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About the University of Calgary
Graduate Studies Calendar 2023-2024 Program Descriptions Drama DRAM
Drama - DRAM
1. Degrees and Specializations Offered

Master of Fine Arts (MFA) (thesis-based)


  • Directing
  • Design/Technical
  • Interdisciplinary Creation and Research
  • Playwriting
  • Theatre Studies
Students will generally be accepted and registered on a full-time basis. Part-time registration will be considered on an individual basis.
2. Admission Requirements

In addition to Faculties of Graduate Studies and Arts requirements, Drama requires:

a) A baccalaureate degree that has clearly included a major emphasis in the study of drama with study at the undergraduate level in the proposed area of specialization. Deficiencies of background may be corrected during a year of study as a qualifying student.

b) A written application including a biographical outline of the applicant’s studies and experience in theatre and a statement of intent outlining proposed projects in Drama. When the applicant intends to study in the Design/Technical specialization, a portfolio of drawings and design work is required. Applicants to the Playwriting specialization must submit a portfolio of original creative writing. Applicants to the Theatre Studies specialization must submit samples of their written work. Directing applicants must submit a selected portfolio that might include reviews, photographs and/or video clips of productions directed. Applicants to the Interdisciplinary Creation and Research specialization must submit a portfolio of original work and a writing sample.

c) Two letters of reference.

3. Application Deadline

The deadline for the submission of complete applications is available on the Future Students website:

4. Advanced Credit

The applicant must make advanced credit requests as part of the admission process. Credit will not be given for course work taken as part of another completed degree/diploma or for courses taken to bring the grade point average to a required level for admission.

5. Program/Course Requirements

In addition to Faculties of Graduate Studies and Arts requirements, Drama also specifies the following requirements:

All candidates must take a minimum of 18 units of graduate courses, including Drama 605 and specialization requirements. All candidates must complete a thesis.

Courses required for specific specializations are described below:

a) Directing

b) Design/Technical

  • At least 3 units from the decimalized series that includes Drama 623, 625, and 627. Drama 643 is recommended.
  • Students must complete, to the satisfaction of an examining committee, a portfolio and an oral review relating to the student's design work at the completion of the first 12 units. Details concerning the portfolio are available from the Drama office.

c) Interdisciplinary Creation and Research

d) Playwriting

  • First year: Drama 671 and 673. Completion of Drama 675 (a pre-thesis play) is recommended if this course is offered.
  • First or second year: At least 3 units from Drama 643, 647, or 649.

e) Theatre Studies

Flexible Grade Option (CG Grade)

The Drama program in the School of Creative and Performing Arts will not permit the Flexible Grade Option (CG Grade) for any course offered by the Drama Program.

Students may not choose the CG grade for a course taken extra to load.

The use of the CG grade will affect students' eligibility for internal awards.
6. Additional Requirements

a) For Directing candidates, the thesis will consist of the direction of a full-length play and a supporting paper that reflects critically on the production and on the process of its creation.

b) For Design/Technical candidates, the thesis will consist of the design of a full-length production in two of the following areas: scene design, costume design, light design, sound design, video design. Pictorial material and a supporting paper that reflects critically upon the production and the process of its creation are also required.

c) For Interdisciplinary Creation and Performance candidates, the thesis will comprise a creative process, its documentation, and written reflection upon the process. It will be determined by the nature of the research in consultation with the supervisor and approved by the Graduate Committee.

d) For Playwriting candidates, the thesis will consist of a full-length play and a supporting paper that reflects critically on the play and the process of its creation.

e) For Theatre Studies candidates, the thesis will either be a substantial scholarly research paper or a documentation of artistic/empirical research processes and results in a significant scholarly component.

7. Credit for Undergraduate Courses

Drama may give credit for undergraduate courses at the 500 level at the discretion of the supervisor and graduate committee. No more than 6 units of coursework may be done at the undergraduate level.

8. Time Limit

The Master of Fine Arts degree must be completed within four years.

9. Supervisory Assignments

The graduate committee assigns a supervisor after discussion with the student.

10. Required Examinations

Thesis Examination

In addition to Faculty of Graduate Studies regulations for Thesis Examinations, the Department requires:

Composition of the Committee
The Internal Examiner must be external to the home program.

Final thesis oral examinations are open.

11. Research Proposal Requirements

Research proposals are formulated by the student in consultation with the supervisor and approved by the graduate committee. The committee will follow the University’s policies on ethical conduct in research in its review of proposals.

12. Financial Assistance

Financial assistance may be available to qualified students. For information on awards, see the Awards and Financial Assistance section of the Graduate Calendar. Students applying for scholarships must submit their applications to Drama by February 1.