MFA in Directing

Our Master of Fine Arts in Directing program provides early-career professionals with the opportunity to cultivate their artistic identities and professional objectives while refining and enhancing their technical skills and range. Coursework is individually designed with each student’s personal ambitions in mind. Each School of Theatre MFA Directing student receives extensive experience in the rehearsal hall in a sequence of projects chosen to stretch and showcase their strengths.

Our program seeks to:

  • Extend, intensify, and focus the director’s theatrical versatility, sensibilities, scholarship, and imagination.
  • Explore and enhance creative collaborations with actors, designers, and playwrights.
  • Consider the pragmatic aspects of the profession and envision possibilities for new artistic leadership in American theatre.

MFA Directing students are prepared for substantive careers, either as resident or freelance directors, with special emphasis placed on understanding the American regional theatre and other not-for-profit venues. An “artistic director” option is available that joins the MFA Directing curriculum with a graduate certificate program in Arts Administration at Boston University’s Metropolitan College. Full-time students may complete the program in three years, including summers (two and a half years in residence with a sixth semester spent in professional internship placement). Most students receive a full-tuition scholarship, living stipend, and teaching assistantship. Admission is highly selective, with the School of Theatre admitting one or two students each year to the program.

Curriculum Highlights

  • Direction of one to three productions each year plus additional scene work.
  • Preparation and rehearsal of a fully mounted thesis production in the final semester.
  • Opportunity to observe and assist the directors of Professional Theatre Initiative (PTI) productions.
  • Summer internships with leading regional theatres and PTI affiliates.

Learning Outcomes

The Directing Program aims to develop a complete theatre artist by fostering a passion for theatre, storytelling, and the collaborative process. Through their required coursework and production assignments, Directing students will:

  • Demonstrate a high level of technical and interpretive Directing skills sufficient to obtain professional positions in the performing arts.
  • Demonstrate spoken and written critical thinking, collaboration, and communication skills.
  • Demonstrate an ability to enrich creative storytelling and take artistic risks.
  • Demonstrate an awareness and ability to engage with diverse communities as a theatre artist.

Program of Study

(minimum of 66 credits)

First Year 1st 2nd
CFA TH 840 Directing Colloquium 3 3
CFA TH 841 Graduate Directing I 2
CFA TH 842 Graduate Directing II 2
CFA TH 623 & 624 Direct Study: Scene Study 1 1
CFA TH 521 Direct Study: Acting 2
CFA TH 641 Direct Study: Directing 2
CFA TH 653 & 654 Design Master Class 2 2
CFA TH 505 & 506 Dramatic Critic I & II or Dramatic Literature elective 2
Theatre elective 1 1
Intro Dramatic Literature (T.A.)
PTI Internship (CFA TH 541) 2
Minimum credits 13 13
Second Year 1st 2nd
CFA TH 840 Directing Colloquium 3 3
CFA TH 843 Graduate Directing III 2
CFA TH 844 Graduate Directing IV 2
CFA TH 623 & 624 Direct Study: Scene Study 1 1
CFA TH 505 & 506 Dramatic Critic I & II or Dramatic Literature elective 2
CFA TH 521 Directed Study: Acting 2
MET College Arts Administration 4 4
Theatre elective 1 1
Design elective 1 1
Modern Drama (T.A.) $ $
Non-Majors Course Instruction $ $
PTI Internship (CFA TH 541) 2
Minimum credits 14 16
Third Year 1st 2nd
CFA TH 840 Directing Colloquium 2
CFA TH 950 Thesis Project: Directing‡ 2 1
Theatre elective (can be up to 3 electives) 3
Non-Majors Course Instruction $
CFA TH 541 Professional Development Residency† 3
CFA TH 541 PTI Internship (can be fulfilled during any semester or summer breaks) 1*
Minimum credits 8 4

$ Course is fulfilled by stipend rather than credit
† Off campus
* Can be completed during summer or winter breaks

‡ This program requires completion of a minimum of 66 credits in continuous, sequential semesters, and generally takes three years to complete. Any student who does not complete their Thesis/Graduate Project (CFA TH 950) in the intended semester will need to register for CFA TH 950 in the next sequential semester, paying all appropriate tuition and fees. It is expected that no more than two additional years of registration will be needed to complete the project. All requirements for the MFA must be completed within five years of matriculation.