University of Portland Bulletin 2017-2018


Andrew W. Golla, director 

Faculty: Golla, Hunter, Larsen, Logan, Pulver

The master of fine arts degree in directing student focuses on developing a solid research-based foundation to support a coherent historical, theoretical, literary, and conceptual approach to directing for the theater. In addition, the program emphasizes further development of student's practical skills in directing. This terminal degree program prepares the student for both professional and academic careers in the theater. The requirements are evenly divided between the academic and the practical and the student's work is regularly evaluated in end-of semester discussions with the entire faculty. Each student is given a minimum of two practical production opportunities, including the thesis project, which is done with full departmental support. The degree program also includes a professional internship designed by the student in cooperation with the program advisor and a professional or academic theater organization.

The graduate program in directing is the only master of fine arts (M.F.A.) in directing in the state of Oregon. The degree program offers a unique combination of generalized core courses, a specialized focus on the directing and acting courses, outreach opportunities, and electives, all intended to provide excellent training for those seeking professional and/or academic careers in the theater.

The master of fine arts degree in directing is designed to be a three-year (6 semester) program. A broad range of productions are presented each season exposing the students to a variety of theatrical periods and styles. The M.F.A program fosters close relationships between students and faculty through coursework and both laboratory and production experiences. University of Portland is an accredited member of the National Association of Schools of Theatre.

Admission Requirements

  1. Statement of Goals
  2. Current Resume
  3. Three recommendation forms and letters
  4. Official transcripts (from all previously attended institutions)
  5. A bachelor's degree or its equivalent from an accredited college or university recognized by the University of Portland
  6. International Applicants: All foreign degrees will be evaluated by International Student Services prior to an admission decision
  7. Writing sample based upon the MFA in Directing Writing Prompt
  8. Undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher (on a 4.0 scale)
  9. International Applicants: An official score from either the TOEFL (minimum score of 80) or IELTS (minimum score of 7.0) exam is required
  10. International Applicants: Proof of financial support will be required to attend the University of Portland, but is not required for the application review

Applicants will be required to have an adequate preparation in dramatic literature and theater production. A comprehensive resume must be submitted demonstrating the applicant’s background in the practical aspects of theater production, which may include experience in acting, designing, stage management, or other areas in addition to directing. Normally, only two new applicants are accepted to the program each year. Members of the theater faculty will review the application along with the standard graduate school materials listed above. Applicants will be accepted into the M.F.A. directing program based on an assessment of the ability of the program to serve the student’s goals and aspirations and of the student to contribute to the program. Once accepted, the student will work with the graduate program director on an appropriate plan, which may include prerequisite courses not carrying graduate credit.