Graduate Programs

MBA / MFA in Theatre Management

The Master of Business Administration/Master of Fine Arts (MBA/MFA) in Theatre Management is a three-year, full time program (including two summer sessions) offered jointly between the Theatre Arts Department and the Graduate School of Business.

One of only a handful of programs in the country, the CSULB MBA/MFA in Theatre Management program prepares professionals in all areas of both administration and business for professional careers in arts management — in performing and exhibiting arts organizations, in arts service organizations, in government, funding agencies, and arts councils. The program prepares students for administrative leadership positions and provides the background essential for advancement in professional management careers. The CSULB MBA/MFA in Theatre Management curriculum emphasizes full-time professionally oriented study of a specific theatre discipline. In addition to academic and professional studies, Graduate Managers work under professional conditions with California Repertory Company (Cal Rep), an integral part of the CSULB Theatre Arts MBA/MFA Program.

The CSULB MBA/MFA Theatre Management program is aligned with a not-for-profit, organizational management approach. Graduate Theatre Managers take courses in principles of nonprofit management, fundraising, strategic planning, producing, marketing, and leadership. Skills and understanding are enhanced through collaboration with the Faculty in the College of Business and by internship opportunities at the Los Angeles-area’s many professional theaters.

The program admits into each class only a select few graduate students. Applicants to the MBA/MFA Theatre Management program must:

  1. have completed a Bachelor's or Master's degree from an accredited institution with a minimum 3.0 GPA in upper division major courses;
  2. meet university admission requirements;
  3. submit evidence of creative ability and professional intent.
  4. The GMAT or GRE is required for admission into the MBA/MFA Theatre Management program at CSULB. The MBA/MFA option requires a passing score on the GMAT of 500 with a written score above 4 or a GRE score average 156 in Verbal Reasoning and 146 in the Quantitative Reasoning.
  5. Acceptance into the College of Business administration. Further information on MBA admissions is available

When an undergraduate degree has been completed in a program having different requirements than those at CSULB, or in some field other than Theatre Arts, additional preparation and time may be required before the Applicant can be considered for classified status in the degree program. Up to 24 units of credit from an MA degree program may be acceptable after review by the Faculty Evaluation Committee and approval by the Dean.

Information on Applying and Interviews is available.

The MFA/MBA management program provides students with the necessary hands-on training and skills acquisition to ensure a viable and cutting edge education for ease of transition into the profession. Our program is designed to afford the student the opportunity to acquire these skills through our individually designed practicum and student assistantships as members of our Cal Rep graduate company. The students work as a management team within the department to facilitate management of our production companies including Cal Rep, University Players, EPIC (Educational Performance in Community), Affinity Series, and Theatre Threshold in addition to special events including our yearly fundraising gala Art a la Carte and Design Exposition. These team assignments offer opportunities to work in multiple areas of Theatre administration including Front of House, Box Office Management, Fundraising, Marketing, Production Management, Company Management, Event Planning, and Grant Development. Successful completion of practical assignments in differing areas is necessary for advancement in the program.

In addition to the core courses in Theatre Management, MBA/MFA Graduate Theatre Managers take an additional 30 units of Business courses including Finance, Accounting, Marketing, Strategic Business Management and operations. Graduate Theatre Managers may elect to take classes in other disciplines depending on their interests and previous experience.

Most students will be offered an assistantship in their area of concentration. Management Students work done as part of the management team assignments includes the work done to receive the assistantship. Assistantships range from $5,000 to $8,000 per academic year.

Our MFA/MBA students actively participate in professional internships. These internships are tailored to the students’ professional goals and have included positions in a variety of areas at Tony Award Winning South Coast Repertory Company, LA’s Center Theatre Group, Gallup, Inc., Ojai Playwright’s Festival, LA Fringe Festival, LA Opera, Pasadena Playhouse and many more.

Business Core 1 (12 units) Take all the following courses:

  • ACCT 500 Financial Accounting (3)
  • FIN 501 Financial Management Concepts (3)
  • MGMT 500 Business Policies/Operations/Organizations (3)
  • MKTG 500 Marketing Concepts (3)

Business Core 2 (21 units) Take all the following courses

  • ACCT 610 Managerial Accounting and Control (3)
  • FIN 600 Seminar in Business Finance (3)
  • HRM 652 Sem in Human Resources Management (3)
  • IS 601 Quantitative Methods for Managerial Decision Making (3)
  • IS 602 Management of Information Systems (3)
  • MGMT 647 Seminar in Management Planning and Control Systems (3)
  • MKTG 661 Seminar in Marketing Policies (3)
  • Business Elective (3 units)

Theatre Core (9 units) Take all the following courses

  • THEA 523 Theory/Practice of Contemporary Theatre (3)
  • THEA 524 Dramaturgy (3)
  • THEA 696 Aesthetic Theory and Conceptualization (3)

Theatre Management (24 units) Take all the following courses:

  • THEA 502 Seminar in Theatre Management I (3)
  • THEA 503 Leadership and the Arts (3)
  • THEA 504 Managing Not-For-Profit Arts Organization (3)
  • THEA 507 Entertainment Law (3)
  • THEA 550 Computer Graphics for Theatre (3)
  • THEA 602 Seminar in Theatre Management II (3)

Theatre Practicum (12 units) Take all the following courses

  • THEA 517 Repertory Theatre I (2)
  • THEA 518 Repertory Theatre II (2)
  • THEA 519 Repertory Theatre III (2)

Culminating Thesis/Project (3 units) Take the following course:

  • THEA 699 MFA Thesis/Project (1-6)

Theatre Electives (6 units)

Information on Applying and Interviews is available.