Center for the Performing and Cinematic Arts / SCHOOL OF THEATER, FILM AND MEDIA ARTS

Learn more about the Master of Fine Arts in Theater/Acting.

About the Program

The MFA program in Theater/Acting provides holistic actor training modeled after the conservatory approach. We are interested in actors with professional resumes who are willing to commit to a three-year regimen of study and performance. A twofold objective guides the graduate Acting program: assist professional actors in breaking through patterns or habits that have been holding back artistic growth; and develop a method for training that enables actors to effectively articulate the process to the student.

Time Limit for Degree Completion: 3 years

Campus Location: Main

Full-Time/Part-Time Status: Students complete the degree program through classes offered at convenient times of the day and evening.

Interdisciplinary Study: Students are able to take some coursework with graduate students in Film and Media Arts and may participate, on a voluntary basis, in independent films directed by graduate and undergraduate directors in Film and Media Arts.

Affiliation(s): Temple theater students have the opportunity to intern with many of the numerous professional theaters in Philadelphia, including the Arden Theatre Company, Philadelphia Theatre Company, the Walnut Street Theatre, and The Wilma Theater.

Accreditation: The Theater Department is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Theatre (NAST).

Areas of Specialization: The actor is offered a well-rounded acting curriculum in addition to pedagogical training in teaching in higher education.

Job Prospects: The program is primarily focused on training working mid-career professionals in the theater industry. Many of our graduates are working in television, film, regional theater, off-Broadway and Broadway and as instructors and professors in higher education.

Non-Matriculated Student Policy: Coursework may not be taken on a non-matriculated basis.

Financing Opportunities: Lab, studio and classroom teaching opportunities are available for Teaching Assistants. Duties include assisting in grading papers for survey and literature classes. Assistantships carry a stipend and full tuition remission. Academic Internships are also available in production work, including rehearsal and performance of plays for the theater season.

Admission Requirements and Deadlines

Application Deadline:

Fall: March 1, 2025

* * APPLICATIONS will next be accepted for FALL 2025 ADMISSION * *

Applications are accepted from applicants through the University/Resident Theatre Association (URTA) audition/interview process as well as local auditions in Philadelphia. Auditions are held every three years (e.g., 2025, 2028, 2031). We visit all three sites: New York City, Chicago and San Francisco. After candidates have auditioned and been interviewed through the URTA process or here locally, those accepted are notified by letter on or before April 15.

APPLY ONLINE to this graduate program.

Letters of Reference:
Number Required: 3

From Whom: Letters of recommendation should be obtained from college/university professors and/or professionals in the field who are familiar with the applicant's work.

Coursework Required for Admission Consideration: Applicants must have completed a bachelor’s degree or equivalent and ideally have considerable professional experience as working actors.

Bachelor's Degree in Discipline/Related Discipline: All applicants must present credentials that are the equivalent of the baccalaureate degree at Temple University.

Statement of Goals: Introduce yourself in approximately 500 words by relaying your relevant experience, values and areas of interest. Proper essay form should be used, but it may be in a personal style.

Standardized Test Scores: No standardized test is used for admission to the MFA Acting program.

Audition: We audition through URTA with audition sites in New York, Chicago and San Francisco and locally on the Temple University campus.

Resume: Current resume required.

Interview: In addition to the audition, applicants who are called back for an interview are required to bring transcripts, a headshot and a resume. Interviews are generally held in February and March.

Program Requirements

General Program Requirements:
Number of Credits Required Beyond the Baccalaureate: 60

Required Courses:

Speech for the Actor I
Speech for the Actor II
Acting I
Acting II
Vocal Production for the Actor I
Vocal Production for the Actor II
Dance for the Actor I
Dance for the Actor II
Seminar in Dramatic Literature
Seminar in Dramatic Literature
Speech for the Actor III
Speech for the Actor IV
Acting III
Acting IV
Vocal Production for the Actor III
Vocal Production for the Actor IV
Dance for the Actor III
Dance for the Actor IV
Teach in Higher Education
Graduate Ensemble Practicum
Speech for the Actor V
Acting V
Acting VI
Vocal Production for the Actor V
Vocal Production for the Actor VI
Dance for the Actor V
Acting for the Camera
Projects in Acting

Culminating Events: Completion of the degree is predicated on successfully completing required coursework and maintaining collegial relationships with faculty and fellow students. No formal thesis or other culminating event is required.


Program Web Address:

Department Information:

Theater Graduate Admissions

Center for the Performing and Cinematic Arts/School of Theater, Film and Media Arts

2001 N. 13th Street, 127 Presser Hall

Philadelphia, PA 19122-6016


Fax: 215-204-4957

Submission Address for Application Materials:

Department Contacts:


James Short

Recruitment Coordinator

Head of Graduate Acting:

Lynne Innerst


Fred Duer