Non-Thesis Options for the Master of Fine Arts Degree in Theatre Arts

Policy Memorandum No. 60

Recommended by the Commission on Graduate Studies
Approved by University Council: March 4, 1985
Approved by the President: March 4, 1985
Effective: Immediately

Experience during the past five years of offering an MFA in Theatre Arts has caused the Department of Theatre Arts' Graduate Steering Committee to question the appropriateness of providing students only one means for completing the program of study--the thesis. A survey of peer institutions showed that few require a thesis in such programs as Arts Management; Scenic, Costume or Lighting Design; Directing, or the MFA in Child Drama. More typically, a "production project" or "production/creative project is allowed." Experience has shown that students who have completed the course requirements but not the thesis have been successfully employed and are deserving of an MFA.

Based on that experience, the Department of Theatre Arts was given permission by the University Council to provide options other than the thesis as a requirement for the completion of the MFA. The specific option is left to the discretion of the student's committee. Inasmuch as the Department offers degrees in three different areas (Child Drama, Arts Management, Production which includes Design, Technical Direction, and Directing), the Department is given flexibility to evaluate and determine a requirement for graduation appropriate to the needs of the individual student. For some students, the thesis will remain as an appropriate conclusion; for others, a Final Exam or a Project/Report would be more appropriate. These nonthesis options were approved for completion for the MFA in Theatre Arts.

President's Policy Memorandum