Head of the Department and Director of Graduate Studies: Kirsten Pullen
4-122 Krannert Center for the Performing Arts
500 South Goodwin Avenue
Urbana, IL 61801
(217) 333-2371

Major: Theatre
Degrees Offered: M.A., M.F.A., Ph.D.
Graduate Concentrations: Acting (M.F.A. only), Design and Technology (M.F.A. only)


Candidates should apply to one of the ten graduate areas offered: Master of Fine Arts in Theatre with specialization in acting, costume design, costume technology, lighting design, scenic design, sound design and technology, stage management, or scenic technology; the Master of Arts in Theatre with specialization in theatre history; or the Doctor of Philosophy in Theatre with specialization in theatre history. All applicants should present transcripts documenting undergraduate or graduate study of theatre practice, dramatic literature, and theatre history with a cumulative grade point average in these subjects of at least 3.0 (A = 4.0). Applicants whose first language is not English must submit recent Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores; the current minimum score for consideration is 550 on the paper-based test (213 on the computer-based version).

Candidates for the M.F.A. degree must demonstrate talent in theatrical performance or production by audition or by the presentation of a portfolio of their work to an admissions committee of the faculty, either on campus or at one of the regional University/Resident Theatre Association (U/RTA) audition sites. M.F.A. candidates are admitted in the fall term only. The M.F.A. acting program accepts applications only every three years; the next academic years in which applications will be accepted are 2011-2012 for Fall 2012 admission.

Master’s and doctoral candidates should present records of at least a 3.0 grade point average in all subjects studied at the undergraduate and graduate levels, supply samples of their scholarly writing, and submit recent Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores. In addition to the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores required of all foreign students, master’s and doctoral candidates whose first language is not English are encouraged to submit scores of the Test of Written English (TWE). Ph.D. candidates should hold a master’s degree in theatre or in a related field. Master’s and doctoral candidates are normally admitted in the fall term.

Graduate Teaching Experience

Although teaching is not a general Graduate College requirement, experience in teaching is considered an important part of the graduate experience in this program.

Doctor of Philosophy in Theatre

A comprehensive oral and written examination; an oral or written special-field examination; and defense of the dissertation before a committee of the graduate faculty is required. The program can be completed in two to three years beyond the master's degree.

500-level theatre seminar16
Language Requirement: a reading knowledge of one foreign language
Elective hours32
THEA 599Thesis Research (min/max applied toward degree)32
Total Hours64

Other Requirements1

Other requirements may overlap
Masters Degree Required for Admission to PhD? Yes
Qualifying Exam Required No
Preliminary Exam Required Yes
Final Exam/Dissertation Defense Required Yes
Dissertation Deposit Required Yes
Minimum GPA: 3.0