group sitting and tables and two actors standing

Directing (M.F.A. in Theatre)



The M.F.A. in Theatre with a specialization in directing in the Department of Theatre and Dance at The University of Texas recruits a limited number of students, usually one to two early-to-mid-career directors with professional experience past their undergraduate work. Talent and achievement as a professional theatre artist, recommendations from professional sources and a clearly articulated statement of purpose are the primary criteria for admission.

How to Apply

To apply, go to and create an account and fill out the form. Note: Online requests for recommendations will be activated only after you have completed and paid for your application.

You will be able to choose your Area of Interest on a pull down menu. This will ensure that you are applying to the right program. For example, “M.F.A. in Theatre (Directing),” “M.F.A. in Theatre (Costume Design),” etc.

After completing and paying for your application you will be sent an email (within approximately 48 hours). This email will direct you to a site where you can check your Application Status (using your new EID) and begin to upload your application requirements.

The application for graduate admission is a multi-step process. For detailed instructions, please visit The University of Texas at Austin Graduate School online.

Application Materials

In addition to your application, the following materials are required in order to be considered for admission in the M.F.A. in Theatre (Directing) program.

  • Official Transcripts: Applicants must submit transcripts from all colleges and universities attended, both at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Online instructions for uploading transcripts (PDF format only).
  • GRE Score: The GRE is not required for admission to the M.F.A. in Theatre (Directing) program.
  • Three letters of recommendation: These letters should be written by those who can speak most authoritatively about your background, training, professional experience and potential for a career in your chosen area of specialization in theatre. Each reference will receive instructions on how to submit his/her letter online to the Graduate School's secured web site. Only one letter is required from each reference.
  • Professional Résumé
  • Portfolio: A portfolio is required that includes any or all of the following: photos of realized productions or records or realized art work, video of work, reviews, samples of your director's script for any productions or any other record or writing on your work.
  • Statement of Purpose: This two-page statement of purpose should outline educational and professional goals, philosophy and/or personal theatre aesthetic. 

Application Deadline - M.F.A. in Theatre (Directing)

Application deadline for Fall 2024 December 15, 2023


Finalists will be selected for an interview. No formal interviews will take place before the selection of finalists.


Sample Curriculum

One to two candidates are admitted each year from an intensely competitive group of applicants.

The M.F.A. in Directing is a three-year degree program comprised of 60 hours that include both required courses in the Department of Theatre and Dance, such as directing, playwriting, design, Performance as Public Practice and acting, as well as elective courses which may be selected from offerings both within and outside of the department, such as Drama and Theatre for Youth and Communities, art, film, music, English, history, philosophy and business management.

Coursework and credits required for successful completion of the M.F.A. program:
1. Studio, theory and skills courses (36 credits)
2. Electives (12 credits)
3. Applied Practice Courses (6 credits)
4. Thesis Course Hours (6 credits)

Elective courses allow the student to shape a program of study tailored to the individual's particular interests and needs. The program of study may be fashioned accordingly:

The first year is dedicated to fundamental skills development, which includes script analysis, working with actors, and staging and composition; as well as collaboration with designers, writers and dramaturgs. The second year is about the development of interpretive skills in relation to both new and previously developed work. The final year anticipates a professional theatre internship and M.F.A. thesis.


You may need to install Acrobat Reader to access this document.