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College of Creative Arts and Media: School of Theatre and Dance

Acting, MFA

Are you a passionate actor looking to elevate your craft and career? Consider our MFA in Acting — a rigorous, three-year program with comprehensive studio instruction and diverse performance opportunities.

We accept a select class of 6-8 actors every three years, ensuring personalized attention and a close-knit, collaborative ensemble.

Our conservatory-style training emphasizes risk-taking and experimentation, helping you develop as a professional artist under the mentorship of experienced core faculty and guest artists. As part of our graduate acting ensemble, you'll be at the heart of 5-6 main stage productions and numerous workshop projects, while also serving as a leader and mentor to undergraduates.

Assistantships are available, offering a tuition waiver, stipend and health insurance. Opportunities are available in teaching, publicity and branding efforts for the School of Theatre and Dance, or collaborating with West Virginia Public Theatre, our affiliate professional theatre.

Your Degree Plan


Aerial view of Martin and Woodburn Halls

Be part of an intensive three-year course of study that will prepare you for the industry through studio instruction and performance opportunities.

MFA Acting students are committed to a five-day-a-week, conservatory-style schedule, attending classes in acting, voice, movement and scene study. Scene study is the weekly practice of presenting material supported by studio course work and is a key proponent to the program.

You will develop not only an effective, collaborative and healthy rehearsal process, but also the skill set of facilitating effective critique.

In addition to the studio program, you are required to complete coursework in:

  • Theatre history
  • Text analysis
  • Criticism
  • Research methods

An overall grade point average of 3.0 is needed to remain in the program.

Fulfillment of the degree culminates in the performance, written documentation and oral defense of a thesis project.

School of Theatre and Dance MFA programs are accredited by the National Association of the Schools of Theatre (NAST) and are terminal degrees.

Take advantage of special options related to this major:

  • Honors

    Expand your curiosity — and enhance your curriculum — through the WVU Honors College. Two programs are offered: Honors Foundations for first- and second-year students and Honors EXCEL for third- and fourth-year students.

    Explore Honors

The WVU Difference

What sets this program apart from its competitors?

  • All students receive a tuition waiver.
  • A limited number of graduate assistantships are available and include stipends and health insurance.
  • MFA Acting students are the core of the School’s casting pool for 5-6 annual main stage productions.

Learn by Doing

Learning happens outside the classroom. Get involved.

The graduate acting ensemble serves as the core of the casting pool for 5-6 main stage productions, as well as multiple student and faculty workshop projects. They serve as leaders and mentors to undergraduate students in the classroom, studios, rehearsals and performance.

Graduate assistantships include teaching in the classroom, publicity engagement and branding for the School, or working with West Virginia Public Theatre (our affiliate professional theatre).

Outside of the Evansdale Crossing building.

What you learn outside of the classroom is just as important as what you learn during class. We’ll help you follow your curiosity.

Places and Spaces

Learn about all of the places and spaces you'll learn in.

Program Facility - Creative Arts Center

Canady Creative Arts Center

The Loulie, Valerie and William Canady Creative Arts center boasts 4 exhibition spaces, 5 performance spaces, 33 individual practice rooms and 50 classrooms and studios with plenty of space to create. The loading dock at the rear of the building is a wonderful open-air space with stunning acoustics.

Explore the Canady Creative Arts Center
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Admission Requirements

To be eligible for admission into a graduate program at WVU an applicant must submit official, bachelor's degree transcripts from a regionally accredited institution and hold a GPA of at least 2.75. WVU operates decentralized admissions. Decentralized admissions allows each graduate program to set its own application requirements in addition to the University requirements.

Ready to take the next step?

Learn how to join the WVU family.

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Want to know more about Acting at WVU? Fill out our request form to receive more information.

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