MFA Admissions and Application

Admission to the MFA program is every two years-the next class of MFA students will start in the Fall of 2020. 

Deadline for Fall 2020 applications is January 15, 2020.

Entrance Qualifications

The MFA in Performance Pedagogy is open to all qualified applicants who have completed an undergraduate degree (or who will complete one prior to registration), along with an expectation of five or more years of professional theater experience. 

An undergraduate major in theatre arts is normally a prerequisite for admission to the program, though exceptions can be made if circumstances warrant. Because candidates will be teaching during their course of study, some teaching experience is preferred. 

International students - The Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences requires a TOEFL score of 90 (with at least a score of 22 in all of the four sections of speaking, listening, reading and writing); or a minimum IELTS of 7.0 (with at least 6.5 in each of its four sections).

Successful applicants will be seasoned professional actors willing to make a full commitment of time and energy to the program. Although it is possible—and encouraged—for the actor to continue commercial, voice-over, industrial, and some film work in Pittsburgh, longer-term professional engagements cannot be accommodated within the structure of the program. 

MFA Application Material Requirements *GRE  are no longer required

Admissions requirements include:

  1. University of Pittsburgh’s on-line application (there is a $50.00 application fee)
  2. A personal statement indicating your reasons for pursuing a graduate degree at the University of Pittsburgh and your academic and professional goals.
  3. Official or Unofficial College Transcripts are uploaded with application. After a student is recommended for admission, official copies of all college transcripts will then need to be sent directly from the institution to the Dean’s office before a student can be matriculated.
  4. Curriculum Vitae
  5. Three (3) Letters of Recommendation
  6. One (1) writing sample
  7. Headshot and Resume
  8. Non-US citizens: TOEFL or IELTS scores - this is mandatory and cannot be waived.

Auditions and Interviews

In addition, some candidates will be invited to interview and audition as part of the application process.

Once all materials have been received, the department will contact candidates selected for a phone/Skype interview, typically during the month of January (2020).

Candidates will then be considered for an in-person audition, teaching demonstration and interview, to be held in Pittsburgh or New York during the months of January (2020) and February (2020).  

For the audition and teaching demonstration, applicants should prepare two contrasting monologues (one contemporary, one classical) and be prepared to teach a warm-up and/or short exercise or game. 

Those unable to travel to the auditions will need to make alternative arrangements with the Head of the MFA Program.  This may include submitting a tape or DVD along with the two monologues and any samples of teaching.

The deadline for MFA applications is January 15, 2020. Apply now »


For questions or information regarding the application process, please contact:

Josh Oliver
Graduate Student Services Administration

For questions or information regarding the MFA in Performance Pedagogy Program, please contact

Bria Walker
Head of MFA Performance Pedagogy