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Balm in Gilead. Photo: Jim Carmody (2019)Balm in Gilead (2019). Photo: Jim Carmody.

Graduate Studies

M.F.A. and Ph.D. Programs

Consistently ranked among the top graduate Theatre training programs in the country, UC San Diego's Department of Theatre & Dance offers Master of Fine Arts degrees in Acting, Dance, Directing, Design (Costume, Lighting, Scenic, Sound), Stage Management, and Playwriting, and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Theatre and Drama offered in conjunction with UC Irvine. The Theatre & Dance department also shares a close relationship with the Tony Award-winning La Jolla Playhouse, in residence on the UC San Diego campus, where M.F.A. candidates are provided professional residencies.

Graduate actors in The Gradient (2019). Photo by Jim Carmody

MFA in Acting

Nurturing and challenging the next generation of great actors.

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Production still from Vieux Carré. Photo by Jim Carmody

MFA in Design

Training Costume, Lighting, Scenic, and Sound Designers in the best practices of professional theatre.

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A graduate director watches cast members perform

MFA in Directing

Developing directors who are creative, impactful leaders of highly collaborative theatrical processes.

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Two graduate actors perform in Everybody Black by MFA playwright Dave Harris. Photo by Manuel Rotenberg.

MFA in Playwriting

Nurturing bold, committed, and compassionate playwrights who are connected to the world they live in.

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A graduate stage management student prepares a stage for performance.

MFA in Stage Management

Approaching production with a collaborative sensibility and a strong knowledge of all production areas.

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PhD students smile for the camera

PhD in Theatre and Drama

A groundbreaking PhD program in conjunction with the Department of Drama at UC Irvine.

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one actor gives another actor a piggy-back ride

Prospective Students Mailing List

Want to learn more about an MFA or PhD in Theatre?

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If you have questions or would like more information about our Graduate programs, contact the Graduate Coordinator at 858-534-1046 or