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Free MFA Acting Programs

Apr 24, 2019

When it comes to graduate programs, sometimes cost can be a huge factor for the students applying. Luckily, there are many free MFA options for students looking into acting and theatre programs.

For students looking into a graduate program in acting, there are options to choose from in almost any state. However, at certain colleges, if they enroll in an assistantship or scholarship, they can get the opportunity to receive a full tuition waiver, allowing the stress of student debt to be taken away in the future.

Colleges Offering a Free MFA in Acting

Louisiana State University

The MFA in Acting at Louisiana State University is a two-year program that is in an accelerated format. It focuses on acting training and techniques, which involves vocal, physical, and emotional aspects. There is a strong film portion to the program, and it includes a lot of lessons from guest artists in the industry.

Students can receive a full tuition waiver by going through an assistantship program. This means that any students enrolled as assistants function as part-time employees, typically working about 20 hours each week. Assistants also earn a wage in addition to the tuition waiver.

Illinois State University

At Illinois State University, an MFA in Theatre is offered with a focus in scene design. This is a three-year program that is centered around the production of theatre, dance, opera, and film. The curriculum consists of courses in classrooms, on stage, and in production workshops.

In order to attend this program for free, students must participate in a graduate assistantship. This means that the student must work and help out at the university to get the benefits. By being an assistant, students get a complete waiver of the program's tuition as well as an hourly wage and a waiver on up to twelve credits a summer.

Brown University

Brown University provides an MFA program in both acting and directing for students. The program consists of a combination of in-depth classwork as well as hands-on performance work. The primary goal of this program is to help make students versatile actors that can work in a professional theatre setting.

The full tuition waiver is a more recent addition to Brown University. The school added a scholarship to cover the full funds for students in the MFA acting and directing programs. This scholarship was created to ensure that acting students would not have to worry about repaying debt after their graduation so that they can instead focus on being successful in the theatre industry.

University of California, Irvine

The MFA in Acting at the University of California, Irvine is designed to assist with the development of actors and to prepare them for future careers in the theatre industry. This program takes about three years to complete, and it centers its studies around movement and speech. The first two years are specifically designed to help push students out of their comfort zones and show them different areas of acting and theatre. The third year is then made to focus on preparing students for acting professionally.

This university offers teaching assistantships that can cover the fees and tuition of the program. However, there are some fees that this program will not cover. Students must also meet certain requirements to be considered for this assistantship.

University of Connecticut

At the University of Connecticut, the MFA in Acting is a three-year program that covers all different types of acting styles and theatre studies. This program covers theatre, film, and television. In addition to the core classes for this program, there are many additional electives that are highly recommended, such as singing and theatre literature.

For this program, students can go through an assistantship for teaching or research to help cover their tuition. Students must work as an assistant for at least ten hours a week or more. During this time, students should not have another job outside the school. Assistants get a full waiver of their tuition and can be eligible for health insurance as well.

Program Admittance Requirements

For most graduate acting programs, an audition is required. The details of these auditions should be listed on the admissions page for each program. Each college has different requirements and directions for the audition process. In addition to an audition, an application must also be submitted. These requirements can vary greatly between each program, but applications typically need a resume, transcript, and a letter of recommendation. Be sure to check your program's requirements before applying.

To get free tuition into any of these programs, students must also apply for the assistantship or scholarship for which they desire to be considered. These assistantships won't accept just anyone; they usually look for someone with a good academic standing and a strong GPA. Each assistantship and scholarship will have different requirements, though. If you are not chosen, then you will not be able to enroll for free.

Whether it is through a graduate assistantship or a scholarship, students can find options that fully cover their MFA acting programs. As long as they have the motivation and enthusiasm to work and help out at school during their studies, they can complete their acting MFA with no cost in the end.


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