Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
A four-year program of study including major and university group-satisfying requirements. Theatre Arts majors often have elective credit room for minoring or double-majoring in a related field. The overall program of study provides opportunities to explore many areas of knowledge and to develop skills in creative thought, organization and communication. The B.A. is usually more appropriate for a theatre arts major than the B.S.
Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
Similar to the B.A. but requires certain science and mathematics coursework in place of certain language and literature coursework.
In addition to general university-wide requirements for the B.A. or B.S. degree, the department requires the following for a major in Theatre Arts:
1. All ten of the following courses
* Introduction to Design (TA 210)
* Theatre Production I and II (TA 211, 212)
* Acting I (TA 250)
* Introduction to Theatre Arts (TA 271)
* Play Direction (TA 364)
* History of the Theatre I, II and III (TA 367, 368, 369)
* Advanced Script Analysis (TA 462)
2. Three upper-division (advanced) courses in the theatre practices (acting, directing,
playwriting, scenery, costumes, lighting, technical theatre)
3. Three upper-division (advanced) courses in theatre studies (theatre history, dramatic
literature, dramaturgy, theory, criticism), one of which may be an advanced course
in dramatic literature, criticism, or aesthetic theory from another department
(subject to approval by adviser and department head).
4. Three credited assignments in production support, in one or more of the following
areas: scenery, props, lighting, costuming, stage crew or stage management
5. Letter grades of mid-C or better in all coursework for the major
Minor in Theatre Arts
The minor in Theatre Arts consists of 24 total credits in courses taken with the department. At least 16 credits must be completed at the university and at least 16 credits must be completed at the upper-division level. The student must complete at least one course in each of the following four areas: (1) literature and criticism, (2) theatre history, (3) performance, and (4) technical theatre and design. All coursework for the minor must be completed with letter grades of mid-C or better.
For detailed information and policies, please consult the Graduate Student Handbook under “Handbooks” on this site. To request further information directly from the department, please contact our graduate coordinator or department head.
The value and purpose of a graduate degree in Theatre Arts at the University of Oregon can vary depending on the student’s professional and personal goals.
Those who wish to teach at the college or university level should plan to complete a terminal degree–an M.F.A. or a Ph.D. The relationship between the degree and the teaching position can vary from institution to institution, but in general, the M.F.A. is appropriate for those teaching in artistic or production areas (acting, directing, playwriting, design, technical production), while the Ph.D. is appropriate for those teaching in theatre studies (theatre history, dramatic literature, theory, criticism). However, many Ph.D. faculty teach acting, directing, playwriting or design, and some M.F.A. faculty teach history and literature. Our department offers an M.F.A. in design-areas only. We do not offer comprehensive professional training in acting, directing or playwriting, but our M.A. and Ph.D. students may take advanced coursework or even conduct research in one of these areas.
The M.A. and M.S. degrees are not as competitive in the job market as they once were, although they sometimes offer appropriate training for teaching in community colleges. Many people complete master’s degrees as preparation for terminal degrees. The Department of Theatre Arts does require an appropriate M.A. or M.S. for admission into the Ph.D. program.
Master of Arts (M.A.)
A two-year program of coursework in theatre studies, requiring demonstration of research competence (basic translation/comprehension reading skills) in a foreign language and completion of a master’s thesis. A master’s degree emphasizes academic study and research, often leading to further study towards a Ph.D.
Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.)
The M.F.A. is the terminal degree for those planning to work or teach in theatrical production. We offer three-year programs of study in scenic design, costume design and lighting design or a pairing of two of these areas. Some students also work on technical direction. Completion involves a creative project with an accompanying written report.
We do not offer the M.F.A. degree in acting, directing or playwriting.
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
The Ph.D. is the terminal degree for those interested in theatre scholarship as well as theatre practice. Ph.D. students take two years of coursework, including some outside the department, to prepare for qualifying examinations. Shortly following exams, students complete and must have their committee approve a prospectus for the dissertation, which must be completed six years following advancement to candidacy. In addition to coursework and dissertation research/writing, we expect Ph.D. students to demonstrate advanced competency and progress in at least one area of theatre practice, primarily in directing. Ph.D. students must also prove reading/translation competence in a foreign language (unless already demonstrated at the M.A. level) and a second “research tool” relevant to their dissertation research.
