This is the preliminary (or launch) version of the 2024-2025 VCU Bulletin. Courses that expose students to cutting-edge content and transformative learning may be added and notification of additional program approvals may be received prior to finalization. General education program content is also subject to change. The final edition and full PDF version will include these updates and will be available in August prior to the beginning of the fall semester.

Program accreditation
National Association of Schools of Theatre

Program goal

The M.F.A. in Theatre offers concentrations in stage design/technical theatre and costume design, which comprise the professional option, and in literature and performance, which make up the pedagogy option. Focus areas in pedagogy include movement, performance, and voice and speech.

Student learning outcomes

  • Students will demonstrate knowledge of history, theory, criticism and literature of theatre and its practical application.
  • Students will be able to teach or engage in the practical application of theater in performance and production.
  • Students will demonstrate an understanding of what is required to teach an undergraduate course in theatre studies and/or to produce effective designs for production.

VCU Graduate Bulletin, VCU Graduate School and general academic policies and regulations for all graduate students in all graduate programs

The VCU Graduate Bulletin website documents the official admission and academic rules and regulations that govern graduate education for all graduate programs at the university. These policies are established by the graduate faculty of the university through their elected representatives to the University Graduate Council.

It is the responsibility of all graduate students, both on- and off-campus, to be familiar with the VCU Graduate Bulletin as well as the Graduate School website and academic regulations in individual school and department publications and on program websites. However, in all cases, the official policies and procedures of the University Graduate Council, as published on the VCU Graduate Bulletin and Graduate School websites, take precedence over individual program policies and guidelines.

Visit the academic regulations section for additional information on academic regulations for graduate students.

Degree candidacy requirements

A graduate student admitted to a program or concentration requiring a final research project, work of art, thesis or dissertation, must qualify for continuing master’s or doctoral status according to the degree candidacy requirements of the student’s graduate program. Admission to degree candidacy, if applicable, is a formal statement by the graduate student’s faculty regarding the student’s academic achievements and the student’s readiness to proceed to the final research phase of the degree program.

Graduate students and program directors should refer to the following degree candidacy policy as published in the VCU Graduate Bulletin for complete information and instructions.

Visit the academic regulations section for additional information on degree candidacy requirements.

Graduation requirements

As graduate students approach the end of their academic programs and the final semester of matriculation, they must make formal application to graduate. No degrees will be conferred until the application to graduate has been finalized.

Graduate students and program directors should refer to the following graduation requirements as published in the Graduate Bulletin for a complete list of instructions and a graduation checklist.

Visit the academic regulations section for additional information on graduation requirements.


Apply online today.

Admission requirements

Degree: Semester(s) of entry: Deadline dates: Test requirements:
M.F.A. Fall Mar 1

Special requirements

In addition to the general admission requirements of the VCU Graduate School, applicants must possess a bachelor’s degree (theatre preferred). Professional experience will be considered. The program provides preparation for early to mid-career professionals to enter the field of teaching theatre at the college/university level.

Degree requirements

In addition to general Graduate School graduation requirements, students are required to take 60 credit hours of graduate-level course work distributed among core courses, area of concentration and electives, including special topics courses. Students will also be evaluated on performance projects, production work and teaching activities. The program is usually completed within two years.

Pedagogy/performance concentration

Requirements of the pedagogy/performance concentration include 30 credit hours in core courses (including theatre history, research practice and theory, literature and production),12 credit hours in the performance concentration and 6 credit hours of thesis/thesis project. The remainder of the program consists of 12 approved elective courses. Students will take practical courses and assist faculty in teaching. Their teaching effectiveness will be evaluated by area faculty.

Curriculum requirements

Course Title Hours
Core curriculum
THEA 509Theatre History and Historiography3
THEA 570Applied Theatre3
THEA 603Dramatic Literature and Theory3
THEA 604Modern Theatre: Theory and Practice3
THEA 610Proseminar in Text and Performance3
THEA 630Production12
THEA 697Research and Special Problems in Theatre3
Concentration requirements
THEA 518The Pedagogy of Movement3
THEA 614Pedagogy of Acting3
THEA 619Theatre Pedagogy3
THEA 694Theatre Pedagogy Practicum3
Select 12 credits from the following recommended electives: 112
Professional Internship
Introduction to Performance Studies
Advanced Topics in Voice and Speech Pedagogy
Graduate Direction
Seminar in Special Issues in Theatre
THEA 799Thesis6
Total Hours60

The minimum number of graduate credit hours required for this degree is 60.

Year one
Fall semesterHours
THEA 509 Theatre History and Historiography 3
THEA 603 Dramatic Literature and Theory 3
THEA 610 Proseminar in Text and Performance 3
THEA 614 Pedagogy of Acting 3
Elective 3
 Term Hours: 15
Spring semester
THEA 570 Applied Theatre 3
THEA 619 Theatre Pedagogy 3
THEA 630 Production 6
THEA 697 Research and Special Problems in Theatre 3
 Term Hours: 15
Year two
Fall semester
THEA 630 Production 6
THEA 694 Theatre Pedagogy Practicum 3
THEA 799 Thesis 3
Elective 3
 Term Hours: 15
Spring semester
THEA 518 The Pedagogy of Movement 3
THEA 604 Modern Theatre: Theory and Practice 3
THEA 799 Thesis 3
Electives 6
 Term Hours: 15
 Total Hours: 60

Aaron D. Anderson, Ph.D.
Associate chair, Department of Theatre
(804) 828-2697

Program website: