Apply to the Drama and Theatre for Youth and Communities Program at UT Austin

Drama and Theatre for Youth and Communities (M.F.A. in Theatre)



The Master of Fine Arts in Theatre with a specialization in drama and theatre for youth and communities (DTYC) is a nationally recognized program that focuses on the interdependence of theatre artistry, pedagogy and scholarship. Inherently interdisciplinary in nature, the program draws on practice and scholarship from many fields such as theatre/drama, feminist studies, performance studies, education and critical pedagogy, youth development and cultural studies.

Through drama-based pedagogy, youth-focused artistry and rigorous scholarship, students and faculty in our program demonstrate a strong commitment to leadership, community, diversity, innovation and social justice.

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 with a specialization in drama and theatre for youth and communities 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: GRE scores are accepted but not required in the 2024-25 application cycle due to a temporary COVID-19 flexibility waiver. If you do take the GRE, The University of Texas at Austin Institution Code is 6882.
  • 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 which details your theatre and education work and scholarship.
  • Personal Statement which outlines and contextualizes relevant experience and future academic and professional goals in the field.
  • Teaching Philosophy/Artist Statement.
  • Supporting materials which might include: Sample drama/applied theatre curricula OR a detailed concept and approach for a theatre for young audiences production.

Application Deadline - M.F.A. in Theatre (Drama and Theatre for Youth and Communities)

Application deadline for Fall 2024 - January 4, 2024

Sample Curriculum

The M.F.A. in Theatre with a specialization in drama and theatre for youth and communities program admits four candidates each year from an intensely competitive group of applicants. The degree is a three-year, 60 credit hour program that is considered a terminal degree for related fields of study.

Year One, Fall Term

Research Methods and Resources

Designed for students to practice knowledge, skills and techniques needed to conduct research, to include organization, style and bibliographic forms.

Drama-based Pedagogy and Practice

A comprehensive pedagogical exploration and immersion training experience in the use of drama-based instructional strategies (the use of kinetic activities, improvisation and role play) in a variety of contexts.

Historiography of Drama and Theatre for Youth and Communities

Discover the historical development of drama and theatre for youth and communities through the theoretical ideas articulated in professional writings from 1890 to present.


Year One, Spring Term

Dramatic Literature for Youth and Families

A comprehensive study of the dramatic literature of theatre for children with an emphasis on historical context from fairy tales to mature themes; the behavior and reactions of child audiences; the young audiences' needs both in playwriting requirements and production techniques.

Applied Drama and Theatre

An examination of the theories, practices, pedagogies and politics associated with the various uses of theatre games, improvisation, role play and devised performance in a range of fields that extend beyond the formal theatre setting.



Year Two, Fall Term

Community Engagement and Outreach

An introduction to some of the justifications for and practices of theatre outreach and community engagement.

Supervised Teaching

An examination of the theories and practices of contemporary pedagogy to prepare you for your work as a scholar and artist in higher education.



Year Two, Spring Term

Pre-Thesis: Research and Practice

Develop a rigorous, original research question, research design/methodology and thesis project that engages with salient scholarship and practices in the field.


Year Three


A selection of electives, including:

  • Community-Based Theatre
  • Critical Theory for Performance
  • Digital Storytelling in Community-Based Settings
  • Dramatic Literature for Youth and Families International
  • Drama and Theatre Applications in Museum Settings
  • Latino/a Theatre for Youth Audiences
  • Nonprofit Management and Strategy
  • Playwriting for Youth
  • Performing Justice
  • Performance Ethnography
  • Teaching Artists in Schools and Communities
  • Theatre for Social Change
  • The Working Artist

Portfolio Programs

Portfolio programs are opportunities for students to obtain credentials in a cross-disciplinary academic area of study while they are completing the requirements for their M.F.A. Students often consider the following portfolio programs:

  • African and African American Studies
  • Arts and Cultural Management and Entrepreneurship
  • Cultural Studies
  • Disability Studies
  • Mexican American Studies
  • Museum Studies
  • Native American and Indigenous Studies
  • Nonprofit Studies
  • Women's and Gender Studies

For a complete list of programs, descriptions and application requirements, visit the Graduate School.

Public Teacher Certification

Pursuing K-12 teacher certification is possible while pursuing the M.F.A. in Theatre with a specialization in drama and theatre for youth and communities. Faculty offer students a comprehensive curriculum in theatre, drama, technical theatre and educational methods combined with in-depth field and student teaching experiences. Interested students are encouraged to inquire about this option.


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