Admissions
Graduate Requirements

How To Apply

All graduate applications must be submitted via Slideroom no later than January 1. Once the application has been submitted, candidates in Design and Production Technology and Management (PTM) should schedule an interview. Candidates in Directing and Dramatic Writing will be granted an interview at our request.

REQUIREMENTS:
•A graduate application form submitted on Slideroom.
•A personal statement of your educational and professional aspiration that addresses why you are pursuing this line of study and what you hope to gain from graduate school, as well as your artistic influences, interests and professional goals. Two to three pages should be sufficient length.
•Three letters of recommendation from people who are familiar with your work
•Resume
•Official undergraduate transcripts(sent directly from institutions)
•$100 application fee submitted via Slideroom.
•For Dramatic Writing: one full-length play (or screenplay). Only PDF files will be accepted.

All application materials must be submitted electronically. Please do not submit portfolios or artwork except as uploaded onto the Slideroom application. No unsolicited material will be returned.

FOR MORE INFORMATION
Any questions as well as transcripts should be addressed to:

Dick Block
Associate Head of the School of Drama
Graduate Admissions Coordinator
5000 Forbes Ave
Carnegie Mellon University
Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890
Email: rblock@andrew.cmu.edu

INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS
In accordance with university policy, foreign students must present evidence of their ability to meet the expenses of tuition, room, board and other material needs when applying.

Non-native English-speaking applicants are required to take the TOEFL or the IELTS examination. Please note the MINIMUM acceptable scores:

TOEFL: 24 in Reading, Listening, Writing and Speaking, with a total score of at least 100. This means that at least one or more of the individual scores must be above the minimum of 24.

IELTS: 7 in each area and total

NO interview will be scheduled without evidence of this minimal TOEFL or IELTS score. Absolutely no exceptions.Our TOEFL Code is 2074

The University may also require applicants to take additional English proficiency tests to ensure that all students have sufficient language skills to pursue graduate level studies. Depending on the results of these tests, the School of Drama may require applicants to complete further classes in English prior to enrolling. For more information about international admission and immigration, please contact the CMU Office of International Education.

Scheduling Your Interview


DESIGN AND PRODUCTION, TECHNOLOGY AND MANAGEMENT
All graduate applicants in Design and Production Technology and Management are required to attend an interview. Click here to download the dates and locations for interviews. For tips on travel to Pittsburgh and preparing for your review click here.

The School of Drama strongly encourages all applicants to the Design and Production MFA programs to interview in Pittsburgh. Not all programs will have faculty representation in other cities. If circumstances preclude a Pittsburgh interview, you may wish to inquire as to which area faculty will interview in other cities before scheduling travel.

Interviews will be scheduled only after the formal application has been submitted online. To schedule an interview please email Shannon Lown, Administrative Coordinator at shannonh@andrew.cmu.edu.

Please include your preferred city and date in your request as well as your field of study: Costume Design, Costume Production, Sound Design, Scenic Design, Lighting Design, Video & Media Design, Technical Direction, Stage and Production Management.

We will be holding interviews for prospective graduate Lighting Design students at LDI in Las Vegas, Oct. 21-23. Interested students should schedule their meeting with Cindy Limauro (limauro@andrew.cmu.edu).

Graduate interviews are typically 30 minutes long, during which time the faculty will review your artistic portfolio.

Offers to attend the School of Drama are typically made after all of the interviews are completed, usually around the end of March.

International students applying for Design or Production Technology and Management who are unable to visit the United States for an interview may schedule a Skype interview.

DIRECTING
Candidates in Directing will be granted an interview at our request. Caden Manson, the Head of the Graduate Directing Program will contact applicants by Feb. 1 via email to schedule an interview. Interviews will be scheduled only after the formal application has been submitted online.

Graduate interviews are typically 30 minutes long, during which time the faculty will review your artistic portfolio.

Offers to attend the School of Drama are typically made after all of the interviews are completed, usually around the end of March.

International students applying for Directing who are unable to visit the United States for an interview may schedule a Skype interview.

DRAMATIC WRITING
For further information about the Dramatic Writing Option please contact the Option Coordinator, Rob Handel at rhandel@andrew.cmu.edu

. » 2018-2019 Audition/Interview Dates & Cities (PDF)

» Interview Locations and Daily Schedule

Please note: In order to schedule your interview YOU MUST complete your Slideroom Application no later than January 1. No late applications will be accepted.

Preparing Your MFA Application


Costume Design

Applicants for the Design Option should have experience in theater and some background in art and design. Demonstrated ability to analyze and discuss a script is important and will be explored at the interview. Do not send your portfolio material; it should be uploaded onto the Slideroom application. Please bring portfolios and examples of creative work to the interview.

Suggested Portfolio Materials:
•Evidence of your design process which could include preliminary sketches and research materials
•Color sketches of your design work
•Production shots of your design work
•Fabric swatches
•Examples of supporting skills in your area of interest (which might include stitching, craftwork, quilting, millinery, jewelry making, wig and makeup execution, etc.)
•Non-costume design related artwork, such as drawings, paintings, ceramics, photography, printmaking, graphic design, etc.


