College of Communication and Fine Arts Department of Theatre & Dance
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MFA Directed Studies

Directed Studies refers to individualized projects undertaken as coursework for academic credit. These projects are typically conceived to allow students to explore topics in a manner or to an extent not provided for in regularly established courses. The form of the project may follow either a traditional academic course model, a research investigation model, or be of a practicum format.

Directed studies coursework is typically undertaken in the latter half of the student's program building upon and as an extension of regularly established courses.Students interested in undertaking a directed studies project for credit must prepare a proposal for consideration by prospective faculty supervisors.

The proposal should state the nature of the project and its educational objectives; indicate the contact hours per week anticipated; suggest tangible products to be produced (e.g. a research paper, a design project, a demonstration workshop, a stage production, etc.); and include a calendar indicating major phases of the project. Finally, and most importantly, the proposal must present the criteria for evaluation of the directed studies project.

Supervision of a directed studies project represents an additional responsibility for the faculty member above and beyond his or her normal teaching responsibilities. Therefore the student should approach prospective faculty project supervisors with a clearly developed proposal. Discuss the proposed project with them to determine if there is interest in the proposed topic and time available to give proper attention to the project. Once a faculty member agrees to supervise the project it may be undertaken.

Commitment from a faculty member to supervise the directed study must be attained in advance of registration for credit. Having attained such a commitment, the student may register for the appropriate course [e.g. Directing Studio, THEA 7526; Directed Studies in Design and Technical Production, THEA 7560; Special Problems, THEA 7993; Directed Studies, DANC 6301]. The specific number of credit hours to be undertaken (which should be indicated in the proposal) and the chosen project supervisor, will determine the section of the course for which the student will register.

The student and the faculty supervisor should agree upon a contract for the project. With consideration of the nature of the project and its educational objectives, they should agree upon the nature of the contact hours with the supervisor, a methodology of research, a delineation of specific tangible products, and a detailed calendar indicating progress points and submittal deadlines. These elements, naturally, may be further developed and refined as the project ensues. Criteria for evaluation, however, must be clearly stated before the directed studies project begins.

The contract for the project must be submitted to the Department Chair at the end of the semester prior to the semester in which the study is to be undertaken. (Ideally, during the pre-registration period with the Graduate Advisory Committee, but no later than the last day of classes.)

Department of Theatre & Dance
144 Theatre Building
Phone: (901) 678-2523
Fax: (901) 678-1350

Box Office: (901) 678-2576
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Last Updated: 9/18/12