Admission Requirements

While the MFA degree has several areas of specialization, admission is granted in only one area. Admission to the MFA degree program in theatre requires satisfaction of all admission requirements as described in the Admission Criteria section of this catalog.  (Note that no test scores are required).  Also required is an interview, including audition and/or portfolio review. Certain areas have specific admission requirements as noted below.
 
The MFA degree program requires specialization in one area of production. Students in the program must be admitted to one of the following areas of study: acting pedagogy, directing, costume design/production, scene design, theatre management, lighting design, and technical production.
 
Subject to approval by the department chairperson and the dean of the Graduate School, in specified programs, a maximum of 20 semester hours of graduate work may be transferred from another institution. These hours must be in theatre or in a closely allied subject, and they must contribute to the student's educational objective. Should deficiencies in the student's undergraduate program be perceived, appropriate undergraduate courses will be required. While these undergraduate courses may not be counted toward the graduate degree, they may be taken in addition to the maximum allowable number of graduate hours.
 
The MFA program is normally a three-year program. Students who hold the MA degree in theatre upon admission to the program may expect a shortened course of study, dependent upon faculty evaluation of the previous work. Students seeking such a shortened program must apply to have previous work evaluated. Normally, a two-year minimum residency is required for students with shortened programs.

See the Admission Criteria section of this catalog for more information.


 

Degree Requirements

All students must follow Plan II (non-thesis) and complete 60 semester hours of graduate coursework for the degree. Continuation in the MFA degree program is contingent upon recommendation by the theatre faculty, following an annual review of the student's academic and production work. Students may be placed on probation following the review; students placed on probation have one semester in which to reestablish good academic standing. Under no circumstances will a student be permitted to continue in the program on probation for more than one semester.
 
The Department of Theatre and Dance uses "contract advising, that requires each student in the department to develop a plan of study within six weeks of beginning the program, in conjunction with an assigned advisor from the student's area of specialization. The plan of study must meet the minimum requirements of the Graduate School and the Department of Theatre and Dance, and have the approval of the assigned advisor. While each plan is developed individually, examples of typical curricula are available on request from the department. A student with a.5 FTE departmental assistantship cannot take more than 12 hours and no less than 6 hours of graduate work during a semester or more than 6 hours in each term of the summer session.

Program CoreMore Information

Hours
TH 551Hist Of The Theatre I3
TH 552Hist Of The Theatre II3
TH 600Advanced Practicum I2
TH 601Advanced Practicum II2
TH 603Advanced Practicum III2
TH 695Capstone Experience in Theatre3
Credit Hours Subtotal: 15

Concentrations

Acting Concentration

Hours
Select 45 hours from the following
TH 540Stage Movemnt Phys Actng6
TH 541Advanced Scene Study3
TH 542Careers In Prof Theatre3
TH 543Script Analysis Interptn3
TH 544Period Acting Styles I3
TH 545Period Acting Styles II3
TH 546Adv Voice Speech Perform3
TH 547Stage Dialects3
TH 548Rehearsal Process3
TH 554Seminar Contemp Theatr3
TH 555Seminar Th Hy: Classic3
TH 557Sem Th Hy: American3
TH 558American Feminist Theatre3
TH 559Graduate Dance/Movement3
TH 566Musical Theatre Performance II3
TH 567Musicl Theatre Repertoire Coac1-2
TH 570Theatre Management3
TH 575The Singing Voice2
TH 576Intermediate Group Voice2
TH 582Playwriting I3
TH 602Internship1-3
TH 640Prob Stage Move Phys Act3
TH 641Alexander Technique3
TH 642Teaching Acting3
TH 649Probs Th Arts: Perform3
TH 690Independent Study3

Admission and assistantships are awarded based upon audition, interview and acceptance into The University of Alabama Graduate School. For more information about the program and admission requirements, please contact Head of Acting, Seth Panitch at spanitch@ua.edu.

