Graduate Admissions


Each application is reviewed by both Department and Graduate School admissions examiners. The Graduate School determines admission; however, no student will be admitted without a favorable department recommendation. Once admitted, the student will receive confirmation from the Graduate School.

General Admission Procedures

Application Forms and Fees

Applicants need to file their applications electronically (click here). Send the application fee to the Graduate School. The application deadlines are:

  • MFA Acting – No applications are being accepted until further notice. 
  • MFA Design/Technology – No applications are being accepted until further notice. 

For more admissions information, see the UW-Madison Graduate School website or contact the department’s graduate coordinator at


  • All Applicants are to submit a current resume, specific to the proposed field of study
  • Applicants to the MFA Acting Program need to also include a current photo


Official transcripts from each previous undergraduate or postgraduate institution are required. Transcripts will not be returned.

International academic records must be in the original language accompanied by an official English translation. Documents must be issued by the school with the official seal/stamp and an official signature.

Letter of Intent

  • All Applicants should submit a one- or two-page letter of intent explaining the candidate’s reasons for pursuing graduate study must accompany each application.


Three letters of recommendation are required of all applicants.  References should address the candidate’s potential in the chosen field of study, in addition to other observations of the candidate’s experience, skills, and abilities. If possible, references should be from more than one institution or similar individual source.

Letter of recommendation should be submitted electronically.  Click here for the Graduate School FAQ’s regarding Letters of Recommendation Instructions.


  • MFA (Acting) – It is highly desirable that you arrange a visit to the campus. February is the most suitable period. Please contact the adviser in your area of concentration to arrange a time, by calling the Grad Program Coordinator (608-262-3890). An audition is required for acceptance into the MFA Acting Program. Auditions may be performed at U/RTA audition sites in Chicago, New York City, or on the UW-Madison campus by appointment with the Head of the Graduate Acting Program or by calling the Grad Program Coordinator (608-262-3890).
  • MFA (Design/Technology) – Interviews are required. Interviews are held annually at the U/RTA unified auditions and at USITT. Applicants may also contact the department directly for an interview. Although not required, students are highly encouraged to arrange a campus visit. February/March is the most suitable period, though other times can be arranged. Please contact the adviser in your area of concentration to arrange a time, by calling the Grad Program Coordinator (608-262-3890). Under certain circumstances, a phone interview may be substituted for the in-person interview.

G.R.E. Scores

  • MFA – G.R.E. scores are not required, but may be used by the faculty as advisory in the case of a student whose previous academic record is close to the minimum requirements.

Portfolio (for MFA Design/Technology only)

Each must submit a portfolio to be considered for admission. The portfolio in most cases can be presented at the interview. Exact portfolio content requirements for each area of study may be found in the separate program descriptions. A copy of the applicant’s personal résumé of theatrical and related experience must accompany the portfolio.

General guidelines for submitting a portfolio are given as follows:

  • Label every item with the candidate’s name, the name of the play, the date of the piece and whether it was realized or a project. Original materials are preferred when submitting sketches, renderings or related drawings and materials. If original material is not available, color prints are acceptable.
  • Color photographs showing the quality of finished work are very helpful as well. In submitting evidence of your drafting ability, provide prints, not originals.
  • Return postage must be included in the submission. If you must have your portfolio returned or forwarded by a specific date, clearly state this in an accompanying note. We will do our best to accommodate your request.

MFA Design/Technology Admissions Information

Additional admissions information may found under the individual emphasis descriptions on this website.

Completed Applications:


  • MFA (Acting, Costume Design, Lighting Design, Scene Design or Theatre Technology)

SEND transcript(s), resume, and portfolio (for Design/Technology applications) if not submitted at interview TO:

Theatre Graduate Admissions
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Room 6173 Vilas Hall
821 University Ave.
Madison, WI 53706-1497


The Graduate School
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Room 228 Bascom Hall
Madison, WI 53706