project must be completed satisfactorily in the third year of study before the degree is conferred.
  • The concentration professor and the student together select an advisor and a committee for the Project in Lieu of Thesis.
  • Theatre MFA students are not required to take comprehensive examinations as part of the degree requirements.