The UCLA Department of Theater Interdisciplinary MFA Program in Directing

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We are seeking bold, adventurous MFA students eager to collaborate in an innovative interdisciplinary curriculum for the theater of the future.

The UCLA Department of Theater's MFA Program in Directing welcomes adventurous students who look forward to intensive collaboration with their peers in acting and playwriting in their first year of graduate study.

In their first quarter, students in the Directing, Acting and Playwriting MFA programs will collectively study directing, acting, voice, movement and playwriting to create collaborative projects including a series of original performance pieces and a One Act festival.

In subsequent quarters, students will be frequently reassembled in collaborative teams to create group projects. The first year includes the study of directing, acting voice, movement and playwriting; and working with acting and design students on the creation of original theater pieces in preparation for advanced collaborative work in the second year. The second year includes collaborating with graduate playwriting students, directing a staged reading of an original full-length play in the New Works Project, and directing a full-length play by a major playwright in an experimental configuration of the black box theater. In the third year, students direct a thesis production chosen with the approval of their faculty advisor and directing committee, which may also be done in television or other digital media. Directing students also complete professional internships at such theaters as the Geffen Playhouse and the Los Angeles Theatre Center.

Required Courses
  • 205ABC Background of Theatrical Art
  • 265 Modern Theories of Production
  • 232 Manuscript Evaluation
  • 247 Collaboration Project in Design and Production
  • 266 Theatrical Conceptualization
  • 429 Performance Workshop
  • History of Art and Architecture
  • 260 Directing I
  • 261 Directing II
  • 433B Script Development Workshop
  • 264 Directing Classic and Historical Drama
  • 405 Television Production Workshop
  • 460A Seminar in Direction
  • 263 Production Project in Direction for the Stage
  • 433C Script Development Workshop
  • 596C Directed Individual Study (Thesis Preparation)
  • 463 Project in Direction for the Stage (Thesis Production)

Background courses for Thesis Project

  • 466AB Advanced Television Directing
  • 498 Professional Internship in Theater, Film and Television


Degree Requirements

Students will be required to enroll in a minimum of twelve units per quarter. Required courses will be scheduled to permit completion of the program within a three year period. In addition to the successful completion of a minimum of 106 units or 26.5 courses, candidates for the degree must pass a comprehensive examination, including critical evaluation of the production projects which culminate in a manner to show professional competence in the field.

Under special circumstances, by petition, the 106 units or 26.5 course requirement may be fulfilled with approved alternate courses. However, a minimum of 94 units or 23.5 courses must be at the graduate level, a maximum of 10 undergraduate units, and a maximum of 12 units of 596 courses may be applied toward the degree.

Students admitted to the program are expected to have mastered skills and have a general knowledge of the materials and processes relevant to their field of study. Students may be required to complete additional courses upon recommendation of the advisor.

The Master of Fine Arts degree is awarded on the basis of successful completion of the required courses and critical evaluation of student work. The Department expects consistent progress as well as attainment of professional skills. These and other factors will also influence the Department's allocation of production resources including the number, scale, and scheduling of projects and productions.

All Theater, Film and Television degree programs are full-time, daytime programs. The Theater graduate programs have daytime classes and evening production activities. The UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television only accepts applicants for admittance for the Fall. The admissions information below is for Fall 2015.

The UCLA Department of Theater will be participating in the U/RTA Auditions and Interviews for students applying for Fall 2014, in New York on January 24, 2015 and in Chicago on January 31, 2015.

APPLICATION POSTMARK DEADLINE: DECEMBER 1, 2014

Please complete all of the following steps:

Step 1: Online

  • Complete the UCLA Graduate Division Online Application.
    • Indicate MFA as the degree, THEATER as the major, and DIRECTING as the area.
    • Submit the Application and Pay the Application Fee by December 1.
  • Upload UNOFFICIAL copies of all TRANSCRIPTS to the UCLA Graduate Division Online Application.
    • Include all Undergraduate and Graduate institutions attended.
    • NOTE: Community College transcripts are not necessary, as the coursework will be reflected on the undergraduate transcript.
  • Submit Three LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION.
    • Enter the Names and Emails of all recommenders into the UCLA Graduate Division Online Application.
    • NOTE: If needed, letters can be submitted by mail.