Lighting Design

•Evidence of your design process which could include preliminary sketches and research
•Light plots (hand or computer-generated)
•Full paperwork for at least one production
•Production shots of design work and or short video clips
•Examples of supporting skills in your area of interest


Scenic Design

•Evidence of your design process which could include preliminary sketches, research, rough models, sketch-up work, etc.
•Color sketches and/or models of your design work
•Production shots of your design work, performance art, installation work, etc.
•Ground plans, drafting, and detail drawings (hand or computer-generated)
•Examples of supporting skills in your area of interest (which might include prop work, scenic art) or in a secondary interest such as drawing, painting, photography, ceramics, sculpture, etc.


Sound Design

•Evidence of your design process which could include preliminary sketches and research
•Sound plots and cue sheets
•Sound and/or music examples (include production images to help contextualize your sound choices)
•Examples of supporting skills in your area of interest


Video and Media Design

•Evidence of your design process which could include preliminary sketches, research, video clips, sketch-up work, etc.
•Video system diagrams, projector plots, cue sheets and other support drawings (hand or computer-generated).
•Production shots of finished design work and or short video clips.
•Video examples of your work - (please select shorter sections for review)
•Examples of supporting skills in your area of interest (which might include personal artworks, art Installations, professional video work, custom software or system designs etc.).

For further information about the Design Option please contact the Option Coordinators:
Joe Pino - jpino@andrew.cmu.edu
Narelle Sissons - nsissons@andrew.cmu.edu


DRAMATIC WRITING

Applicants for the Dramatic Writing MFA should have prior writing and theater experience.

To apply to Dramatic Writing please submit one full-length play (or screenplay). Only PDF files will be accepted.

Your personal statement should address your educational and professional goals. You are also asked to articulate what drives you as an artist and what drives you as a citizen. Discuss the next play you want to write.

Dramatic Writing Option Coordinator:
Rob Handel - rhandel@andrew.cmu.edu


Costume Production

Applicants for the Production, Technology and Management Option should have practical experience in the theater, and may also have a background in mathematics and physics (for Technical Directors), organization and management (for Stage/Production managers), or both. Applicants must demonstrate basic proficiency in project planning and execution by submitting a portfolio of work, which might include production paperwork, drafting, technical drawings, sketches, or other work generated from creative projects. Please do not mail portfolios to the school; materials should be uploaded onto the Slideroom application.

Suggested Portfolio Materials:
•Evidence of a finished garment(s) based on a designer’s sketch
•Photographic and physical examples of costume of work
•Examples of paperwork explaining your process such as organizational paperwork, patterns, additional sketches, etc
•Examples of supporting skills in areas of secondary interest such as sculpture, painting, printmaking, photography, millinery, and jewelry making


Production, Technology and Management (PTM)

Applicants for the Production, Technology and Management Option should have practical experience in the theater, and may also have a background in mathematics and physics (for Technical Directors), organization and management (for Stage/Production managers), or both. Applicants must demonstrate basic proficiency in project planning and execution by submitting a portfolio of work, which might include production paperwork, drafting, technical drawings, sketches, or other work generated from creative projects. Please do not mail portfolios to the school; materials should be uploaded onto the Slideroom application.

Suggested Portfolio Materials:
TECHNICAL DIRECTION:
•Evidence of technical skills which could include working drawings and photos of your work both finished and in process
•Examples of material and labor budgeting
•Drafting, drawing or CAD material

STAGE OR PRODUCTION MANAGEMENT:
•Paperwork from a recent production for schedules, reports, budgets, estimates, etc.
•Rehearsal and performance reports and production calendar
•Further examples of work that support evidence of your managerial skills

For further information about the Production Technology and Management Option, please contact the Option Coordinator, Tina Shackleford at tshackleford@cmu.edu.

Specific questions related to our MFA in:
Technical Direction: Kevin Hines at hines@andrew.cmu.edu
Stage and Production Management: Tina Shackleford at tshackleford@cmu.edu
Costume Production: Brian Russman at brianr@andrew.cmu.edu


THE JOHN WELLS DIRECTING FELLOWSHIP

Applicants for The John Wells Directing Program should have at least three years of experience as a director as well as a strong sense of the kind of theater they would like to explore. The ability to critically analyze and discuss a script is a necessary prerequisite. Interest in the use of media and exploring a variety of directing techniques is an advantage.

Final applicants in The John Wells Directing Program will be invited to the School of Drama to meet the directing faculty and conduct a short scene rehearsal with actors. At that time directors will also be asked to provide more visual material and discuss specific productions at length.

Suggested Portfolio Materials:
DVDs or photographs that show a range of your directorial abilities.

For further information about The John Wells Directing Program contact the Head of the Directing Program, Caden Manson at cmanson@andrew.cmu.edu

FAQS

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

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

Interviews are required for all applicants in Design and in Production Technology and Management (PTM). Those applying in Dramatic Writing and the John Wells Directing Program 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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 or advanced undergraduate directing student and the production is supported with some design elements.

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.