Master of Fine Arts (MFA)


Master of Fine Arts (MFA)

Thesis-based program

Program overview

The MFA in Drama lives within the dynamic School of Creative and Performing Arts. Applicants can specialize in Design/Technical, Directing, Interdisciplinary Creation and Research, Playwriting, or Theatre Studies. In each of these areas, students receive expert instruction and supervision from some of Canada’s most recognized scholars, artists, and artist/scholars. Students enjoy high levels of agency within a carefully structured framework as they determine their individual program designs and thesis subjects. The program complements discipline-specific preparation with unique opportunities for interdisciplinary instruction and experience within the School. Graduate students often engage with our performance season and our festival of student work, which supports a wide range of audience relationships. Facilities include graduate student offices, design and costume shops, three thoroughly equipped and staffed theatre spaces (ranging from 150 through 500 seats), and a fourth studio theatre dedicated to faculty and graduate student research.

Completing this program

  • Core Course: Methods in Theatre Research.
  • Thesis (Directing): Consists of directing a full-length play and submission of a supporting paper.
  • Thesis (Playwriting): Consists of a full-length play and a supporting paper.
  • Additional Courses: Depending on the specialization, students take courses on directing, design/technical, playwriting and/or theatre studies.
  • Thesis (Design/Technical): Consists of design of a full-length production in two of scenes, costume, light and/or sound, and a supporting paper.
  • Thesis (Interdisciplinary Creation and Research): Consists of a creative process, its documentation, and written reflection upon the process. 
  • Thesis (Theatre Studies): Consists of a substantial scholarly research paper that may be informed by a creative performance project.


  • Directing
  • Design/Technical
  • Interdisciplinary Creation and Research
  • Playwriting
  • Theatre Studies


Director, Playwright, Devisor, Interdisciplinary Performance or Mixed Media Creator, Speech Writer, Critic, Dramaturg, Literary or Arts manager, Public Servant, Scholar, Instructor, Artistic or Technical Director, Curator, Monologist, Solo Performer, Theatre, Exhibit or Event Designer, Scenographer.

A master’s degree in drama will give you the pre-requisite for a PhD.

Thesis-based program

Classroom delivery

Time commitment

Two years full-time; four years maximum


A supervisor is required, but is not required prior to the start of the program

Fees and funding

See the Graduate Calendar for information on fees and fee regulations, and for information on awards and financial assistance.


Learn about faculty available to supervise this degree.
Please note: additional supervisors may be available. Contact the program for more information.

  1. Peter Balkwill

    Peter Balkwill

    Accepting Inquiries
    Performance / Acting, Puppetry, Mask, Performance-Creation / Devising, Directing
  2. Bruce Barton

    Bruce Barton

    Accepting Inquiries
  3. Christine Brubaker

    Christine Brubaker

    Accepting Inquiries
    Directing, Classical & Contemporary Performance, Pedagogy and Rehearsal Culture
  4. Profile Picture

    Penelope Farfan

    Accepting Inquiries
    Theatre Studies; Dramatic Literature; Theatre History; Interdisciplinary Modernist Studies; Women Playwrights; Feminist and Queer Theatre/Drama/Performance Studies
  5. Patrick Finn

    Patrick Finn

    Accepting Inquiries
    Performance, Technology, Drama & Story, Area Studies (English and Drama), Research Methods & Media, Scholarship of Teaching and Learning / Collaboration, Creativity
  6. The image shows the head and upper body of a Scandinavian, middle aged, white, woman wearing a creamy, buttoned up silk shirt with a brown pattern and short, wavy, middle blond hair against a yellow background. Her face is shown in three quarter view, her blue eyes are squinting slightly, and she offers the viewer an emerging smile

    Pil Hansen

    Accepting Inquiries
    Performing Arts Psychology, Dramaturgy, Performance Generating Systems and Improvisation, Interdisciplinary Research Methodology, Performing Arts Management
  7. I am a white woman with long, straight grey hair.  I am wearing a little blue shirt

    Jane MacFarlane

    Accepting Inquiries
    Gender - Affirming Voice work, Acting Theory in a contemporary context
  8. Clement Martini

    Clement Martini

    Accepting Inquiries
    Playwriting, Creative Writing, History of Playwriting, Creative Non-Fiction, Performance Creation

Admission Requirements


A minimum of 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 point system, over the past two years of full-time study (a minimum of 10 full-course equivalents or 60 units) of the undergraduate degree.

Minimum education

Baccalaureate degree with a major emphasis in the study of drama, with study in the proposed area of specialization.

Work samples

Applicants to Design/Technical must provide a portfolio of drawings and design work. Applicants to Playwriting must provide a portfolio of creative writing. Applicants to Theatre Studies must provide samples of written work. Applicants to Directing must provide a portfolio including reviews, photographs, video clips, and similar materials related to productions they have directed.  Applicants to the Interdisciplinary Creation and Research specialization must submit a portfolio of original work and a writing sample.


  • A written application, including a biographical outline of studies and experiences in theatre; a statement of intent outlining proposed project

Reference letters


Test scores


English language proficiency (ELP)

An applicant whose primary language is not English may fulfill the English language proficiency requirement in one of the following ways:

*Please contact your program of interest if you have any questions about ELP requirements.


For admission on September 1:

  • Canadians and permanent residents: Jan. 15 application deadline
  • International students: Jan. 15 application deadline

If you're not a Canadian or permanent resident, or if you have international credentials, make sure to learn about international requirements

Learn more about this program

School of Creative and Performing Arts

Craigie Hall CHD 100
2500 University Drive NW
Calgary, ABT2N 1N4

Contact the Graduate Program Administrator

Visit the departmental website

Faculty of Arts

University of Calgary
2500 University Drive NW
Calgary, AB, T2N 1N4

Visit the Faculty of Arts website

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