Theatre Arts - MFA

Caine College of the Arts

About This Degree

USU is the only university in the state with a master of fine arts program in theatre.

It is also the only theatre program in the state with its own professional Equity theatre company, where students and professionals have the opportunity to work with the Old Lyric Repertory Company. The Theatre Arts Department at USU also hosts an impressive visiting artist series, where students have the opportunity to learn from renowned visiting professionals from all over the world. Graduate students in the department have many opportunities to present their design portfolios with the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, and graduate students often win national awards.

What You Will Learn

The MFA degree is a terminal degree in the design aspect of theatre. It is a three-year program in which students gain hands-on experience in one or more areas of focus, including set design, costume design, and lighting design. Secondary areas of study may include technical practice, sound design, properties design and/or scenic art.


Advanced Technical Practice:

In this specialization, students work specifically on scene craft and technical direction.


In this specialization, students choose to focus on scenic design, costume design, and/or lighting design.


At a Glance

College: Caine College of the Arts

Department: Theatre Arts Department

USU Locations:

  • Logan campus

Program Requirements

Career And Outcomes

Career Opportunities

Students who graduate with the MFA can pursue the following careers:

  • Professors in higher education
  • Regional theatre companies
  • Repertory theatre companies
  • Scenic, costume, or lighting design
  • Production managers
  • Technical directors

Students who graduate with the MA generally are secondary education theatre teachers who wish to advance their careers by obtaining a master’s degree, or are students who enter doctoral programs in the academic side of theatre.

Job Outlook



Bruce Duerden

Associate Professor, Theatre Design and Technology Program Head/Graduate Advisor
Office: FAC 151D
Phone: (435) 797-3026

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Admission Requirements

Students from various majors are welcome to apply; however, several theatre prerequisites or their equivalents are required. Each student’s undergraduate transcript will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, and students may be accepted into the program if they complete these prerequisites, which they can do concurrently with their graduate coursework.

Application Requirements:

  • Complete the online application
  • Pay the $55 application fee
  • Score at or above the 40th percentile on the GRE or MAT
  • Have a 3.0 or higher GPA on your last 60 semester or 90 quarter credits
  • Provide transcripts of all college/university credits
  • Provide three contacts for letters of recommendation
  • Submit 5-20 samples of theare design work and/or artwork
  • Submit a resume of theatre experience
  • Participate in an interview with the appropriate faculty, in-person or by phone

International students have additional admissions requirements.


The department has the following deadline:

  • Fall semester – February 1
  • The program will continue to accept students after this deadline as long as there is space available. To receive financial assistance, it is recommended that applicants submit their applications by February 1.

Program Requirements

Students are required to participate in at least one summer with the Old Lyric Repertory Company, or equivalent with another theatre company.

Plan Options

Students can receive the MFA by pursuing the following option:

  • The Plan B option requires the production of a paper or creative work of art and is expected to reflect equivalent scholarship standards as a thesis.

Students can receive the MA by pursuing one of two options:

  • In the Plan A option, students complete graduate-level coursework and must write a thesis.
  • The Plan B option requires the production of a paper or creative work of art and is expected to reflect equivalent scholarship standards as a thesis.

Financial Aid

The department tries to provide funding for all graduate students through assistantships; however, the department will accept students who are self-funded if there are no available assistantships remaining. Typically, students in the MFA program receive general assistantships where they are required to work on productions, and MA students receive teaching assistantships and teach undergraduate courses in the theatre program.

A variety of funding opportunities are available through the School of graduate Studies.

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