FAQs

The application process isn’t difficult, but it can be daunting—if you let it. Scroll through our FAQs below and if you have unanswered questions, contact our undergraduate admissions office or graduate program coordinator.

Frequently Asked Questions for Undergraduate Program Admission

When is the application deadline?

Freshmen applicants must complete ApplyTexas by December 1. Transfer applicants must complete ApplyTexas by March 1. Current UT Austin students applying to add or change majors in the department must apply by March 1. Depending on the program you are considering, an audition, interview or portfolio may be required. Please note that on-campus auditions and interview dates often precede the application deadline. 

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When will I know whether or not I've been accepted?

Freshmen and external transfer students will be notified of their acceptance by the UT Austin Office of Admissions through their MyStatus pages. Freshmen notices are typically given in late February. Transfer notices are typically given in April. Current students at UT Austin applying to the department will receive a notification from the department’s academic advisor through a secure academic note in April. 

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How many students are majoring in Theatre and Dance at UT?

The number of students fluctuates year to year, but we typically admit approximately 100 students to the department each year: 16 to the B.F.A. in Acting, 20-25 to B.F.A. Dance and UTeach Dance, 20 to UTeach Theatre (B.F.A. Theatre Studies) and 40 to our B.A. in Theatre and Dance. 

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How long will it take me to complete my degree?

Most degrees may be completed within four years depending on the number of hours taken each semester (including summer sessions).

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May I have two majors (double majors)?

Our primary goal is to help you be on-track to graduate in four years. UT Austin offers a variety of advising paths and certificate programs that complement majors with opportunities to study Business Foundations, Digital Arts & Media, Cultural Studies, Game Development, and other pre-professional areas, such as Health Sciences. These programs are typically more manageable within a four-year graduation timeline and deliver the skills you need to achieve your career goals.

Declaring a double major at UT Austin is contingent upon your successful approval for a second major by another college or school at UT. You must have 30 credit hours of coursework to apply to a second major and be able to demonstrate your ability to graduate within four years. Please note that the 30 hours does not include any CLEP credit, AP credit, SAT/ACT credit, distance-learning credit or dual enrollment credit hours.

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Can I minor in Theatre and/or Dance?

The Department of Theatre and Dance does not offer any official minor. Some colleges at UT will allow you to declare a minor in Theatre and/or Dance. It is the student’s responsibility to identify courses available to them as non-majors that fulfill the requirements of their own college. These students should meet with an academic advisor in the college in which they are currently enrolled to discuss how to complete a minor for their particular degree plan.

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Are scholarships and/or financial aid available to Theatre and Dance students?

Yes! The department’s faculty scholarships committee awards artistic merit scholarships to incoming students. There is no separate scholarship application for artistic merit scholarships; simply complete the Theatre and Dance Department Application and all required steps outlined for your intended program of study. The department also awards merit scholarships to continuing students.

To be considered for financial aid, applicants should complete the FAFSA by March 15.

View more information on financial assistance for freshmen and transfer applicants.

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I love the performing arts but am concerned about my professional life after graduation. Can you help me?

The College of Fine Arts Career Services (FACS) provides a full range of services and resources to help you realize your full potential during and after your time at UT. These services continue to be available to alumni after graduation.

Peruse our alumni profiles and set your mind at ease! Longhorns are enjoying great success in theatre, dance and business.

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UT Austin is a big place. Is there a way I can better connect with the theatre and dance community?

Yes! The Department of Theatre and Dance is a close-knit community of students and faculty dedicated to exploring the performing arts. Here, you can collaborate with your peers through the Fine Arts Council and Hook ‘Em Arts. And, connect with Theatre and Dance by liking us on Facebook and following on Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram!

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Can I have a tour of the Department of Theatre and Dance?

Yes! Check out our Information Sessions and Tours for prospective freshmen and transfer students.

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What if I'm not in the top 7% of my high school, or if I attend a private or out-of-state school?

We seek talented students who are academically strong but recognize they may not attend a ranking school in Texas or be in the top 7% of their class. Admission to this program is based on a holistic review of your academic merits and artistic talent, not strictly class rank. However, generally our admitted students will rank in the top 50% of their high school.

Who can help me with questions about admission to the Department of Theatre and Dance?

Natasha Small 
Undergraduate Admissions Coordinator
512-232-2741
tadadmissions@utexas.edu

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Frequently Asked Questions for Graduate Program Admission


Will you send an application?

No. The online application is our only way of receiving applications. Your information will be available much sooner electronically and will speed the application process. You need apply only to the University's Graduate School as there is not a separate application required for the Department of Theatre and Dance.

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Is the GRE required?

