Graduate Program

The School of Theatre & Dance offers the Master of Arts in Theatre Arts.

Graduate Student Presenting Research, Student Studying in Library, and Theatre Production

The program provides for students wishing to expand their knowledge and increase their competence in the fields of Acting, Directing, Theatre Design and Production, and the History and Literature of the Theatre; for those seeking credentials as teachers where the master’s degree is required; for those who wish to prepare for further graduate work in a doctoral program.

The School also offers a Master of Fine Arts in Theatre Arts with a Concentration in Design and Technical Production. This program prepares a limited number of students for professional work in the areas of Scenic Design, Costume Design and/or Lighting Design.

Master of Arts

The 30-unit, two-year Master of Arts in Theatre Arts provides training for students wishing to expand their knowledge and increase their competence in the fields of theatre history, dramatic literature, historiography, dramaturgy, theatre pedagogy, critical theory, cultural studies, mediated performances, and theories of theatre and performance.

Applicants to the two-year M.A. and the Scholars Program must meet University and School requirements. Admission to both programs is based on evaluation of a student’s previous work and supporting materials.

Application Procedures

Step 1: Apply to the Division of Graduate Studies

Admission procedures and eligibility requirements are available from the Division of Graduate Studies and SF State Bulletin (Catalog):

Step 2: Apply to the School of Theatre & Dance

Application requirements include:

  • Copy of all college transcripts
  • 2 letters of recommendation from professional sources
  • A 10-page scholarly research paper
  • Statement of purpose

Program Requirements and Curriculum

For graduates, the normal load during spring and fall is from nine to twelve units per semester and seven units during the summer. For international students immigration regulations require a minimum academic load of twelve units for undergraduates and eight units for graduates for spring, fall and summer semesters. Additional details about the Master of Arts in Theatre Arts are available from the SF State Bulletin (Catalog).

Fees and Expenses

Please refer to the Division of Graduate Studies. 

Financial Aid and Scholarships



Master of Fine Arts

Please note: We are not accepting new MFA students for the Spring 2020, Fall 2020 or Spring 2021 academic years. 



The 60-unit, three-year Master of Fine Arts in Theatre Arts offers a Concentration in Design/Technical Production and is designed to provide rigorous, professional training to prepare students for careers as professional theatre artists or artist teachers. The Master of Fine Arts in Theatre Arts combines the elements of professional practice and scholarly work to project a production concept through a specific discipline. The philosophy of the curriculum is based on two necessities of theatrical art: collaboration and discipline. Students progress through a full-time sequence of courses which trains them to work with other specialized theatre artists in realizing a total work of theatre, as well as to excel in their own chosen arts. The program is designed to develop the candidate's practical skills and personal strengths towards motivating communication, commitment and support among the production group.