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What will I learn?

The Master of Arts in Theatre Arts provides training for students wishing to expand their knowledge and increase their competence in the fields of history and literature of the theatre, acting, directing, theatre design, and production; seeking teaching credentials where the master’s degree is required; and preparing for further graduate work elsewhere.

The M.F.A. program combines the elements of professional practice and scholarly work to project a production concept through a specific discipline. The philosophy of the curriculum is based on two necessities of theatrical art: collaboration and discipline. Students progress through a full-time sequence of courses, which trains them to work with other specialized theatre artists in realizing a total work of theatre, as well as to excel in their own chosen arts. The program is designed to develop the candidate's practical skills and personal strengths towards motivating communication, commitment, and support among the production group.

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the Master of Arts in Theatre Arts the student will be able to:

  • Demonstrate comprehensive knowledge of Theatrical History.
  • Demonstrate comprehensive knowledge of Theatrical Literature.
  • Demonstrate facility with current practice of Literary Criticism in the theatrical context.
  • Demonstrate deep knowledge of the confluence of theory and practice in the theatrical art.
  • Demonstrate ability to propose and defend interpretations and commentaries with superior writing skills.
  • Demonstrate ability to focus skills and competencies in a specialized area of interest and study.

Completion of the Degree

To complete 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.A. graduate coordinators and 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.

Which department am I in?

College of Liberal and Creative Arts

Study options

Full Time (30 credit hours)

Tuition fees
US$15,210.00 per year
Start date

Expected August 2022


College of Liberal and Creative Arts

1600 Holloway Ave,



94132, United States

Entry requirements

For students from United States

An applicant must have a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution and the equivalent major coursework for the program area to which application is made.

For international students

Applicants educated outside of the United States must have earned a degree or diploma that SF State considers to be the equivalent of a 4-year U.S. bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution. Applicants who hold a Bologna degree comprised of 180 ECTS may be eligible for admission following comprehensive evaluation of documents.

Minimum TOEFL iBT 80, IELTS 7.0 or PTE 65; some majors require higher scores.

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

*There may be different IELTS requirements depending on your chosen course.