Graduate Admission FAQ Get an Inside Look

Graduate Admission Frequently Asked Questions

Is the GRE required?

No. We do not require any standardized test for admission to the School of Drama.

Is there a separate admission to the Graduate School at Carnegie Mellon University?

No. There is no official graduate school within the University. All graduate programs are autonomous.

Are interviews required for all applicants? Do they need to be on campus?

Interviews are required for all applicants in Design, Production Technology and Management (PTM) and the John Wells Directing Program. Those applying in Dramatic Writing will be interviewed at our request.

Students in the Design and Production Technology and Management (PTM) must attend a final interview in Pittsburgh, unless severe monetary constraints do not allow for travel. Offers of admission will follow the final interview. We strongly encourage a visit to campus; ideally, you should stay long enough to attend several classes and spend some time getting to know graduate students as well as the faculty.

How early can I schedule an interview?

Once the formal application has been received, the interview may be scheduled. No interviews will be granted until the official Graduate Application has been received.

Is there a problem with all of my admission materials arriving separately?

You can add material to the online application at any time. Once the formal application has been received, you will become an official applicant. Any materials that are sent before that time (such as recommendations, transcripts, etc.) will be held until the formal application arrives.

What if I am having trouble getting all of my materials by Jan. 1?

The formal application form needs to be received by January 1. If more time is needed to obtain transcripts or recommendations, that is okay.

Can one enroll in the graduate program part-time?

Graduate programs in the School of Drama are for full-time students only.
Students remain in the program only so long as the graduate faculty agrees that continued training at Carnegie Mellon University will result in significant progress towards a professional career. Except in special circumstances, as determined by the graduate faculty, transfer credit is not given for graduate work done elsewhere.

If I am not accepted and reapply again in the following year, can I use the same admission materials?

All submitted admission materials will be kept on file for one year after application with the exception of those applicants who have decided to attend school elsewhere. It is strongly recommended that some new material be submitted, such as a new portfolio for designers or a new script for dramatic writers. There is no need to submit new recommendation letters unless the applicant so desires.

Is it possible to finish the programs in Design, Directing and Production Technology and Management (PTM) in two years?

The programs are three years in length. There have been exceptions for those applicants who show an advanced understanding in Design and Production Technology and Management although this is extremely rare.

Are transfer students accepted?

On rare occasions we accept transfer students into the Design and Production Technology and Management Options.
No transfer students will be accepted into the John Wells Directing Program or Dramatic Writing Options.

How often will Directing graduate students get to direct?

It is assumed that each graduate directing student will direct a one-act play during the first semester, a new play (from a graduate plawright in the first and seconds years of the program, a graduate production in the second year and a thesis production in the third year). Other opportunites may well present themselves in addition to this.

How often will Designers get to design a production?

All students will see their work fully realized through productions. The amount and content of realized work that a student does is customized to their goals and individual skill level.  At a minimum, each graduate design student will design once a year.

How often will I be assigned to a production as a Technical Director, a Stage Manager or a Production Manager?

Every semester PTM graduate students are assigned to productions in various management positions, either in the School of Drama or elsewhere. These assignments are made based on the student's level of ability and progression through the program. Students often receive multiple concurrent assignments, which reflects real world multi-tasking.

As a playwright, will I get a realized production of my scripts?

In the second year of the Dramatic Writing Option final thesis plays are presented as part of the School of Drama New Works Series. In most cases, the director is a graduate directing student and the production is supported with some design elements.

What kind of financial aid is available?

All or our graduate students receive a scholarship that covers a portion of the annual tuition. The exact amount varies. As long as you are in good academic standing, the scholarship will continue each year of attendance in the School of Drama. Nothing beyond the application and admission to the School of Drama is required for this scholarship.
Some financial aid is available through the University and is handled by the Financial Aid Office. The FAFSA is required.

For Student Consumer Information, please check the CMU Hub here.
Other questions about the admissions process?

Please Contact:
Dick Block, Associate Head, School of Drama

Graduate Admissions Coordinator 

Purnell Center for the Arts

Carnegie Mellon University

Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890