The GRE is required for application to the following areas:

Performance as Public Practice (M.A., M.F.A. and Ph.D.)
Drama and Theatre for Youth and Communities
Playwriting

The GRE is no longer required for application to the following areas:

Dance
Design and Technology (Costume Design, Costume Technology, Lighting Design, Scene Design and Integrated Media)
Directing

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How soon should I take the GRE if it is required for my application?

The GRE should be taken as soon as possible. Applications cannot be considered without the GRE scores. Information may be obtained through the GRE website.

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Do I have to take the TOEFL? (international students only)

All international applicants must submit the TOEFL or IELTS with their application. The TOEFL can be waived if the applicant comes from an English-ONLY country, or holds a bachelor's degree from a U.S. university. Masters' degrees cannot waive the TOEFL.

A score of 550 (paper test), 213 (computer-based test), or 79 (internet-based test) on the TOEFL OR an overall band of 6.5 on the Academic Examination of the Academic Examination of the TOEFL or IELTS  is considered the minimum acceptable for admission to the University of Texas at Austin.

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Would I be able to come into the graduate program in one area and later transfer to another area?

Please consider your concentration carefully. You must have a focus which will make one of our areas appropriate for your work. There is latitude in each student's program of study permitting courses in other areas of interest, but students aren't admitted into the program with the intention of moving to another area.

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May I fax or e-mail some of my application materials to the Department?

No, all application materials (with the exception of certain portfolio materials) must be uploaded on designated application sites.

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How do I decide which persons to ask for references?

The most valuable references will be from persons able to endorse your ability in your field of specialization and estimate your success in a graduate school environment and the profession.

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Is there a separate scholarship application that I must complete?

There is not a separate scholarship application form. Your application file provides all of the information necessary. The scholarships are awarded by the Scholarship Committee based on recommendations from the Graduate Studies Executive Committee. All incoming (new) graduate students are placed in consideration for scholarships.

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May I attend classes during the summers and finish early?

There are limited courses offered in the summers. The majority of our graduate students and some of our faculty leave Austin for summer theatre work. The fall and spring semesters offer all of the required coursework. It is best to enter the program with the commitment for the time recommended: M.F.A. - three years, 60 hours; M.A. - two years, 30 hours; Ph.D. - 90 hours, at least four but no more than six years.

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What classes will I take? Will my old classes transfer?

As an undergraduate, you were probably handed a "cookie cutter" or "one-size-fits-all" degree plan. Those don't really apply at the graduate level. Each plan is customized for the goals, strengths and weaknesses of the student. If you're admitted, you and your advisor will discuss your educational plans and formulate a degree plan.

In general, the faculty will not discuss specific degree plans before the student has been admitted and accepted our offer. Nor will we discuss transfer possibilities before the student has been admitted and accepted our offer.

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What production opportunities do M.F.A. students have?

All M.F.A. students have several opportunities to participate in mainstage productions. Opportunities vary by concentration.

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Are students given the opportunity to be a teaching assistant (TA) for other classes in the Department of Theatre and Dance? If so, is it a once-in-a-while thing, or is the chance to TA fairly frequent?

Students should have the chance to TA and even teach their own classes, assuming they are qualified.

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Do students get office space?

There is limited office space available for graduate students who are teaching classes. As space is limited, offices are not guaranteed.

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What are the overall writing requirements for the various degrees? What courses will I be required to take? What and how many productions will I have to participate in?

These issues are addressed with the faculty when you arrive.

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Are graduate students able to participate in other classes outside of their area?

This is required of all of our students. Not only are you required to take classes outside of your concentration, but you will probably have to take classes outside of Theatre and Dance.

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Should I schedule an interview? 

Please contact the area head from your desired area of focus.

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I'd like to schedule a private audition/interview at U/RTA. Is that possible?

Our faculty follows all U/RTA guidelines.

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Frequently Asked Questions for Specific Graduate Programs 

Design and Technology

Should I schedule an interview / portfolio review?

Absolutely.

Playwriting

What length of play must I submit for the Playwriting Area?

Submit two writing samples (complete plays) best representative of your work. At least one must be a “full length” play; one may be a “short play” if you’d like.

What is the difference between the UT Austin Theatre Playwriting M.F.A. and the Creative Writing M.F.A.?

Creative Writing is an interdisciplinary program with ties to English, Radio-Television-Film and Theatre.

Performance as Public Practice

Questions About the Application 

Who should I contact with questions about the Performance as Public Practice Program? 

For questions about the mechanics of the application progress, general graduate school requirements and assistance with online submission, contact Andrea Grapko. For questions about the Performance as Public Practice Program and the admissions process, contact Dr. Rebecca Rossen

Is the GRE required? 

