Theatre Arts (MFA)


Theatre Arts, MFA

On Campus 60 cr

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
  • Portfolio
  • Resume
  • 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.

Admission Deadlines

For financial consideration: March 10 for Fall.


Theatre Arts

Graduate Chair

JD Madsen

Support Staff

Todd Cuddy

Tuition & Fees
See program summaries for details like application deadlines and requirements.
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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.