Apr 21, 2024  
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog 
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Theatre - Directing (M.F.A.)

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Colleges & Schools

Admissions Information   

Student Learning Outcomes  

The M.F.A. Directing specialization is a theoretical and practical course of study that prepares students to be interpretive artists and educators. Students are expected to develop a high level of skill in text analysis, interpersonal communication, and the director’s tools for effective storytelling, while also attaining a broad knowledge of theatre and its companion arts. In addition to focused instruction in acting, directing and design, students are encouraged to develop an understanding of how the present and the past intersect so that they may help others discover the common threads which link human experience. Because specialization admissions are limited, each student receives a high level of individualized instruction, opportunities to direct in the Arena season of plays, and, in most instances, the opportunity to direct a mainstage production as part of the directing candidate’s culminating project.

In addition to meeting the general requirements of The Graduate School, candidates for degree must complete all specific program requirements as listed in the departmental Graduate Student Handbook and as indicated by the Graduate Advisory Committee. All candidates must pass a final written and/or oral examination as determined by the Graduate Advisory Committee.

All M.F.A. directing candidates must stage-manage two approved productions and direct three approved productions. M.F.A. directing candidates may be required to assistant stage manage an additional approved production. At least 50% of the graduate program of study credit hours must be in courses numbered 700 or above. The M.F.A. Directing program requires 60 credit hours of study, to include:

Program Overview

The MFA is designed for the student seeking a career in professional theatre or higher education. You may choose to specialize in directing or theatre/technology to attain a broad knowledge of the theatre and its companion arts and a high level of analytical and communicative skills. Through intensive craft studies, close student-mentor relationships, supportive coursework, and extensive production application we encourage personal and creative growth. This program has been accredited by NAST since 1991. Learn more at usd.edu/theatre.

DELIVERY: On campus

Master of Fine Arts, Theatre-Directing, Plan A

Major Area Coursework - 60 Credit Hours

Master of Fine Arts, Theatre-Directing Plan B

Major Area Coursework - 60 Credit Hours

Application Requirements

  1. Completed application
  2. $35 application fee
  3. Official transcripts*
  4. Letters of recommendation*
  5. Admission test scores*
  6. Statement of purpose
  7. Resume/CV*

*Requirements for admission vary by program and may require different documentation and have different deadlines. For specific program requirements and submission deadline, visit: catalog.usd.edu.

State Authorization - It Matters Where You Live

If your learning placement course (internship, externship, clinical, rotation, practicum, independent study, study away, etc.) or your online course will be taken outside South Dakota, please reference USD’s State Authorization webpage.

State Authorization


Department of Theatre
605-658-3484 | theatre@usd.edu | usd.edu/theatre

Graduate Admissions 
605-658-6140 | gradadmissions@usd.edu  | usd.edu/grad

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Colleges & Schools