Arts Management

Hours
Concentration in Arts Management (Select 45 hours from the following)
TH 570Theatre Management3
TH 602Internship6
TH 643Teaching Practicum3
TH 670Fundraising and Development3
TH 671Leadership in the Arts3
TH 672Venue and Event Management3
TH 673Financial Management 3
TH 674Public Policy In Arts3
TH 675Business Legal Issues In Arts3
TH 676Marketing The Arts3
TH 678Board Relations and Planning3
TH 679Probs Th Arts: Managmt3
TH 690Independent Study3
APR 572Persuasive Communication3
APR 582APR Management3
MGT 517Leadership & Ethics3
MGT 582New Venture Development3
MGT 586Small Business Consulting3
MKT 510Prod Design Marketing Strategy3
MKT 518Mkting Mgmt & Decision Making3

Arts Management concentration enrollment is capped at six per year due to limited faculty resources. However, assistantship awards are limited to a maximum of two per year.  Admission to the program and assistantships are awarded based on a portfolio review, interview and acceptance into The University of Alabama Graduate School. Portfolios may be uploaded as part of the University application process or sent directly to the program director. The Application deadline is February 15 of each year. For more information, please contact Dominic M. Yeager, Director of Arts Management, at dmyeager@ua.edu.

Costume Design and Production

Hours
Concentration in Costume Design and Production (Select 45 hours from the following)
CTD 546Cult Dynam Apparel Text3
CTD 548History Of Costumes3
TH 515Properties Construction3
TH 521Period Decor3
TH 525Scene Painting3
TH 528Drawing and Rendering3
TH 531Costume Construction I3
TH 533Basics of Costume Design3
TH 535Presentation for Designers3
TH 536Fabric Modification3
TH 537Drawing for Stage Designs3
TH 548Rehearsal Process3
TH 554Seminar Contemp Theatr3
TH 555Seminar Th Hy: Classic3
TH 557Sem Th Hy: American3
TH 558American Feminist Theatre3
TH 570Theatre Management3
TH 582Playwriting I3
TH 621History of Stage Design3
TH 628Prob Th Arts: Design1-3
TH 632Costume Construction II3
TH 634Costume Design for Music3
TH 635Projects in Costume Design3
TH 636Costume Design through the Age3
TH 637Period Costume Construction3
TH 638Advanced Tailoring Techniques3
TH 639Prob Th Art: Costuming1-3
TH 643Teaching Practicum1-3
TH 673Financial Management 3
TH 674Public Policy In Arts3
TH 675Business Legal Issues In Arts3
TH 676Marketing The Arts3
TH 679Probs Th Arts: Managmt3
TH 690Independent Study3
TH 698Research Not Related to Thesis3

Admission and assistantships are awarded based upon a portfolio review, interview and acceptance into The University of Alabama Graduate School. For more information, please contact Donna Meester, Director of Costume Design and Production at dmeester@ua.edu.

Design and Technical Production

Hours
Concentration in Design and Technical Production (Select 45 hours from the following)
TH 515Properties Construction3
TH 516Rigging Fundamentals3
TH 519Electricity and Electronics3
TH 520Technical Direction3
TH 521Period Decor3
TH 523Drafting For Theatre3
TH 525Scene Painting3
TH 526Sound Prod Tech Th Dn3
TH 527Computer Drafting For Theatre3
TH 528Drawing and Rendering3
TH 531Costume Construction I3
TH 533Basics of Costume Design3
TH 535Presentation for Designers3
TH 536Fabric Modification3
TH 537Drawing for Stage Designs3
TH 543Script Analysis Interptn3
TH 570Theatre Management3
TH 602Internship3
TH 606Stage Management I3
TH 615Lighting Technology3
TH 616Lighting Design3
TH 618Lighting Automation1-3
TH 620Structural Design for Theatre3
TH 621History of Stage Design3
TH 622Scene Design I3
TH 623Scene Design II3
TH 628Prob Th Arts: Design3
TH 643Teaching Practicum3
TH 658Probs Th Arts: Technology3
TH 672Venue and Event Management3
TH 690Independent Study3
TH 698Research Not Related to Thesis3

Admission and assistantships are awarded based upon a portfolio review, interview and acceptance into The University of Alabama Graduate School. For more information, please contact F. Randy deCelle, Director of Technical Production at, rdecelle@ua.edu.

