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Policy Statement - 83-10 Theatre Arts, Master of Fine Arts in

This curricular program, authorized by the Chancellor on July 7, 1983, was approved by the President on July 29, 1983.


The Master of Fine Arts degree in Theatre Arts is the terminal degree offering the minimum professional training deemed necessary by the major theatre arts schools in the United States for university and college teaching, positions in professional theatre of acting design and technical theatre in television, film, stage, theme parks and industry.  The Department of Theatre Arts at California State University, Long Beach is a fully accredited program and meets the standards of Division II of the National Association of Schools of Theatre.  The Department is also a member in good standing with the University/Resident Theatre Association.

Criteria for Admission to the Program:

1.    Student applying for the M.F.A. program must have completed a bachelor's or master's degree in theatre arts from an accredited institution with a 3.0 GPA in upper-division theatre courses, meet University admission requirements, and submit evidence of creative ability and professional intent in one of the following areas: Acting, Technical Theatre, and/or Design.

2.    When an undergraduate degree has been completed in a program having different requirements than those of CSULB or in some field other theatre arts, additional preparation and time may be required before the student can be considered for classified status in the degree program.  Up to 30 units of credit from an M.A. degree program may be acceptable after review of the faculty evaluation committee and approval by the Dean.

3.    Admission to the program in Acting requires audition, interview and/or submission of evidence of creative work.  Admission to the program in Technical Theatre/Design requires interview and/or submission of original work such as manuscripts, designs, renderings, slides, models and/or working drawings.

4.    At the time of being conditionally classified into the program, an examining diagnostic committee, consisting of at least two instructors in the student's field of specialization and at least one other member, approve the student's program of study and the creative thesis project.  A committee will review the student's work no later than the end of his/her first year in residence and judge whether the student should continue in the program.

5.    In order to obtain full classified status, a committee from the theatre arts graduate faculty will evaluate academic progress, individual skills development, and review of performance or portfolio at the end of the student's first full year in residence.

6.    Advancement to Candidacy:

a.    Attain fully classified status.

b.    Remove all undergraduate deficiencies determined by the departmental evaluation and the Dean of the School.

c.    Submit a program for approval by the student's departmental faculty adviser, the department chair, the graduate adviser and the Dean of the School.

Requirements for the Master of Fine Arts in Theatre Arts:

1.    The M.F.A. degree is a 60-unit degree normally requiring full time residency.  Course requirements are arranged according to the following structure depending on the student's choice of option, Acting or Technical Theatre/Design:

For Acting Option:

Core Courses:     24 units to include:  Theatre 514, 523, 570, 696, and 699

Studio Courses:   24 units to include:  Theatre 414, 512, 515,562, and 614

Electives:             12 units approved from the following:  Theatre 361, 363, 412, 415, 418, 498A, 694A and 697

For Technical Theatre/Design Option:

Core Courses:      24 units to include:  Theatre 523, 542, 570, 696 and 699

Studio Courses:   9 units to include:  Theatre 541, 544, and 545.

12 units selected from one of the following groups: For Scenery and Lighting Concentration:  Theatre 441, 442, 445, 448, 490, 590D, 590N

For Costume Concentration:  Theatre 343, 347, 446, 447 and 590C, 590M

Electives:            15 units approved from the following:  Theatre 343, 449, 490, 498C, 498D, 498M, 498N, 642, 694C, 694D, 694M, 694N and 697 2.    Both options share a common core of courses which offer study in aesthetics, conceptualization, history, theory, literature, and research.  The remainder of the courses offer students the opportunity to further develop artistic skills in their particular area of option.  The program culminates in a major creative project. a.    The Acting option requires work in voice, movement, and process each semester.  Process classes explore a wide range of acting styles.  Ongoing performances in public presentations are required.

b.    The Technical Theatre/Design option requires work in a variety of skills development which emphasizes the technological as well as the artistic aspects of design and execution.  Continuous advancing assignments in productions for public performances are required.

EFFECTIVE: Fall 1984