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

Graduate Studies

MFA and PhD Programs

The 2021online application is not yet available

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 MFA candidates are provided professional residencies.

For a more detailed description of the financial support package for graduate students, download the Graduate Student Funding Policy.

MFA in Acting

Nurturing and challenging the next generation of great actors.

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

MFA in Dance

Nurturing the unique vision of the next generation of dance theatre artists.

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Two graduate dancers perform.

MFA in Design

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

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Production still from Vieux Carré. Photo by Jim Carmody

MFA in Directing

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

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A graduate director gives notes to a cast of actors.

MFA in Playwriting

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

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

MFA in Stage Management

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

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A graduate stage management student prepares a stage for performance.

PhD in Theatre and Drama

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

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PhD students smile for the camera
If you have questions or would like more information about our Graduate programs, call the Graduate Coordinator at 858-534-1046 or email at