Michigan State University
Michigan State University
Department of Theatre
MFA Acting
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Stage Door Photo, 2015

Preparing the future artist and educator

  • Guaranteed full tuition waiver and competitive stipend for all three years
  • Excellent medical and dental insurance
  • No audition fee
  • Summer travel support and performance opportunities
  • Optional study abroad in London
  • Equity Membership Candidacy and performance opportunities at our Equity Partner Williamston Theatre
  • Showcase opportunities
  • World-class facilities including 5 theatres of various sizes and configurations
  • On-Camera and Voiceover Training
  • Certificate in College Teaching
  • Develop a teaching portfolio with hands-on teacher training
  • Create and teach your own course
  • Opportunity to direct

Studio Classes: Extensive training in voice, movement and acting provide a foundation for a student's development. The MFA acting program at Michigan State University offers individualized and challenging advanced actor training. Given the program’s unique focus on preparing the artist as educator, an emphasis on the student as teacher is integral in most studio classes. All MFA students must complete at least six required "advisor-approved" performance credits (one per role) in order to receive the degree.

Teaching Opportunities: At MSU you get many practical changes to hone your educator skills: large lecture courses, introductory level acting, online courses, and a course of your own design.

Acceptance into the program is contingent upon an audition for the Michigan State University. All acting candidates must demonstrate their potential at either larger unified auditions or through an audition before the Acting/Directing faculty while visiting Michigan State University. Following the audition, department representatives will contact successful candidates to apply to the MSU Graduate School.

MSU offers numerous performance opportunities for graduates in a variety of performance spaces: 

  • 3,500-seat concert auditorium,
  • 600-seat thrust theatre,
  • 450-seat proscenium theatre,
  • 170-seat arena theatre,
  • 100-seat flexible studio theatre,
  • and the opportunity to perform in MSUs popular outdoor Summer Circle Theatre 
We offer a variety of acting assistantships with very competitive stipend levels, and our graduate program works in tandem with a thriving undergraduate theatre program and our Actors’ Equity Partner Williamston Theatre. MFA acting students will also receive exposure to the professional theatre experts through high-profile guests on campus.
MFA Actors will meet each semester with his/her chosen Graduate Guidance Committee to evaluate the work over the semester.

Department of Theatre Recruitment Brochure (PDF)


A total of 60 credits are required with class offerings as follows:

Acting Core (36 credits)
THR 801 - Practicum: Acting
THR 804 - Practicum: Voice
THR 805 - Practicum: Movement
THR 894 - Special Projects in Theatre

Academic Core (14 credits)
THR 830 - Introduction to Graduate Studies
THR 831 - Studies in Theatre History
THR 832 - Comparative Drama and Criticism
THR 834 - Professional Aspects
THR 870 - Collaborative Studio in Theatre

Electives (10 Credits)