Yes. Although we evaluate many factors in the admission process, we do consider GRE scores. See the Graduate School's website for more information. 

I'm an international student. Is the TOEFL required? 

International students whose native language is not English must also submit scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). See the Graduate School's website for more information about this policy. 

How important is the Statement of Goals and Writing Sample(s)? 

The Statement of Goals is a critical aspect of your application because it gives the admissions committee the clearest indication of who you are as a person and emerging scholar, why you want a graduate degree, why you want to come to our program and your preparedness for graduate study. The writing samples are also very important because they give us a clear indication of your preparedness for graduate study in performance, specifically your abilities as a critical thinker and writer. 

Questions About the Degree Programs 

Which degree program should I apply to? 

There are many factors that go into this decision. What is your academic and artistic background? What degree(s) do you currently hold? What are your professional goals? What do you hope to do after your complete the degree? 

In order to earn a Ph.D., many doctoral programs (including ours) require a Master's degree. The M.A. degree is not a terminal degree and is generally considered a preparatory degree for a doctorate program. While an M.A. degree generally will not qualify you for a tenure-track university teaching position, the degree can enable students to work in a variety of educational, organizational and artistic positions. The Ph.D. is a terminal degree and will quality applicants to teach at the university level.

The M.F.A. degree is a terminal degree designed for performance makers or arts organizers who would like to focus primarily on the integration of research and practice. The M.F.A. can qualify students for university-level teaching as well as a variety of educational, organizational and artistic positions.

Do you separate M.A., M.F.A. and Ph.D. students? 

No. Although the program of study is distinct for each degree plan, all of our students are part of one community and are offered the same rigorous, scholarly training in performance as public practice. 

Is the M.F.A. program for me? 

The M.F.A. in Performance as Public Practice is a unique program for performance-makers and/or arts organizers seeking a terminal degree. We are not the best fit for newer artists who are looking to build skills in performance making, but rather we are geared toward individuals who are seeking new methods for integrating research, writing, performance practice and arts policy and for deepening the historical, theoretical, social, political and analytical aspects of their work. 

Is interdisciplinary work encouraged? 

Yes. Our program is interdisciplinary at its core. Students are not only required to take courses within the program and the broader department of Theatre and Dance, but also in other programs and departments across the university. Students can also pursue portfolio certification programs such as African and African Diaspora Studies, Mexican American and Latino/a Studies, Women's and Gender Studies and Arts and Cultural Management and Entrepreneurship

Will I still be able to make work as an artist as a Performance as Public Practice graduate student? 

Of course. Our program encourages intersections between theory and practice, research and performance. Many of our students (in all of our degree) are involved in performance-making as directors, choreographers, performers, playwrights and dramaturgs. Our students create work as UT as well as in Austin's rich performance community. The University of Texas Department of Theatre and Dance also hosts the Cohen New Works Festival every other year, a unique, student-curated and produced festival of new, collaborative performance.  

Questions About Funding and Teaching Experience 

Does the Performance as Public Practice program provide funding to graduate students? 

Yes. We offer full funding (including salary, tuition remission and scholarships) to M.F.A. (three years) and Ph.D. students (four to five years). Our M.A. students may receive full or partial funding depending on availability. Ph.D. students also have the opportunity to apply for a variety of dissertation fellowships offered by the College of Fine Arts and the Graduate School. We provide explicit details of our funding packages upon request as well as with offers for admission. 

Will I have the opportunity to teach? 

Yes. The majority of our funding for students comes from teaching assistantships. All students will have the opportunity to work as a teaching assistant and many students will have the opportunity to work as the instructor of record for courses such as Theatre History or Introduction to Theatre. Some students find teaching opportunities in other programs such as African and African Disasporic Studies or Mexican-American and Latin American Studies. Our students have also taught in the Department of Rhetoric and Writing and in Asian/Asian-American Studies. Students complete the Performance as Public Practice Program with a solid resume of teaching experience, one of the many benefits of our program. 

General Inquiries about the Department of Theatre and Dance 

UT is a big place. Is there a way I can better connect with the theatre and dance community?

Yes! The Department of Theatre and Dance is close-knit community of students and faculty dedicated to exploring the performing arts. Here, you can collaborate with your peers through the Fine Arts Council and Hook ‘Em Arts. And, connect with Theatre and Dance by become of fan on Facebook and following us on Twitter and Tumblr

How do I get there?

See our Location, Directions and Parking.

Who can help me all of the above and more?

Undergraduate Assistance: 
Natasha Small 
Undergraduate Admissions Coordinator
tadadmissions@utexas.edu

Graduate Assistance: 
Andrea Grapko
Graduate Coordinator
andrea.grapko@austin.utexas.edu