Step 2: Online & Mail

  • Complete the UCLA Graduate Theater Departmental Online Application.
    • PRINT and MAIL the generated PDF from this application along with any mailed supplemental materials.
  • Upload and Mail the STATEMENT OF PURPOSE.
    • Compose a 1-2 page document giving the faculty a sense of who you are.
    • Please address the following: Why are you interested in the program? What life experiences have contributed to you applying to TFT? What do you hope to achieve by participating in the program? What are your professional goals and how do you plan to achieve them?
  • Upload and Mail a RESUME of training and experience in Theater or other related work.
  • Upload and Mail an ESSAY outlining a directorial approach to any play you have selected.
    • Evidence of production work, which may include prompt books, photographs, or reviews, may also be submitted.
    • An interview may also be required, at which time large portfolio exhibits can be shown.
    • Step 3: Mail

      • Mail an OFFICIAL copy of TRANSCRIPTS from all undergraduate institutions attended.
        • NOTE: Community College transcripts are not necessary, as the coursework will be reflected on the undergraduate transcript.
        • Please have transcripts sent to the address below or include them in sealed envelopes with the supplemental application packet.
      • Request that all TEST SCORES be sent directly to UCLA.
        • Only test scores taken by December 2014 will be accepted.
        • The UCLA Code is 4837 and the Theater Code is 2403.
        • NOTE: THE GRE IS NOT REQUIRED FOR MFA APPLICANTS.

      MAILING ADDRESS:

      Please SEND all applicable materials to:

      Graduate Theater Admissions
      UCLA Department of Theater
      103 East Melnitz Hall, Box 951622
      Los Angeles, CA 90095-1622

      APPLICATION POSTMARK DEADLINE: DECEMBER 1, 2014

      INTERNATIONAL APPLICANTS

      English Proficiency: Any international applicant whose first language is not English must certify proficiency in English when applying to UCLA, and, if admitted, upon arrival. Such applicants must submit scores received on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) as part of their application. The UCLA Code is 4837 and the Theater Code is 2403. Only test scores taken by December 2014 will be accepted. For more information about this requirement, visit http://www.grad.ucla.edu/gasaa/admissions/ENGREQ.HTM

      Academic Records: Although the UCLA Graduate Division Application enables applicants to upload an unofficial copy of their academic records, all applicants are required to submit official records from each academic institution attended. For more information about this requirement, visit http://www.grad.ucla.edu/gasaa/admissions/ACADRECS.HTM.

      Proof of Funding for Visa: U.S. immigration law requires that international applicants, if admitted, show documented evidence that sufficient funds to cover all tuition, fees, transportation, and living expenses are available for the first year of their studies at UCLA. This must be proved before a Certificate of Eligibility (I-20 or DS2019) for a visa can be issued. For more information about this requirement, visit http://www.grad.ucla.edu/gasaa/admissions/VISAPROC.HTM

      For U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents interested in receiving financial aid, note that the Fellowship Application and Financial Aid Application (FAFSA) deadline for UCLA is March 2, 2015. Applicants must complete the FAFSA by this date if they want to be eligible for all awards, work-study, and fellowships that UCLA offers.

      Please visit the FAQ page for additional questions, call 310-206-8441, or e-mail theatergrad@tft.ucla.edu.

      On April 22, 2013, UCLA became completely tobacco-free, with the use of cigarettes and all tobacco products no longer permitted on the main campus or other UCLA properties, as required by a UC plan requiring all 10 campuses to go tobacco-free. Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the United States and UCLA is proud to join the hundreds of universities already making tobacco-free the new normal nationwide.

      For more about UCLA's plans to go tobacco-free, visit the Tobacco-Free Campus Task Force's website at http://tobaccofree.ucla.edu

For Prospective Students:

For Current Students:

Theater Counselors: Barrett Korerat & Catherine Hernandez-Shibata

Theater Staff

Theater Faculty