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Admission to the School of Theatre undergraduate and graduate programs requires the submission of a formal application, an interview, and either an audition or portfolio review. Prior to scheduling an artistic review, prospective students must submit their formal Boston University applications.

Undergraduate Admissions

Auditions and Portfolio Reviews

Step 1—Apply

Prospective students should submit an application to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.

Step 2—Schedule an Artistic Review

Applicants can schedule a Performance Audition or Portfolio Review online beginning October 1. The interview season for regular decision candidates runs from early January through the last weekend in February. There is an additional transfer applicant audition/interview date in April.

Performance Auditions are held in Boston, New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Atlanta.
Portfolio Reviews are offered in-person in Boston and New York City. Skype interviews are also available for candidates who cannot attend a live session. Representatives from the Design & Production programs will also be available to speak with applicants at the annual Southeastern Theatre Conference (SETC) and USITT National Convention.

Once a student has submitted an audition/interview request, the School will hold a spot for that prospective student until such time as they reschedule or cancel. Audition requests will remain “pending confirmation” until the Office of Undergraduate Admissions receives the student’s complete set of application materials. The School of Theatre will begin processing confirmations after the admission deadline of January 1. If, after that time, an audition appointment remains “pending confirmation,” please contact the Office of Undergraduate Admissions (617-353-2300) to obtain a list of missing application materials.

2014 Artistic Review Dates and Locations

Critical Dates for Fall Admission

Step 3—Prepare Materials

Performance Audition Requirements

Portfolio Review Requirements

Step 4—Audition/Interview

A typical Performance Audition:

(Note: Times will vary based on city of audition.)
9 a.m.:
Check-In, Welcome and Information Sessions/Q&A
10 a.m.:
Auditions Begin. The audition order is initially determined by the order in which applicants reserve appointments online. However, the faculty will work around each student’s schedule to make any necessary accommodations for travel or other auditions scheduled for the same day. Students should anticipate “workshop-style” auditions in which the faculty may actively engage them in the work as they might do in a classroom setting.

A typical Portfolio Review in Boston:

1 p.m.: Check-In, Welcome and Information Session/Q&A
1:30 p.m.
: Tour of the Boston University Theatre Design & Production Center
(Relatives are welcome to be involved in the above activities.)

2 p.m.:
Individual Portfolio Reviews with a member of the faculty begin.

Interview order is determined by the order in which applicants sign up online; however, the faculty are willing to work around each student’s schedule to make any necessary accommodations for travel. Each student should anticipate taking about 10 minutes to talk through his or her portfolio, and should expect comments and conversation about their work.

A typical Portfolio Review in New York and USITT:

2 p.m.: Check-In, Welcome and Information Session/Q&A
2:45 p.m.:
Individual Portfolio Reviews with a member of the faculty begin.

Interview order is determined by the order in which applicants sign up online; however, the faculty are willing to work around each student’s schedule to make any necessary accommodations for travel or other interviews scheduled for the same day. Each student should anticipate taking about 10 minutes to talk through his or her portfolio, and should expect comments and conversation about their work.

Graduate Admissions

General Requirements for All Applicants

Directing

Application materials deadline: February 17
Early application is advised.

Applicants are required to submit the following:

  • Completed application for graduate admission to the College of Fine Arts
  • Non-refundable application fee of $80
  • Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended
  • Résumé—list artistic work with dates
  • Headshot
  • Letter of Intent; the applicant should describe his or her career path and ambitions and why he or she wishes to study directing at Boston University at this time.
  • Two (2) Production Essays:
    • Applicants are asked to choose a play they have directed and write a passionate essay including an analysis of the script, conceptual and design ideas, and an explanation of the applicant’s personal connection to the work.
    • Applicants are asked to choose and justify a three-play season for a theater and audience of their own imagining.
  • Two (2) Letters of Recommendation from theater professionals. These may be submitted online inside the application.

In early April, after review of all materials, a small number of applicants will be invited to interview in Boston. Successful applicants have been early-career professionals with an established body of directing work and at least three years of post-college directing experience. The faculty takes time to review each candidate with care; therefore, applicants should not expect decisions until late spring.

Note: This program is designed for stage directors only. Students wishing to pursue a master’s program in Film and Television Directing should contact the Boston University College of Communication.

Apply Online


Theatre Education

Application materials deadline: February 17
Early application is advised.

Applicants are required to submit the following:

  • Completed application for graduate admission to the College of Fine Arts
  • Non-refundable application fee of $80
  • Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended
  • Theatrical résumé
  • Two (2) Letters of Recommendation from theatre professionals. These may be submitted online using the supplied Letter of Recommendation form, or recommenders may submit official, signed letters directly to the School of Theatre in a sealed envelope.
  • Letter of Intent; the applicant should provide a detailed outline of his or her experience, what he or she wishes to accomplish at Boston University, and his or her career ambitions.

After review of the written materials, some applicants will be invited to interview in Boston with members of the faculty. In addition to faculty interviews, final applicants will be asked to present an acting audition, teach a portion of a class, and participate in class with current students. These interviews will be held in late March. The faculty takes time to review each applicant with care; therefore, applicants should not expect decisions until late spring.


Design, Production, and Management

Application materials deadline: February 17
Early application is advised. Applicants submitting material after the February 17 deadline will be considered on a space-available basis.

Degree Programs

  • Design (Scenery, Costumes, Lighting, or Sound) 
  • Production (Technical Direction or Costume Production) 
  • Management (Production Management)

Admission Requirements

  • Completed application for graduate admission to the College of Fine Arts
  • Non-refundable application fee of $80
  • Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended
  • Résumé
  • Letter of Intent; the applicant should describe his or her career path and ambitions and why he or she wishes to study at Boston University at this time.
  • Completed Online Portfolio Submission ($10 fee)
  • Two (2) Letters of Recommendation from theatre professionals. These may be submitted online using the supplied Letter of Recommendation form, or recommenders may submit official, signed letters directly to the School of Theatre in a sealed envelope.

Apply Online

Portfolio Submission

All applicants must submit a portfolio of materials, which will be used in the preliminary selection process. From this group, a small number of applicants will be invited for a personal interview. The sample portfolio will be accepted at anytime and will be reviewed when the applicant’s application is on file with the University.

The portfolio, which must contain a current résumé and a headshot-style color photograph of the applicant, should present evidence of skill, sophistication, superior preparation, and talent. Portfolio requirements by major can be found on our Portfolio Requirements page. The sample portfolio must be submitted online.

Applicants may upload up to 20 files, including their résumé and photograph, to the College of Fine Arts’ Portfolio Submission website. Applicants may submit images in jpg, png, or gif format; videos in mov, wmv, flv, or wp4; mp3s; and pdfs. Applicants may also link to media hosted on YouTube, Vimeo, or SoundCloud. Résumés should be submitted in pdf format

There is a $10 fee for submitting your online portfolio.

Portfolio submissions that do not adhere to the requirements will not be considered.

Address and Contact Information

Boston University School of Theatre, 855 Commonwealth Avenue, Room 470, Boston, MA 02215; theatre@bu.edu; 617-353-3390.