The School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies offers graduate study leading to the degrees of Master of Arts in Theatre and Performance Studies (THPF), Master of Fine Arts in Design (MFAT), Master of Fine Arts in Performance (MFAP), Master of Fine Arts in Dance (DANC), and Doctor of Philosophy in Theatre and Performance Studies(THPF). For more information on the MFA in Dance, please see the listing for Dance in the Graduate Catalog or visit www.tdps.umd.edu.
The M.A. program is designed to enhance and develop students' practical, historical, and critical knowledge of theatre so that they may go on to graduate work in Ph.D. or M.F.A programs, or upgrade their skills for high-school teaching. The School's application deadline for this program and the PhD program is December 15.
The three-year M.F.A in Design degree offers superior students advanced training and opportunities for creative activity. The program prepares the student to enter the professional theatre or to teach in the creative areas at colleges or universities. The areas of concentration are costume design, set design, and lighting design. The School's application for this program is April 15 for domestic students and February 1 for international students.
The three-year M.F.A. in Performance will offer admission once every three years to experienced performers. This unique world-class graduate program offers an array of studies and opportunities designed to explore the broad spectrum of American and International performance traditions while laying the foundation for individual ground-breaking approaches to personalized expression and teaching skills. We are looking for motivated visionaries with unique voices who would appreciate a performance-based graduate program designed to guide and support them on their journey from idea to revelation, from exploration to ownership. The School's application deadline for this program is February 15 for domestic students and February 1 for international students.
The Ph.D. is an interdisciplinary degree that prepares teachers and scholars of theatre and performance studies. The program offers students two interrelated areas of concentration: history and theory of theatre and drama, and theatre and performance studies. Area studies in the history and theory of drama and theatre focus primarily on developments in Western theatre and dramatic literature. Area studies in theatre and performance studies focus on a broad spectrum of international and American performance traditions as seen through a flexible framework of interdisciplinary methods. The purpose of this degree program is to educate scholars who can excel in the challenging and increasingly interdisciplinary academic world, bringing research skills to bear on contemporary questions of theatre and performance.
In addition to the Graduate School requirements, students desiring admission to the M.A. or Ph.D. program must provide acceptable Graduate Record Examination scores, three letters of recommendation, prior academic transcripts, a statement of interest, and a writing sample.
M.F.A. in Design applicants must provide portfolio, academic transcripts, and a statement of interest in addition to the application for the Graduate School.
M.F.A. in Performance applicants must apply for admission and arrange an audition; applications should include statement of artistic purpose; portfolio/creative resume; teaching resume (if available); and three letters of recommendation from professional directors, teachers or artistic collaborators . Details regarding the artistic statement will be provided in the Application Supplemental Form, sent after students have applied to the general Graduate School. Auditions will be held at the University of Maryland and through URTA, callbacks will be held in February 2014 at the University of Maryland.
In most cases if applicants do not have the equivalent of an undergraduate major in their field of interest, they must take coursework in preparation for subsequent admission.
Type of Applicant Fall Spring
Domestic Applicants; US Citizens and Permanent Residents with foreign credentials; International Applicants seeking admissions under A, E, G, H, I and L visas and immigrants
International Applicants seeking admission under F (student) or J (exchange visitor) visas
- 3 Letters of Recommendation
- Statement of goals, research interests, and experience (Artistic statement for MFA in Performance)
- MFA in Design: Portfolio required, MFA in Performance: Portfolio and audition required
- Official Transcripts from all institutions
- M.A. and Ph.D.: Writing Sample and GRE required
Master of Arts or Master of Fine Arts (M.A. or M.F.A.)
The Master of Arts requires a minimum of 33 credit hours. The Department offers both the thesis and non- thesis options. All students undertaking the M.A. degree must pass a six-hour comprehensive examination on theatre history and criticism, performance and directing, and design and technical theatre. Please contact the Head of History/Theory to get more details.
The M.F.A. in Design degree requires 60 credit hours. All students undertaking the M.F.A. degree must complete a thesis. Please contact the Head of Design to get more details.
The M.F.A. in Performance degree requires 60 credit hours. All students undertaking the M.F.A. in Performance must complete a final thesis performance project. Please contact the Head of the M.F.A. in Performance for more details.
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Please contact the Head of History/Theory directly for more information.
The School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies is housed in the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center at Maryland. This state-of-the-art facility includes the 650-seat Ina and Jack Kay Theatre, the 200-seat Robert and Arlene Kogod Theatre and the 100-seat Cafritz Theatre.
The campus is within a few miles of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Arena Stage, the National Theatre, Ford's Theatre, The Shakespeare Theatre at the Lansburgh, and the Olney Theatre Center, which are among more than 80 professional area theatres. Two of the greatest libraries in the world, the Library of Congress and the Folger Shakespeare Library, are in close proximity to campus. Students also make regular use of the Smithsonian Institution, the Federal Theatre Project Archives, the National Archives, and more than 50 specialized libraries and institutions in the Washington metropolitan area.
The School nominates outstanding applicants for competitive University fellowships. Most aid, however, is in the form of teaching assistantships for which students may apply directly.
For additional information on graduate study in Theatre at the University of Maryland, contact:
Professor Karen Bradley
TDPS Director of Graduate Studies
School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies
2810 Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center
College Park, MD 20742
Telephone: (301) 405-0387
Fax: (301) 314-9599
Ms. Stephanie Bergwall
School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies 2809 Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center College Park,
Professor Daniel Conway, Head of MFA in Design
School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies, 2747 Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center
Professor Leigh Wilson Smiley
School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies, 2825 Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center
Professor Franklin Hildy, Head of MA/PhD program
2828 Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center