Master of Arts in Drama

This is an archived copy of the 2016-2017 bulletin. To access the most recent version of the bulletin, please visit Any changes will appear on our errata page.

Graduate Advisors: Eilenberg, Kowsar, Schechter


Applications for classified status in the M.F.A. program are accepted beginning October 1 of the preceding year, for admission the following fall. Applications for classified status in the M.A. program are accepted beginning October 1 of the preceding year, for admission the following fall.

For both programs, contact the School office and the SF State Division of Graduate Studies for specific application deadlines in March for fall and October for spring.

Applicants are required to file the CSU Graduate Admission Application with the SF State Division of Graduate Studies and submit requested materials to the School of Theatre and Dance. Admission to classified status requires acceptance by both the University and the School of Theatre and Dance.

Students must meet University and School requirements and must normally have completed an undergraduate major in theatre arts. Consideration is given to students with a strong undergraduate minor or other relevant work. Admission to the program is based on evaluation of a student's previous work and supporting materials.

Written English Proficiency Requirement

The University has a requirement for written English proficiency that is to be assessed at two different levels.

Level One

Evaluation of applicant’s statement of purpose, which is a written requirement for admission to classified status in the theatre arts program. On the basis of this material the M.F.A. or M.A. graduate coordinator may properly advise a student of the need to obtain additional skills in writing. If remedial work is required, it is so indicated as a condition to classified status.

Level Two

Evaluation of the student’s written work while enrolled in TH A 700, TH A 701, or TH A 705.

Advancement to Candidacy

Besides meeting all general requirements, a diagnostic examination on the entire field of drama may be given at the time of registration in order to assist the M.F.A. or M.A. advisor in developing each student's program. Weaknesses in any area may necessitate enrollment in specified courses selected in order to build strength in the area. Such courses are usually taken in addition to the minimum number of units required for completion of the graduate major.

Completion of the Degree

To complete either the M.F.A. or the M.A., students must satisfy all University and program requirements. University requirements are described in the front of the Graduate Education section of this Bulletin. School requirements are provided in detail by the M.F.A./M.A. graduate coordinators and M.F.A./M.A. advisors. In addition to satisfactory completion of the course requirements, the School requires satisfactory performance on yearly School reviews, participation in the School’s production program, and the successful completion of a final creative project or thesis. The School accepts a limited number of transfer units on a course-by-course basis.

Admission to the Program

Applicants must submit the following directly to the graduate coordinator:

  1. Statement of purpose (include proposed area and/or areas of emphasis).
  2. Copy of transcript.
  3. Three letters of reference from people who know the applicant’s theatre work.
  4. Information considered important but which does not appear on the transcript.


All upper division courses in theatre arts in acting, directing, management, and design are acceptable upon advisement except:

TH A 310Scenery and Properties Laboratory and Crew2
TH A 312Costuming and Makeup Laboratory and Crew2
TH A 313Lighting and Sound Laboratory and Crew2
TH A 315Theatre Production: Technical Laboratory and Crew1
TH A 335Rehearsal and Performance Technique1
TH A 401Theatre Backgrounds: 500 B.C.-16423
TH A 402Theatre Backgrounds: 1642-19003
TH A 403Theatre Backgrounds: 1900-Present3

Drama (M.A.) — Minimum 30 units

Core Requirements (15 units)

TH A 700Theatre Research and Writing Practicum3
TH A 701Seminar: Theatrical History and Historiography3
TH A 709Seminar: Dramatic Literature and Criticism3
Select two of the following:6
Shakespeare: Text and Performance Seminar
Seminar: The American Stage
Seminar: Contemporary Plays and Performance
Playcrafting and Dramaturgy

Supporting upper division/graduate courses (9 units)

in related subjects approved by graduate major advisor

Culminating Experience (6 units)

Select one of the following options:6
Option 1
Creative Work Project
and Research for Thesis and Creative Work Projects in Drama
Option 2
Directed Readings for M.A. Drama Comprehensive Examination
and Culminating Experience Examination
Select one elective
Option 3
Master's Thesis
and Research for Thesis and Creative Work Projects in Drama