Theatre Arts, MFA
The master’s degree under Option A requires a thesis. Option A is most appropriate for students who are preparing for careers in research and scholarly work or additional academic pursuits beyond the master’s degree. Under this option, a student must earn a minimum of 30 credit hours, consisting of 20 to 24 credit hours of regular course work, plus a thesis equivalent to 6 to 10 credit hours. At least one-half of the credit hours required for the degree, including thesis, must be in the major (at least 18 credit hours for the Master of Education degree). The remaining work may be in supporting courses and may comprise a minor consisting of at least 9 credit hours selected from and approved by the minor department. At least 8 credit hours, excluding thesis, must be earned in courses open exclusively to graduate students (900 level or 800 level without 400 or lower counterparts).
Option A is not available for the Master of Professional Accountancy degree.
Thesis Requirements. The subject of the thesis shall be chosen from the student’s field of major interest and must be approved by the departmental Graduate Committee. The thesis should reveal a capacity to carry on independent study or research and should demonstrate the student’s ability to use the techniques employed in their field of investigation. Research activities involving human subjects or live vertebrate animals may not be conducted at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln unless the research activities have been reviewed and approved by the appropriate board or committee. The Institutional Review Board (IRB) reviews projects involving human subject research and the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) reviews the use of animals in research. These reviews are in accordance with Federal regulations, state laws and institutional policies. Submission of protocols to conduct human subject or animal research is coordinated by the Research Responsibility offices. Approval must be secured prior to the initiation of the research.
The thesis must conform to the required style and format described in Steps to Degree Completion. A copy of the thesis and abstract must be approved by the student’s major advisor and submitted for preliminary review to the Master’s Programs Coordinator in the Office of Graduate Studies at least two weeks (one week in the summer sessions) before the date of the candidate’s final oral examination. A candidate is not eligible for the oral examination until the thesis is completed and approved. After passing the final oral examination, the thesis must be electronically submitted to the Master’s Programs Coordinator for a final review prior to being uploaded to Digital Commons.
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The master’s degree under Option B does not require a thesis. Option B is most appropriate for students pursuing practice-based or professional careers in which the master’s degree provides suitable training. Under Option B, a student must earn a minimum of 30 credit hours. At least one-half of the credit hours required for the degree must be in the major. The remaining work may be in supporting courses and may comprise a minor consisting of at least 9 credit hours selected from and approved by the minor department. At least 15 credit hours must be earned in courses open exclusively to graduate students (900 level or 800 level without 400 or lower counterparts).
The Master of Professional Accountancy plan of study may not include a minor.
The Master of Education plan of study may not include a minor, but must include at least 6 credit hours of education courses outside the major.
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Accelerated Master's Programs allow University of Nebraska–Lincoln undergraduate students to pursue this degree in an abreviated timline.
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Dual Degree programs allow students to be admitted to two degree programs simultaneously with approval of each Graduate Program Committee and the Dean(s) for Graduate Studies.
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The Master of Fine Arts in theatre arts is a three-year program offering an area of emphasis in design/stage technology.
All graduate programs in the Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film combine academic depth with professional training to prepare students for professional and academic success. We screen applicants for admission to our programs at nationwide University/Resident Theatre Association (URTA) interviews; we also conduct on-campus conferences with applicants, where we likewise organzie portfolio presentations. Individuals at any stage of their current careers or career planning who are interested in design and/or technical emphases should prepare and provide evidence of drawing ability and/or technical skills.
The Carson School offers graduate courses in advanced scene design, lighting design, costume design, computer-adied design, drafting, pattern-making rendering, stage rigging, digitial motion graphics, and stage technology. Our curriculum also includes courses on dramatic theory, play analysis, and theatre history. We hold classes in the historic Temple Building (funded by John D. Rockefeller, Jr.), and productions take placein the School's numerous venues, which include the Howell Theatre, the Johnny Carson Theatre, the Studio Theatre, and Lab Theatre. Teaching assistantships and graduate fellowships are available to all students enrolled in graduate study.
The Carson School is presently undertaking a nation-wide search for a new professor of stagecraft and technical direction. Meantime we have filled the position with an outstanding technical direction specialist. We thus can assure applicants for the graduate program in stagecraft and technical direction of superb instruction in the technical arts until we fill this professorial position.
Graduate Admission Requirements
- Application for Admission with $50 non-refundable application fee.
- One set of transcripts.
- If International: upload copies of all college- or university-level transcripts or mark sheets (records of courses and marks earned), with certiﬁcates, diplomas, and degrees plus certiﬁed English translations.
* Official documents are required from all students who are admitted and enroll. Photocopies of certiﬁed records are not acceptable. International students enrolled in other U.S. institutions may have certiﬁed copies of all foreign records sent directly to the Office of Graduate Studies by their current school’s registrar office.
- If the student’s native language is not English, verification of English proficiency is required.
* When sending TOEFL scores, our institution code is 6877 and a department code is not needed
- If applicant is not a US citizen and expects an F or J visa: financial information.
- Applicants must also fulfill any additional requirements the department specifies at the time of application.
Major Admission Requirements
- Three letters of recommendation
- Personal Statement: This statement should be a letter of intent
In addition to the requirements in this application form, all Theatre Arts MFA candidates who make it through the screening process must complete an interview and visit the campus.
For financial consideration: March 10 for Fall.
The University of Nebraska does not discriminate based on race, color, ethnicity, national origin, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, age, genetic information, veteran status, marital status, and/or political affiliation in its programs, activities, or employment.
UNL Graduate Chairs and staff please complete the program update form to provide edits. Updates to graduate program pages are made on an annual basis in conjunction with the Graduate Application for Admission.