Directing Concentration

Hours
Select 45 hours from the following
TH 515Properties Construction3
TH 521Period Decor3
TH 523Drafting For Theatre3
TH 525Scene Painting3
TH 526Sound Prod Tech Th Dn3
TH 528Drawing and Rendering3
TH 530Hy Costume For Stage3
TH 531Costume Construction I3
TH 533Basics of Costume Design3
TH 535Presentation for Designers3
TH 537Drawing for Stage Designs3
TH 548Rehearsal Process3
TH 554Seminar Contemp Theatr3
TH 555Seminar Th Hy: Classic3
TH 557Sem Th Hy: American3
TH 558American Feminist Theatre3
TH 559Graduate Dance/Movement3
TH 561Advanced Directing3
TH 570Theatre Management3
TH 582Playwriting I3
TH 583Playwriting II3
TH 602Internship1-10
TH 615Lighting Technology3
TH 616Lighting Design3
TH 621History of Stage Design3
TH 622Scene Design I3
TH 632Costume Construction II3
TH 634Costume Design for Music3
TH 636Costume Design through the Age3
TH 637Period Costume Construction3
TH 642Teaching Acting3
TH 643Teaching Practicum1-3
TH 649Probs Th Arts: Perform3
TH 663Graduate Directing Studio I3
TH 669Probs Th Arts: Directg3
TH 673Financial Management 3
TH 674Public Policy In Arts3
TH 675Business Legal Issues In Arts3
TH 676Marketing The Arts3
TH 690Independent Study3
TH 698Research Not Related to Thesis3

Admission and assistantships are awarded based upon a portfolio review, interview and acceptance into The University of Alabama Graduate School.  The program typically accepts one new MFA candidate a year.

For more information about the program and admission requirements, please contact Annie G. Levy, Director of MFA Directing, at aglevy1@ua.edu.

Stage Management Concentration

Hours
Select 45 hours from the following
TH 523Drafting For Theatre3
TH 526Sound Prod Tech Th Dn3
TH 515Properties Construction3
TH 520Technical Direction3
TH 521Period Decor3
TH 525Scene Painting3
TH 527Computer Drafting For Theatre3
TH 528Drawing and Rendering3
TH 531Costume Construction I3
TH 533Basics of Costume Design3
TH 535Presentation for Designers3
TH 536Fabric Modification3
TH 537Drawing for Stage Designs3
TH 546Adv Voice Speech Perform3
TH 547Stage Dialects3
TH 548Rehearsal Process3
TH 554Seminar Contemp Theatr3
TH 555Seminar Th Hy: Classic3
TH 557Sem Th Hy: American3
TH 558American Feminist Theatre3
TH 561Advanced Directing3
TH 570Theatre Management3
TH 582Playwriting I3
TH 583Playwriting II3
TH 602Internship1-10
TH 606Stage Management I3
TH 615Lighting Technology3
TH 620Structural Design for Theatre3
TH 621History of Stage Design3
TH 622Scene Design I3
TH 632Costume Construction II3
TH 634Costume Design for Music3
TH 642Teaching Acting3
TH 643Teaching Practicum1-3
TH 673Financial Management 3
TH 674Public Policy In Arts3
TH 675Business Legal Issues In Arts3
TH 676Marketing The Arts3
TH 690Independent Study3
TH 698Research Not Related to Thesis3

Admission and assistantships are awarded based upon a portfolio review, interview and acceptance into The University of Alabama Graduate School. The program typically accepts one new MFA candidate in stage management a year.

For more information about the program and admission requirements, please contact Director of Stage Management, Annie G. Levy at aglevy1@ua.edu.

Master's Degrees

The primary purpose of master’s degree programs is to provide students with subject matter at an advanced level in their fields of study.  Master’s degrees are designed to assist students either to continue their graduate studies or to meet the goals of their professions.  In most cases, master’s programs also help students become familiar with methods of independent investigation.

Program Requirements

Two plans are offered for the master's degree:

Plan I.  Candidates for the master's degree under Plan I must earn a minimum of 24 semester hours of credit in coursework plus earn a minimum of 6 additional hours of thesis research hours, for a total of 30 hours.

Plan II.  Candidates for the master's degree under Plan II must earn a minimum of 30 semester hours of coursework credit and pass the comprehensive examination or complete a culminating or “capstone experience” as described under the Comprehensive Examinations section below.

Both plans require a minimum of 18 semester hours in the major subject.  With the approval of the major department, the remainder of the coursework may be completed in either the major or a related field.

In some divisions and in many departments of the University, candidates are required to do their work under Plan I.  Candidates working under Plan II may be required to participate successfully in seminar or problem courses that will give them an acquaintance with the methods of research and an appreciation of the place and function of original investigation in the field.

