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The MFA requires 60 hours of course work. All MFA candidates will take a specific set of core classes as well as classes in their own field of study.

The Theatre Core is specified in the Graduate Bulletin. Additionally, the Department requires of MFA directing candidates 18 credit hours as designated in the directing group. The directing group is designed to offer experience in both the theory and practice of stage direction. There are four formal classes in stage direction and also a first year Directing Studio project and a second year Directing Studio project.

The directing candidate's first year project will have as its central focus directorial skills involving staging techniques and collaboration with actors. The second year project will additionally offer the opportunity for collaboration with designers. Consult the guidelines for "Project Phases and Plans of Action" in the Production Practicum section in order to prepare properly with your Advisory Committee for the first year Directing Studio project and the second year Directing Studio project.

All design candidates share the common core of three foundation courses; the balance of credit hours is a mix of executed projects and academic coursework designed to develop specific skills, implement strengths and overcome weaknesses. All design and technology students develop a plan of study document that incorporates their primary and secondary areas of study in collaboration with their advising committee. Areas of study available to the MFA design student are Costume Design, Lighting Design, Scenic Design, Sound Design and Technical Direction. Design projects are assigned or approved by the graduate advising committee and are based on a candidate's self-evaluation and the evaluation of the advising committee. Projects culminate with a practicum (thesis) project and a comprehensive exam that includes both written and oral portions.

The 21 credit hours of elective courses may be taken from any of the areas in the department: directing, performance, design, or critical studies. Although adjustments may be made later, these elective courses should be proposed on the initial Plan of Study. Electives should clearly support the personal and professional needs and goals of the individual student.

A three-year Plan of Study can be created most effectively by consulting the semester-by-semester Advising Sheets that identify courses available each semester in the cycle of offerings.