The UCLA Department of Theater's Directing Program welcomes bold and adventurous students who are ready for a rigorous and comprehensive program designed to help hone their voices as theater directors. We specifically encourage applications from individuals who identify as members of communities underrepresented in the field of theater, and who are ready to push the boundaries of what theater can be.

The core program consists of a series of core directing studio courses, three productions opportunities, and courses in other areas such as design and playwriting. In addition, we encourage directing students to take advantage of UCLA’s status as one of the country’s leading research universities by taking courses in other fields to enrich and deepen the students’ creative practices.

The program offers collaboration with playwrights, designers and actors. Students also complete professional internships at theaters in Los Angeles or elsewhere in the country.

During the pandemic, the department has established the Interdisciplinary Graduate Certificate in Emerging Technologies for Performance, which all graduate MFA students can apply for. Coursework, research projects and collaborative production opportunities will provide enrolled students hands-on experience integrating emerging technologies — such as machine learning, real-time rendering, augmented reality, and human-computer interfaces — into the creation of performances. This will equip them with next-generation skills for their work within the theater, and also position them for opportunities available in other fields — from gaming and cyberlearning to themed entertainment and immersive experience design.

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Required Courses


Background and Foundation Courses

  • THEATER C212 Emerging Technologies and Their Uses in Live Performance
  • THEATER 232 Manuscript Analysis
  • THEATER 242 Introduction to Design in Production
  • THEATER 266 Theatrical Conceptualization
  • THEATER C404E-F (choose one) History of Design Décor
  • THEATER 452A Lighting Design
  • THEATER C454A Sound Design.
  • WORLD ARTS AND CULTURES/ DANCE, 200 or 400 series
  • FILM TV 200 series
  • Elective History in Arts or Architecture


Core Directing Courses

  • THEATER 260 Directing I
  • THEATER 261 Directing II
  • THEATER 262 Directing III
  • THEATER C433B Script Development Workshop
  • THEATER 460AF, 460AW, 460AS Contemporary Issues In Direction
  • THEATER 272 Production Practice in Theater, Film, Video, and Digital Media.
  • THEATER 498 Professional Internship


Directing Projects

  • THEATER 263 Production Project in Direction for the Stage (1st year Project)
  • THEATER 263 Production Project in Direction for the Stage (2nd year Project)


Directing Thesis

  • THEATER 596C Directed Individual Study (Thesis Prep)
  • THEATER 463 Production Project in Direction for the Stage

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 and the next application period is for Fall 2024. We will be publishing the Fall 2024 supplemental requirements by September 15, 2023.

The UCLA Department of Theater will be participating in the U/RTA Interviews for students applying to the Directing program for Fall 2023.

Applicants must submit all required application materials to be considered for admission.

Online and Mailed Application Deadline: December 1, 2023.

By the time of entrance, MFA applicants must:

  • Have at least a 3.0 GPA.
  • Satisfy the University of California’s Graduate Admission Requirements.
  • Complete equivalent to a 4-year U.S. bachelor’s degree.


Please complete all of the following steps:

Step 1: Online

  • Complete the UCLA Graduate Division Online Application.
    • MUST be paid and completed online by December 1, 2023.
    • Indicate MFA, Theater, Directing as the program.
  • Upload the Statement of Purpose.
    • Submit a 1-2 page document.
  • Upload a Personal Statement.
  • Upload the Resume/CV.
  • Upload a Directorial Approach Essay.
    • Additional supporting material may also be submitted.
  • Upload Unofficial copies of all Transcripts.
  • Submit Two Letters of Recommendation
    • Enter the Names and Emails of all recommenders into the UCLA Graduate Division Online Application.

Step 2: Mail

  • Mail an Official copy of all Transcripts from each Undergraduate and Graduate institutions attended.
    • Note: Community College transcripts are not necessary.
  • Request that all Test Scores be sent directly to UCLA.
    • Only test scores taken by December 31, 2023 will be accepted.
    • Note: Not Required for all Applicants.

Mailing Address

Please send all applicable materials to:

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

Online and Mailed Application Deadline: December 1, 2023.


For more information on requirements and applying to UCLA as an International Student, visit

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 Department Code is 2409. Only test scores taken by December 31, 2023 will be accepted. For more information about this requirement, visit International applicants who have received a Bachelor’s degree from an American institution are not required to take the TOEFL.

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

Undergraduate Degree Requirement: Applicants must complete equivalent to a 4 year US Bachelor’s Degree. International students who hold three-year ordinary pass degrees, or who hold professional diplomas in accounting, business, librarianship, social work, physical education, health education and so on, or four-year degrees, diplomas or higher certificates from technical, vocational or post-secondary specialized schools are NOT eligible for graduate admission. For Academic Requirements by Country or Educational System, visit:

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 proven before a Certificate of Eligibility (I-20 or DS2019) for a visa can be issued. For more information about this requirement, visit .


For U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents interested in receiving financial aid in the 2024-2025 year, note that the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) deadline for UCLA is March 2, 2024. Applicants must complete the FAFSA by this date if they want to be eligible for all awards, work-study, and scholarships that UCLA offers. If applying after March 2, please check with the Financial Aid Office for available funding opportunities.


For non-U.S. citizens or non-permanent residents who are approved to pay in-state tuition because they graduated from a high school in California; they will need to complete the California DREAM application by the March 2, 2024 deadline. The DREAM application can be accessed at If applying after March 2, please check with the Financial available funding opportunities.

Please visit the FAQ page for additional information, call 310-206-8441, or email

** Please do not contact the department to check on your application, as we cannot update you on your application status or materials.


For Prospective Students:

For Current Students:

Graduate Theater Counselor:
Barrett Korerat

Theater Staff

Theater Faculty