Residency Requirements

A student's program at the master's level must provide sufficient association with the resident faculty to permit individual evaluation of the student's capabilities and achievements.

Graduate Credit

A student must be admitted to the Graduate School and must register as a graduate student in order to receive graduate credit.  Approval for graduate registration must be obtained from program advisors prior to registration.

Graduate Credit for Noncredit Experiences

All course credit used toward a UA graduate degree must be taught at the graduate level.  No graduate credit may be earned by correspondence study or for experiential learning not conducted under the direct supervision of graduate faculty of The University of Alabama.  UA does not offer graduate credit for noncredit workshops, seminars, continuing education experiences, professional development, internships, work/life experience, and so forth.  

Transfer of Credit

Courses of full graduate-level credit earned in a regionally accredited institution where a student was enrolled in the graduate school may be submitted for review for inclusion in a master's degree program. Evaluation of credit for transfer will not be made until after the student has enrolled in the Graduate School of The University of Alabama. Acceptance of credit requires the approval of the student's advisory committee and the dean of the Graduate School.  Credit will not be accepted for transfer from any institution at which the student failed to achieve a "B" average on all graduate work attempted.  Only courses in which a student earned a "B" grade or better may be transferred. Thesis Research (599) may not be transferred in from an outside institution.

In some cases, foreign educational credentials may not meet the Graduate School's criteria for transfer of credit.  It may be necessary for students in this situation to secure an evaluation of their credentials from World Education Services Inc. (WES), an external foreign credential evaluation service.  Additional information on their services can be found at their website. 

A student initiates at the Graduate School’s website a Request for Transfer of Graduate Credit earned at another institution.  It is also the student's responsibility to assure that the Graduate School receives an official transcript from the other institution where the transfer credit has been requested, well in advance of the final semester. 

With the approval of the student's department and the dean of the Graduate School, the greater of 12 hours or 25 percent of the required coursework for a master's degree may be transferred from another institution.  All credit toward the master's degree, including transfer credit, must have been earned during the six years (18 fall, spring, and summer semesters) immediately preceding the date on which the master’s degree is to be awarded.  Revalidation or recertification of graduate credits that will be more than 18 semesters old at the time of UA master's program completion is not an option.

Please note that some departments allow fewer than 12 hours of graduate transfer credit.  Be sure to check with your department's graduate coordinator regarding your department's transfer policy.

400-Level Courses

A maximum of 6 semester hours of 400-level course credit may be accepted for a master's degree program, but only if a form for Approval of 400-Level Course Work for Master's Credit is approved by the Graduate School prior to the semester in which the 400-level coursework will be taken.

Time Limit

All requirements for the master's degree must be completed during the six years (18 fall, spring, and summer semesters) immediately preceding the date on which the degree is to be awarded.  There is no provision for an extension of the time limit beyond six years for master's students.

Admission to Candidacy

During the 2013-2014 academic year, the Graduate Council eliminated the master’s candidacy requirement.  Departments may monitor master’s candidacy if they wish, but the Graduate School does not monitor it and will not accept master’s candidacy forms.  Doctoral and Educational Specialist candidacy are not affected and remains an important program requirement.

Thesis

A thesis evidencing research capacity, independent thought, and the ability to interpret materials is required of all master's degree candidates who pursue Plan I.  The subject chosen must be in the major field and must be approved by the graduate committee of the major department or school and by the head of the student's major department or division.

The final oral thesis defense is the culminating experience in the master’s program.  As such, all members of the thesis committee are expected to attend and participate in real time.  Virtual attendance via interactive video or teleconference is permitted for off-campus external committee members, but Tuscaloosa campus faculty should attend in person unless extraordinary circumstances dictate the need for virtual attendance.  

A thesis committee must consist of at least three members appointed by the dean of the Graduate School.  A form for Appointment or Change of Master's Thesis Committee is used to request that the graduate dean approve all members of a thesis committee.  The request normally is made as soon as the successful defense of the thesis proposal has been completed.  All members of a thesis committee must be members of the Graduate Faculty.  The Committee Chair must be a full or associate member of the Graduate Faculty.  One member must be from outside the student's major department.  If the outside member is not a full or associate member of the UA Graduate Faculty (e.g., a highly qualified person from another university, a business, or industry), the graduate dean needs to appoint that member by approving Temporary Graduate Faculty status for the specific purpose of serving on the student's thesis committee.  Unless there are extraordinary circumstances meriting approval by the graduate dean before the final oral defense of the thesis, all members of the thesis committee must attend the defense.

