Theatre Arts

Northern Illinois University

849 USD/credit
492 USD/credit
492 USD/credit
Tuition fee
Apply date
Start date


The M.F.A. program is designed to provide intensive artistic training in Theatre Arts for careers in theatre and theatre-related areas. Northern Illinois University students will graduate with a specialization in acting or design and technology (the latter with areas of study in costume design, lighting design, scene design, and theatre technology).


The Master of Fine Arts in Theatre Arts is ideal for students with a specialty in acting or theatre design and technology. Each semester, you will refine and enhance your artistic skills while planning and executing a theatrical production. You will also be required to participate in theatre study and work outside your designated area of focus.

Area(s) of Emphasis:

  • Specialization in Acting
  • Specialization in Design and Technology (four areas of study)
  • Costume Design
  • Lighting Design
  • Scene Design
  • Theatre Technology
  • Specialization in Acting

Students in the acting specialization are required each semester to audition for and participate in departmental productions. Students failing to maintain a 3.00 GPA in their acting, voice, and movement courses will not be permitted to perform in any production sponsored by the school. Private individual interviews, followed by written synopses of such reviews, will be held at least once a year to monitor the progress of the student. The performance faculty review committee reserves the right to place on casting probation or discontinue the candidacy of any M.F.A. acting candidate who shows unsatisfactory progress as determined by the committee.

Why NIU?

Each year, Northern Illinois University welcomes more than 5,000 graduate students from around the world to our vibrant community. We invite you to join us. Explore our wide range of graduate degrees and certificates. Our programs will advance your education and your career, and you'll have outstanding opportunities for research, innovation and hands-on learning.

Our university and individual programs of study rank nationally year after year. NIU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching classifies NIU as a High Research Activity University.

Programme Structure

Courses included:

  • Acting Studio: On-Camera
  • The Business of Theatre
  • Topics in Theatrical Performance
  • Research Techniques in Theatre Arts
  • Period Style for Actors: Text Analysis
  • Acting Techniques
  • Pattern Development
  • Millinery and Accessories
  • Dyeing and Fabric Modification for the Theatre
  • Drawing for the Theatre 

Key information

Start dates & application deadlines




72 alternative credits


On Campus

Academic requirements

GPA admission requirements GPA Your GPA, or Grade Point Average, is a number that indicates how well or how high you scored in your courses on average. Usually a GPA scales between 1.0 and 4.0, however different countries and universities can have different grading systems.
GMAT admission requirements GMAT The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is a test intended to assess certain analytical, writing, quantitative, verbal, and reading skills in written English for use in admission to a graduate management program, such as an MBA. GMAT contains 4 sections - Analytical Writing Assessment, Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative and Verbal. The score has a range from 200 - 800.

English requirements

TOEFL admission requirements TOEFL® IBT The TOEFL iBT® is given online through the internet at designated testing site. The test measures your English-language abilities in an academic setting. The score refers to the total score of 4 subjects (writing, listening, speaking, and reading), each subject has a range of 0 - 30.
IELTS admission requirements IELTS The International English Language Test System (IELTS) tests your English-language proficiency on a scale of 1 – 9. The score refers to the combined average score of 4 subjects (writing, listening, speaking, and reading).
PTE Academic admission requirements PTE Academic PTE Academic (Pearson Test of English Academic) is a language test that enables students to demonstrate their writing, listening, speaking, and reading skills when applying to study in English. The score refers to a total score which ranges between 10 and 90.

Other requirements

General requirements

  • Completed a four-year undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution or one with equivalent recognition.
  • Achieved a 2.75 grade point average on a 4.00 scale, or the equivalent.
  • If you received a three-year degree awarded through the Bologna process in Europe or a three-year Bachelor of Commerce or Bachelor of Business Administration awarded in India, you are eligible to apply (provided you are seeking admission to the MBA or OMIS program).
  • Transcripts
  • Letters of recommendation.
  • Statement of purpose.
  • Test scores (if required).
  • Resume or curriculum vitae (optional)
  • Additional materials required by your program.

Tuition Fee

  • International

    849 USD/credit
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 849 USD per credit and a duration of  .
  • National

    492 USD/credit
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 492 USD per credit and a duration of  .
  • In-State

    492 USD/credit
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 492 USD per credit and a duration of  .


Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

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Theatre Arts
Northern Illinois University