First-year teaching fellowships typically begin with assisting our Introduction to Theatre course as “lab” discussion leader for sections of up to 20 students and as instructor of Acting One, our introductory acting course open to majors and non-majors, for up to 18 in each section. Second and Third-year teaching fellowships tend to vary from assisting in our Theatre History series to advanced courses in acting, or research/event assistance.
We offer teaching fellowship support. Please see “Graduate Teaching Fellow” section below.
How to apply to our graduate degree programs
The entire application for each degree can be filled out online by clicking on the link below. Please be sure the application is filled out in its entirety and that the application fee has been paid. Once the application is submitted and the references have been received, the application will be sent to a department faculty committee for review. Accepted applications are then referred to the Graduate School for final approval. Applicants will be notified of their status by the department whether or not their application was accepted.
Fill out the on-line application to the best of your ability.
The application will ask you for three (3) references. Please provide the appropriate contact information for these references, including an email address. Each reference will be contacted via email by the university and asked to fill out a reference sheet, which includes a space for them to write or upload a letter of recommendation. All referees are strongly encouraged to fill out the entire sheet and submit the form online by following the instructions emailed w/ the link to the reference form. If a referee is unable or unwilling to do this, he or she can print the form and mail it to the department at the address below:
Department of Theatre Arts
Villard Hall 216
1231 University of Oregon
Eugene, OR 97403
Should any problems occur, neither the applicant nor the referee should hesitate to contact the Graduate School or Department of Theatre Arts. Please make every effort to encourage your references to complete and send their referral by the application deadline. Also inform your reference that they should complete the reference sheet. A letter of recommendation is not a complete reference.
The following documents are required for the application:
• Personal Statement.
This document should be a short essay that acquaints the faculty with your reasons for wanting to pursue a graduate degree in theatre arts, including areas of emphasis and research interests and considered sketch of your career goals past graduate study.
Please upload a copy of your transcript to the on-line application. While official transcripts are not required for the on-line version of the application, if accepted, an applicant will need to send official transcripts directly to the Graduate School at:
Office of Admissions
1217 University of Oregon
Eugene, OR 97403
• Writing Sample.
This should be a sample of your best scholarly writing (article, chapter of thesis, term paper, etc.)
• Resume and/or Curriculum Vitae. This can be uploaded to the Personal Statement section if no specific Resumes or CV section appears on your application.
Only MFA applicants are required to submit a portfolio. The portfolio may by a website, in which case the applicant should upload a PDF with the web address into the Personal Statement section of the application. Portfolios may also be sent directly to the department at
Department of Theatre Arts
Villard Hall 216
1231 University of Oregon
Eugene, OR 97403
The deadline for submitting MFA, MA and Ph.D. applications to be admitted to the incoming fall class is February 1st. However, the department may not accept new candidates in each degree every year. This year, the University of Oregon Department of Theatre Arts is seeking candidates for the following degrees:
• Master of Arts
• Master of Fine Arts in Scene Design, Costume Design, or Lighting Design
• Doctoral Degree
The faculty review application materials in February and usually identify those applicants whom they wish to admit by mid-March.
The following is a summary with a few details that are specific to our department:
All applicants must submit the following:
• UO Graduate School Application, available as a PDF file or to complete on line
• Non-refundable application fee (sent directly to Admissions); check with the Graduate School for the current amount
M.F.A. applicants must also submit:
• Portfolio of artistic work for consideration
Optional materials for all applicants:
• GTF Application (see ‘Graduate Teaching Fellow’ section below)
• GRE scores
International students must also submit the following:
• International Students Financial Statement — any applicant who is not a United States citizen must complete and submit this form along with supporting document
• TOEFL scores
Graduate Teaching Fellows
All MFA and Ph.D. applicants are encouraged to apply for a position as a Graduate Teaching Fellow (GTF). Successful GTF applicants serve a course instructors, teaching assistants, or shop supervisors. Please note that we do not offer teaching fellowships to first year M.A. students, but do, however, often offer such to first year Ph.D. students. By agreement with the Graduate Teaching Fellowship union, all appointments are contingent on good academic progress in coursework or thesis/dissertation work.
• MFA GTFs will spend most of their time in either the costume or scene shop, instructing undergraduate students in the fundamentals of technical theatre. MFAs may be asked to teach a class in an area of theatre considered a specialty.
• Ph.D. GTFs spend the majority of teaching time as instructors of basic acting classes.
Visit the Graduate School to read the official information that applies to students in all departments, including requirements for international students and financial aide.