The candidate must give members of the examining committee a minimum of two weeks to read the thesis before the date of the final oral examination.  A final oral examination is required of all students completing a thesis.  All members of the thesis committee must be members of the UA graduate faculty and must attend the final oral examination unless there are extraordinary circumstances warranting the graduate dean's approval of the absence prior to the defense meeting.

Article Style vs. Journal Format

Article Style.

At the doctoral level, "article-style dissertations" are unified works that include several distinct but related studies of research or creative activity, each of which is of publishable quality.  The University does not permit an "article-style thesis" to be presented for a master's degree.

Journal Format.

A "journal-format thesis" is acceptable.  Such a thesis follows the format of a particular journal in which the student and advisor want the thesis to be published.  To prepare a journal-format thesis, the student uses the journal's "information for authors" or similarly titled guidelines in conjunction with the Graduate School's Student Guide to Preparing Electronic Theses and Dissertations.

As of August 15, 2009, all theses are submitted electronically rather than on paper.  See the Graduate School's homepage for a link to information on Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETD) for details.

Theses must comply with the regulations set out in A Student Guide to Preparing Electronic Theses and Dissertations, available on the Graduate School's website.  Approval of the thesis by the graduate dean is necessary before graduation.

The thesis should be completed, if possible, while the student is in residence at the University.  To request permission to complete a thesis in absentia, the student must, before leaving the University, submit a satisfactory outline of the thesis, as well as evidence that adequate facilities are available where the work will be done, to the head of the student's major department.

Protection of Human Subjects for Research

Scientific research involving human subjects has produced substantial benefits for society, but it also can pose troubling ethical questions.  The mission of the University's Institutional Review Board (IRB) for Protection of Human Subjects is to ensure that research involving human subjects is conducted ethically.  University and federal policies require that review and approval to use human subjects in research precede the research.  In the case of thesis research that involves the use of human subjects in any way, the principal investigator is responsible for contacting the college Human Research Review Committee to obtain approval for the planned research. 

Comprehensive Examinations

In addition to the regular course examinations, a final comprehensive examination representing a "culminating" or "capstone" experience for a degree is required of all candidates for the master's degree (except for those candidates pursuing the Master of Accountancy, the Master of Business Administration, the Master of Library and Information Studies, the Master of Social Work, and the Master of Tax Accounting).  The comprehensive examination is a culminating experience in which the student is expected to integrate prior learning.  Each department, with approval of the Graduate Council, determines the most appropriate format. The various exams may consist of one or more of the following: 

  • a written and/or oral examination based on the content of the degree program;

  • a thesis and final oral defense;

  • a course requiring interpretation and integration of information from previous courses;

  • a research paper, a "policy and practice" paper, or equivalent experience;

  • a public performance or exhibition along with a contextualizing paper; and/or

  • a practicum or internship.

If the comprehensive exam requirement is met with option 1 and/or 2 above, then the examining committee for comprehensive examinations must consist of at least three members of the graduate faculty from that department and appointed by the dean of the Graduate School.  The examination must be given at least six weeks before the date of graduation (two weeks before for Plan II) and reported promptly to the dean of the Graduate School on appropriate forms.  A final report, on the Master's/EdS Examination Form (this link needs to be changed to https://graduate.ua.edu/current-students/forms-students/) is on the Graduate School website.  The form should be submitted when all examinations are completed.  A student may take the final oral or written examination only twice.  Failing the examination twice results in dismissal from the degree program and the Graduate School.

Application for Graduation

Each candidate for a master's degree must apply for graduation through myBama no later than the last day to add a class for the semester or the first session of the summer term in which requirements for the degree are to be completed.  

Second Master's Degree

Six (6) semester hours of eligible credit from one master's degree at The University of Alabama may be applied to the requirements for a second master's degree, but only if the department of the second master’s agrees to the courses in the plan of study.  Any hours from the previous master’s degree must have been earned during the six years (18 fall, spring, and summer semesters) immediately preceding the date on which the second degree is to be awarded.  ***Please note that if a student double counts six hours between two master’s degrees, no hours may double count toward any additional master’s degrees.