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The MU Department of Theatre has a distinguished history that began shortly after 1900 when a small group of aspiring thespians resolved to enhance the cultural life of the campus by producing plays in an abandoned dining room in Lathrop Hall. In 1925, Professor Donovan Rhynsburger joined the MU faculty and established the Missouri Workshop Theatre. For over 85 years, the department has sustained a national and international reputation as a major center for theatre and performance scholarship and dramatic art production. In 2007 “Academic Analytics” ranked MU Department of Theatre #4 nationally for scholarly productivity in Theatre Literature, History and Criticism (reported in Chronicle of Higher Education, November 11, 2007). MU Theatre offers graduate and undergraduate programs.

Degrees Offered

Theatre, Master of Arts

On Campus

Admission Criteria

Deadline: January 15 for the following fall semester admission. We only admit once a year, barring extraordinary circumstances.

  • Minimum GPA: 3.0 in the last 60 hours

Probationary admission is possible. The director of graduate studies will advise the student in writing of what must be done to change the probationary admission to regular admission.

Minimum English Proficiency Requirements

Test Type Total Score Reading Listening Speaking Writing
TOEFL Internet-based11217171717
TOEFL Paper-based6505252N/A52
IELTS Academic86666

Required Application Materials

For the Office of Graduate Studies

  • Completed Graduate Studies online application
  • Unofficial Transcripts- As part of the application submission process, all applicants are required to upload unofficial copies of all post-secondary transcripts to the online application. Official transcripts are only required if accepted by the academic program.
  • Official Results of English Proficiency Exams (International applicants only)

For the Theatre Program

All application materials must be submitted to the Graduate Studies online application system.

  • Three Letters of Recommendation. The individual writing the letter of recommendation should submit letters electronically.
  • CV.
  • Personal Statement (2-3 pp.). Please include in your personal statement your reasons for applying to MU Theatre’s graduate program; please address specifically why and how our program and our faculty will help you achieve your personal and professional goals.
  • Writing Sample(s). Please submit 2 examples of scholarly writing; if you are also a creative writer please submit one example (play, performance text, screenplay, etc.)

Theatre, Doctor of Philosophy

On Campus

Admission Criteria

Deadline: January 15 for the following fall semester admission. We only admit once a year, barring extraordinary circumstances

  • Minimum GPA: 3.0 in the last 60 hours
  • GPA of 3.5 or better in master’s program

Minimum English Proficiency Requirements

Test Type Total Score Reading Listening Speaking Writing
TOEFL Internet-based11217171717
TOEFL Paper-based6505252N/A52
IELTS Academic86666

Required Application Materials

For the Office of Graduate Studies

  • Completed Graduate Studies online application
  • Unofficial Transcripts- As part of the application submission process, all applicants are required to upload unofficial copies of all post-secondary transcripts to the online application. Official transcripts are only required if accepted by the academic program.
  • Official Results of English Proficiency Exams (International applicants only)

For the Theatre Program

All application materials must be submitted to the Graduate Studies online application system.

  • Three Letters of Recommendation. The individual writing the letter of recommendation should submit letters electronically.
  • CV.
  • Personal Statement (2-3 pp.). Please include in your personal statement your reasons for applying to MU Theatre’s graduate program; please address specifically why and how our program and our faculty will help you achieve your personal and professional goals.
  • Writing Sample(s). Please submit 2 examples of scholarly writing; if you are also a creative writer please submit one example (play, performance text, screenplay, etc.)